News From MO: 2000
Associated University Faculty

Peter Bernhardt, Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, concentrates his research on the evolution of flowers and their pollination mechanisms. He studies the breeding systems of petaloid monocots (Asparagales, Iridaceae, Melanthiaceae, Orchidaceae) and "primitive" dicots (Dilleniaceae, Proteaceae). Field work is divided between the Flint Hills of Kansas and the temperate woodlands and southern rain forests of southeastern Australia. Current projects include the pollination of Dianella (Liliaceae), Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae), Persoonia (Proteaceae), Pterostylis (Orchidaceae), and Zigadenus (Liliaceae) by long- and short-tongued bees. He continues to work with Peter Goldblatt on the pollination of Iridaceae in southern Africa. Bernhardt has completed his treatment of 16 genera of Orchidaceae for Volume IV of the Flora of New South Wales. In 1999, Peter released his long-awaited "The Rose's Kiss: a natural history of flowers", published by Island Press.

Robert Bolla, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, studies the interactions and responses of plants to infection by parasitic nematodes, particularly the resistance response in plants of agricultural and horticultural interest. Of special interest is the molecular genetics of resistance of crop plants to cyst and root knot nematodes. He is also researching the role of plant endophytic fungi in inducing resistance to other fungi and to parasitic nematodes. The major focus of his work in these areas is in the biochemical and molecular response of resistant cultivars to infection and in identifying resistance genes and their products.

Elizabeth A. Kellogg, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Kellogg's current projects include 1) a molecular phylogeny of relatives of maize, sugar cane and sorghum, 2) developmental morphology and gene expression in unisexual flowers, 3) comparative development of inflorescences, and 4) molecular phylogeny of the grass family, the latter a combination of data from seven different genes, plus morphology.

W. Joseph Leverich, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, works in the areas of plant population biology and evolutionary ecology. He is particularly interested in individual variation in survival and reproductive performance of plants in natural populations. Recent work has included studies in Silphium (Asteraceae) and Phlox (Polemoniaceae). Leverich is editor of the Botanical Society of America's Plant Science Bulletin.

Robert Marquis, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, specializes in plant evolutionary ecology and plant-herbivore interactions. In Costa Rica, he continues to study plant-herbivore interactions in Piper (Piperaceae) and has begun a collaborative project on the response of pest insect and pathogen populations to reforestation efforts. He continues to study the ecology of defenses in woody plants of cerrado vegetation in collaboration with scientists at the Universidade de Brasília, Brazil. In Missouri, he has been studying the interactions of neotropical songbirds, caterpillars, and oak trees.

Susanne S. Renner is Professor of Systematic Botany at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her main interests are the systematics and evolution of Melastomataceae and monimiaceous Laurales on a worldwide basis. Her goals include developing a more natural higher-level classification of these biogeographically and morphologically heterogeneous groups along with a fuller understanding of their unfolding in time and space. A monograph of Siparunaceae is almost finished and will come out in the Flora Neotropica series. Another research focus is the evolution of dioecy in Laurales and other basal flowering plants. Research approaches are molecular systematics as well as herbarium and field work. (Updated 6/05/00).

Barbara Schaal, Professor of Biology, Washington University, runs a research program of laboratory and field studies focusing on population genetics and evolutionary biology. This work involves studies of evolution with and among species using DNA sequences including chloroplast DNA, ribosomal DNA, and the gametophytic self-incompatibility locus, as well as other sequences coding for specific enzyme loci and cyanogenesis. Several projects are combining molecular systematics and developmental studies to understand the evolution of diversity in flower types or stem morphology. Taxa include native species in Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae), Espeletia (Asteraceae), and Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae), as well as wild relatives of crop species such as Lycopersicon (Solanaceae), Manihot (Euphorbiaceae), Brassica (Brassicaceae), Panicum (Poaceae) and Oryza (Poaceae).

Victoria Sork, Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, studies the population genetics, ecology, and conservation biology of woody plants in both temperate and tropical forests, often using oaks as the focal species. Her research integrates ecological observations, quantitative genetic experiments, and laboratory analysis of isozymes as genetic markers. At this time, she is involved in two main projects. The first, funded by the Missouri Department of Conservation as part of the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project, examines the impact of prior and future land use on genetic diversity of woody plant species in southern Missouri. The second project examines the impact of fragmentation on gene flow and hybridization of an endemic California oak species. Sork is currently supervising three doctoral students with projects in Colombia, Peru, and the U.S.

Peter F. Stevens, Professor of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Malesian flora, Clusiaceae, Ericaceae, history of systematic biology.

Alan R. Templeton is Professor of Biology and Genetics at Washington University. His research interests fall primarily into three areas: ecological genetics, speciation, and conservation biology. Most of his work in the first area focuses on animals, but the adaptive significance is frequently mediated through plant-animal interactions. In the area of speciation, he tries to uncover principles that are common to both plants and animals. He has worked closely with the Center for Plant Conservation in applying lessons learned from animal populations to the problems of breeding ex situ populations of endangered plant species.

David A. Young, Dean of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-St. Louis; systematics of Anacardiaceae.

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