Dr. Amanda Grusz, PI
Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Duluth
Director, Olga Lakela Herbarium (DUL)
Dr. Grusz uses morphological and molecular tools to study organismal evolution and its role in generating biodiversity. Her passions span floristic and nomenclatural studies through to phylogenetics and evolutionary genomics, with a general focus on patterns and processes that drive diversification in seed-free vascular plants.
B.S. Biology/GIS, University of Minnesota Duluth
Josh grew up on a dairy farm in west central Wisconsin and spent a great deal of time gardening with his grandparents. His interests have always been focused on plants, whether it is growing vegetables, fruits, trees, or alpine/arctic plants. He is an avid botanist with field experience in Australia, the Canadian arctic (Hudson Bay), and all across the US.
Affiliated Researcher, University of Minnesota Duluth
Seema is currently conducting a morphological survey of Jamesonia (Pteridaceae) hybrids from the Cerro de la Muerte of central Costa Rica. With a robust morphological framework in mind, Seema will be conducting population-scale molecular analyses in an effort to elucidate localized patterns of evolution in the high elevation Costa Rican páramo.
M.S. Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth (in progress) B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth
Ashley's project is focused on unraveling the evolutionary origins of a putative cross-continental hybrid, Woodsia scopulina subsp. laurentiana (Woodsiaceae) from the Laurentian Shield. Her work combines field exploration, molecular phylogenetics, and cytogenetics for biodiversity studies.
Blake is currently exploring genotypic diversity in M. lindheimeri throughout Mexico. He is also analyzing big data and performing whole genome assemblies, contributing to collaborations with Utah State University, The Field Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Bridges Scholar, UMD
Ashley's work leverages museum collections to explore genotypic diversity in the recombinant apomict, M. lindheimeri (Pteridaceae). She is gaining experience in experimental design, microscopy, and molecular genetic laboratory techniques (DNA extraction, genotpying).
Pathways Scholar, UMD
Amanda is exploring the relationship between hormone production and gender determination in Myriopteris (Pteridaceae). Using a survey of corresponding fitness effects, her study incorporates experimental design, protein identification, and evolutionary theory.
Patrick is using molecular genomics and bioinformatic tools to examine the influence of hybridization, genome duplication, and apomixis on repetitive content in the Myriopteris yavapensis reticulate species complex. This project involves collaboration with colleagues from the Czech Republic and the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
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