Dr. Amanda Grusz, PI

Photo credit: Alexander Damian

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.

> Curriculum vitae
Google Scholar Citations

Research Associates



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.

Graduate Students


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.

Undergraduate Researchers



UROP Scholar, UMD; REU Scholar, Field Museum, Chicago; Research Intern, Smithsonian Institution

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.



Undergraduate Reseracher, UMD

Despite being new to the Grusz lab, Sarah has flourished in learning new techniques in both the molecular lab and in programming for genomic studies. We are excited for Sarah to find her own research project in the near future!



Undergraduate Researcher, UMD

Jacob is interested in taxonomy, natural history, and systematics. He is currently learning molecular laboratory techniques while contributing to building a molecular phylogeny of Myriopteris using nuclear genes. Jacob is leveraging skills gained in Plant Taxonomy (BIOL3603L) to examine the nomenclatural history of a new hybrid in the genus.



Undergraduate Researcher, UMD

As a student researcher in the lab, Noah has been learning molecular laboratory techniques, such as DNA/RNA extraction, horticultural methods, and basic bioinformatics. Noah is a graduating senior with the aim to attend graduate school studying plant medicinal biochemistry.



Undergraduate Researcher, UMD

Evan is a senior undergraduate learning molecular and genomic lab techniques. He will soon be off to pharmacy school—taking with him an appreciation for natural history, systematics, and evolution.



Puppy Preschool Grad (Canal Bark, Duluth, MN)

Our newest and most enthusiastic lab member, Eddie enjoys hunting for Selaginella. Skills include sit, lay down, roll over, catch, hide-and-seek, and playing in deep snow.

Postdoctoral Associate



Honorary Postdoctoral Associate

Ella has been with the Grusz lab since day 1 of graduate school. After being rescued in rural NC, Ella earned her PhD in friendship with a focus on balanced-living. After a 2-year postdoc in Washington, DC, Ella settled with the Grusz lab in Duluth, MN. She enjoys sleeping, walks, treats, and cuddling.

Emeritus Lab Members

Patrick Fehrenbach — Undergraduate Researcher (BURST Scholar)
Amanda Vu — Undergraduate Researcher (UMD Pathways Scholar)
Ashley Marcuson — Undergraduate Researcher (UMD Bridges Scholar, Lake Superior Community College)
Josh Horky – Lab Manager and horticulturalist extraordinaire

Join the Grusz Lab!

Interested in becoming a member of the Grusz Lab?

Contact: algrusz@d.umn.edu


Selected funding opportunities

>   UMD Internal Grants & Fellowships