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Dr. Doust's Lab

My lab and I are interested in the evolution of plant morphology. Lab projects include evolution of plant architecture, flowering time, and abscission zones in grasses (Poaceae), developmental genetics of domestication events in foxtail millet and other grasses, and evolution of fruit shape and of seed oils in Paysonia and related mustard species (Brassicaceae). We use phylogenetic, quantitative genetic, developmental genetic, and developmental morphological techniques in these analyses.

Courses Taught

  • PBIO 1404 Plant Biology — This course is designed to introduce you to the biology of plants and to the nature of scientific inquiry. You will learn about the biology of plants from the perspective of plant structure and function, ecology, evolution, and diversity. You will investigate plants and the nature of science through field and lab exercises, proposing hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, and interpreting data.
  • PBIO 5553 Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis — This course focuses on phylogenetics and the use of molecular data in constructing phylogenetic trees.  It integrates theory, discussion of the literature, and practical computer-aided exercises, to understand how molecular sequence data can be analyzed to answer evolutionary questions, such as species relationships, gene evolution, horizontal gene transfer, morphological evolution, co-evolution, and biogeography.  During the course you will be guided to construct data sets for questions that interest you, and you will use these to explore various methods for sequence alignment, phylogenetic construction, and various forms of hypothesis testing.

Research Experience for Teachers

The RET experience consists of modules that may be taken in the summer by in-service and pre-service teachers, and during the semester by pre-service teachers. It consists of research experience and professional training and culminates in a poster session each semester or summer.

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