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Our latest papers:

Drivers of dormancy

What drives vegetative dormancy?

Vegetative dormancy has been found in over 100 species and 24 families of plants, but what causes it, how does it relate to life history and environment, and what are its evolutionary origins? We led an international team to answer these questions. Read our results in Ecology Letters.



Orchid evolution

The evolutionary origins of the lady's slippers

The lady's slipper orchids have some of the largest genomes in the orchid family. Why is this so? Our colleague Sarah Unruh led an international team to answer this question, using the transcriptomes of representative species from throughout the Orchidaceae.



Predicting evolution

Can we predict evolution?

Contemporary climate change may cause many extinctions in the near future, but it is also likely to lead to rapid evolution. Can we predict how this evolution will occur? We believe so, and show how using vegetative dormancy in 3 orchid species.



Predicting evolution

The ecology of ectomycorrhizal forest species

Dead matter affects not only ecosystems, but the populations that constitute them. The Shefferson lab contributed research on the impacts of deadwood on ectomycorrhizal diversity, to this study of the ecological effects of deadwood in a Pinus taeda plantation.



Microevolution of mycoheterotrophy

Why are some plants non-photosynthetic?

Some plant species shun the sunlight, instead relying on their soil-fungal symbionts as energy sources. In this study, we look into the evolutionary origins of this condition, linking microevolutionary demographic patterns to speciation.



Orchid conservation in Europe

Conserving European orchids

Orchid species are on the decline in Europe. In this study, we analyze environmental factors impacting the distributions of Red Listed species, and offer advice on management strategies to prevent extinction.


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