We are interested in topics such as eco-evolutionary dynamics, symbiosis, demography, conservation, and phylogeny. Here are some of our current projects, with sample papers.

Predicting evolution

Evolution of life histories in response to rapid climate change

We are using long-term demographic monitoring of long-lived plants to assess how sprouting and flowering behavior is likely to change under state-of-the-art climate predictions.

Evolution of mycoheterotrophy

Evolution of mycoheterotrophy

We are analyzing long-term demographic data and parameterizing evolutionary models to understand why so many plant species have evolved to parasitize mycorrhizal fungi, instead of photosynthesizing.

Evolution of sprouting

Adaptive dynamics of sprouting

Why can so many photosynthetic plants live for years as rootstock with photosynthesizing? We address this question with both micro-evolutionary and macro-evolutionary methods, including large-scale character evolution reconstruction and game theory.

Evolution of sprouting

Mycorrhizal specialization

Some plants obligately depend on mycorrhizal fungi, even for their energy. Yet, these specialists are rarely specialized on just one mycorrhizal fungal species. What determines the breadth of the mycorrhizal interaction, and why do plants and fungi interact with the partners that they have?

Evolution of senescence

Plant and fungal senescence

We generally believe all organisms will senesce if they live long enough, but empirical assessments and some theory suggest otherwise. What determines how senescence evolves across the Tree of Life?

Drivers of demography

Genetic and environmental drivers of plant demography

Why do plant populations vary in demographic response to climatic variation? How does genetic composition interact with environment to determine population dynamics? We work with herbaceous perennials to answer these questions.


Mark-recapture methodology for dormancy-prone perennials

Plants may not move away from where they are rooted, but they can still be hard to find, especially if they do not need to sprout every year. We have developed methods for estimating demographic parameters in the face of such difficulties.

Tweets by Richshefferson Tweet to @Richshefferson