The Mandel lab studies sunflowers and their relatives to understand mechanisms that drive and maintain biodiversity. We are curious about the genetic and genomic basis of phenotypic diversity both in natural and agricultural species. Asteraceae is the largest family of flowering plants with more than 25,000 species distributed worldwide. Many members of the family have importance directly relevant to human health and well being through links with agriculture, medicine, and industry. Related to this, we also seek to understand population genetic dynamics in crops and their wild relatives and the role of organellar genome diversity in the evolution of plants. For more information about what we do, check out Research, People, and Publications pages. *Just for fun, about 1/2 the people we meet think it’s the ‘Mendel’ Lab, and since we study plant genetics, we decided to own it 🌱
Jennifer joins the Editorial Board at Journal of Systematics and Evolution.
Letter to the Editor with Deise Gonçalves, Bob Jansen, and Tracey Ruhlman out at Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
Ram’s Antennaria paper is published in Systematic Botany.
Antennaria are dioecious perennial herbs distributed mainly in the Holarctic Region, with their major center of diversity in the Rocky Mountains of Western North America. The genus comprises 33 known sexual diploid/tetraploid species and at least five polyploid agamic complexes which mostly reproduce by forming asexual seeds. Our study provide a framework for future evolutionary studies of Antennaria, including speciation, origin(s) of polyploidy, and agamospermy in the genus.
We are zoomed out of our minds.
Carol joins the Folk Lab at Mississippi State University. Best wishes to her!
Dr. Robert (Bort) Edwards joins the Mandel Lab!
Work from Nantucket on pollinator visitation in the presence of non-native species is out by Adam Ramsey and Mike Ballou. Check out their findings in Rhodora.
To address whether the presence of D. carota affects the pollination of native species on Nantucket, we sought to answer three questions: 1) Does the presence of D. carotaincrease pollinator visits and diversity on Sericocarpus asteroides? 2) Does the removal of D. carota restore pollinator visits and diversities to those found in plots with only S. asteroides? and 3) Is there a relationship between the amount of heterospecific pollen and distance to the nearest D. carota population?
Carol Siniscalchi’s paper in Frontiers in Plant Sciences is published.
In this study, we present the first attempt at studying the phylogeny of Vernonieae using phylogenomics. Even though our sampling includes only around 4% of the diversity of the tribe, we achieved complete resolution of the phylogeny with high support recovering approximately 700 nuclear markers obtained through target capture. We also analyzed the effect of missing data using two different matrices with different number of markers and the difference between concatenated and gene tree analysis.
Botany in Tucson!
Jennifer is named Assistant Director for The Center for Biodiversity Research!