Ryan and Dave received a 3-year grant from USDA-NIFA to develop models to detect and monitor the population dynamics of leafy spurge using satellite imagery across the northern Great Plains. Leafy spurge is a widespread invader of cool-arid grasslands where it displaces natives and is toxic to grazing livestock.
New grant funded by MITPPC/LCCMR for invasion research
Ryan and Dave received a new 4-year grant from the State of Minnesota (via MITPPC and LCCMR) to examine adaptation to climate change and its influence on future range expansion in common tansy, an invasive species. Common tansy is particularly problematic in open habitats of northern Minnesota where it has increased dramatically in abundance over … Continue reading New grant funded by MITPPC/LCCMR for invasion research
Shelley’s paper on the evolution of genetic load in relation to mating system published in Evolution
Shelley and Yaniv Brandvain developed forward evolutionary simulation models (using SLiM) to examine the evolution of genetic load in relation to mating system variation. This was a massive effort to improve upon our understanding of how processes interact to determine how mating system transitions affect the efficacy of selection. Sianta, S.A., S. Peischl, D.A. Moeller, … Continue reading Shelley’s paper on the evolution of genetic load in relation to mating system published in Evolution
Tom Lake’s paper on remote sensing of biological invasions published in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Tom developed deep learning models that detect the invasive plant, leafy spurge, from publicly-available satellite images. This fine-scale level of detection opens new doors for tracking population dynamics through time and developing better distribution models. The paper was highlighted in local TV news (KARE11) and other science news outlets (AAAS, Phys.org, Biotechniques, etc).
Undergraduate Adam Kostanecki’s paper on urban adaptation in ragweed published in J. of Urban Ecology
As an undergraduate at UMN, Adam conducted a greenhouse experiment to examine whether parallel adaptation has occurred in response to urban environments of St. Louis, MO and Minneapolis-St. Paul. He also tested whether phenotypic variance is greater among urban than rural populations due to the high heterogeneity of environments and management practices in urban areas. … Continue reading Undergraduate Adam Kostanecki’s paper on urban adaptation in ragweed published in J. of Urban Ecology
John Benning’s paper on microbes and range limits published in New Phytologist
One of John's dissertation projects examined the role of plant-microbe interactions in modulating fitness within versus beyond the range margin of Clarkia xantiana ssp. xantiana. He used a field transplant experiment, involving soil transplants as well, a greenhouse experiment, and microbiome characterization of roots and rhizosphere. His results suggest that there is mutualist limitation and … Continue reading John Benning’s paper on microbes and range limits published in New Phytologist
Lauren Ruane and Dave publish paper on mating system variation across the range of a primarily selfing plant
Lauren Ruane and her students at Christopher Newport University conducted very detailed experiments documenting trait variation and its functional consequences across the geographic range of Clarkia xantiana ssp. parviflora, which is a primarily selfing plant. Floral and mating system variation in selfing taxa is often ignored and assumed not to have important consequences. Our results … Continue reading Lauren Ruane and Dave publish paper on mating system variation across the range of a primarily selfing plant
Amanda’s ragweed population genomics paper published in PLoS Genetics!
Amanda worked with the Tiffin lab, especially Tuomas Hamala, to analyze transcriptomes from across the north-south extent of the geographic range of common ragweed. They identified loci bearing footprints of local adaptation, and then use genotype-expression mapping and co-expression networks to infer the connectivity of the genes. The results indicate that the putatively adaptive loci … Continue reading Amanda’s ragweed population genomics paper published in PLoS Genetics!
Taz Mueller awarded NSF graduate research fellowship!
Taz received a 3-year fellowship from NSF to pursue her research on the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the assembly of foliar endophyte microbiomes in Clarkia xantiana. Congrats Taz!!
John Benning awarded NSF postdoctoral fellowship!
John William received a highly-competitive postdoctoral fellowship from NSF. John will continue his work on the evolution of geographic range limits with Topher Weiss-Lehman and Ruth Hufbauer, using experimental evolution to test fundamental theoretical models.