Biogeography of tarflowers

The genus Bejaria is a group of over 15 species of trees and shrubs that range widely in sand scrub, mountain cloud forests, and p├íramo (alpine savanna) habitats from the US (Florida), Cuba, and west-central Mexico south to central Bolivia. Despite their prominence in the landscape — including showy flowers, complex morphological diversity, and an ecologically dominant role in high-elevation zones in the Andes sometimes referred to as the “Bejaria belt” — they have remained largely obscure to science in all aspects of their biology.

This project is the PhD research of Systematics Lab member Senna Robeson. Fieldwork has been supported by a 2021 Graduate Student Research Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and by the Hinds Fund of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology.