My research interests include both population genetics and the species - subspecies boundary. At present, I am studying geographic variation of the pan-northern hemisphere coral fungus Clavicorona pyxidata. To assay geographical variation, differences in the ribosomal ITS1 - 5.8S - ITS2 gene will be examined using restriction fragment patterns. Sequence differences in the ribosomal IGS area will be examined if informative and allozyme analysis will be used to elucidate population genetic structure. I will also look at the prevalence of a Type I intron across populations of C. pyxidata. A second part of my project will deal with several undescribed New World species of Clavicorona, using morphology and DNA sequencing.
Previously, I have worked on the population genetic structure of two Taxodium taxa, baldcypress and pondcypress, using allozyme analysis. I was able to hypothesize that the two taxa most likely represent one gene pool, and that the differences that are observed between the two taxa are the result of clinal assortment of phenotypes with respect to habitat heterogeneity. Other interests include field botany, mycology, and herpetology, particularly the Southeastern flora and fauna.
437 Hesler Biology Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-1100
Phone: (423) 974-2256