Associate Professor, Plant Systematics

George Mason University



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Current Researchers in the Lab & Herbarium:

Elizabeth McMurchie - M.S. student

Thesis project: Vascular Flora of the Blue Ridge Environmental Center (Loudoun County, Virginia).

Betsy Collins - Ph.D. student

Dissertation project: Phylogeography of Bursera graveolens (Burseraceae).

Former Researchers in the Lab & Herbarium:

Maryam Sedaghatpour - Undergraduate (graduated 2016)

Semester project: Melampyrum lineare population genetics


Karoline Oldham - M.S. student (graduated 2015)

Thesis topic: Taxonomic revision and historical biogeography of North American Melampyrum lineare (cow-wheat; Orobanchaceae).

Morgan Gostel - Ph.D. student (graduated 2015)

Dissertation project: Evolution of Malagasy Commiphora

Matthew Smith - MS student (graduated 2011)

Thesis project: Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve (Stafford Co., Virginia).

Jamie Minnaert - Undergraduate (2011)

Project: Mapping the exotic and invasive species housed in the Ted R. Bradley herbarium. She single-handedly added over 5000 records to our Specify database.

Sara Nazanin Alexander - MS student (graduated 2010)

Thesis topic: Subspecific revision of North American Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (Virginia Sea-mallow; Malvaceae).

Kristen Baird - MS student (graduated 2009)

Thesis topic: The Molecular Systematics and Historical Biogeography of Leibnitzia lyrata (Asteraceae: Mutisieae): an American Species in an Asian Genus?

Read a cool article about her former undergraduate research experience in the lab!

Drew Jenkins - undergrad (graduated 2008)

Drew managed GMU's greenhouse, volunteered in the herbarium, and worked as an assistant in the lab. He was also the first recipient of the Meadowlark Botanical Garden Turnage Trust Internship.





Read a recent paper:
Gostel, M., Phillipson, P. and A. Weeks. 2016. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the myrrh genus, Commiphora (Burseraceae), reveals multiple radiations in Madagascar and clarifies infrageneric relationships. Systematic Botany 41(1): 67 – 81.

View plants from my most recent trip:
Melampyrum in W Canada - 2015

Opportunites for GMU student researchers are available:
contact me for details.