How will climate change affect plants growing in Saint Louis? The Missouri Botanical Garden is already finding out using its “climate change gardens”. Adam contributed to the story! Photo by Mike Miller
We have been honored to serve as the summer home for three wonderful undergraduates in the Garden’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program! Marina, Catherine, and Evelyn explored illegal trade in vulnerable plants, the role of phenology in invasions, and how bees respond to urban environments, respectively. Thank you to all of you an engaging experience, …
Continue reading Goodbye (for now) to our summer REUs!
Matthew Austin‘s new open access paper in the American Journal of Botany on how climate has affected plant mating systems is making waves! Using herbarium specimens, Matt found that over the last 100 years, the rate of cleistogamy (asexual flowering) has decreased among Viola sororia, the common blue violet. This change was predicted by increases …
Continue reading Climate change alters plant mating systems
From outlaw bandit Jesse James to microclimate–please enjoy a mini-documentary on our microrefugia project! Update: This mini-documentary won a Regional Emmy from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, plus a Bronze in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Circle of Excellence competition!
Watch Adam’s talk about combining species distribution models, pollen-density models, and demographic/genetic simulations to infer species’ biogeographic histories for the Modeling in Ecology and Evolution Meeting!
Watch Adam’s talk on how we can overcome the Hutchinsonian shortfall, our critical lack of knowledge about species’ environmental tolerances!
This is us!
Watch honorary lab member James Lucas’s well-attended talk about hand-made papermaking traditions in Viet Nam! As an economic botanist, James is interested in conserving and reviving this ancient art, and as a practicing origami artist, he’s personally vested!
UPDATE: Our article received Honorable Mention for Landscape Ecology‘s Best Article of 2021! Historically, climate change vulnerability assessments have been just that–assessments of how species are expected to be affected by climate change. Nonetheless, even if anthropogenic climate were not occurring, Earth would still be in the throes of a human-generated mass extinction, mostly due …
Continue reading Battle or synergy of the changes? Land use/land cover change versus climate change
Stephen Murphy and Adam Smith are happy to see their article on how community ecologists can employ species distribution models to crack hard questions in community ecology! What can community ecology learn from species distribution models? [open access]Murphy, S.J. and Smith, A.B. 2021. Ecosphere 12:e03864. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.3864
Watch a video tutorial on the point-radius method, a standardized set of protocols for interpreting a verbal description of a location, plus calculating the uncertainty inherent in the description and the manner in which it is interpreted! This video introduces the point-radius method and a set of tools for implementing it. The method was originally …
Continue reading Introduction to retroactive georeferencing of herbarium and museum specimens
Matt Austin’s work analyzing an historical phenological record of Midwest plants was covered by Scientific American‘s “60-Second Science”! Listen as he transforms into a “human bee”–then gets scooped by a real one!
We are very happy to be the new academic homes of Lauren Jenkins and Ethan Abercrombie! Lauren will be working on an NSF-sponsored project comparing methods for reconstructing species’ biogeographic histories. Ethan is a grad student at Washington University in Saint Louis doing a lab rotation focusing on community thermophilizaton. Welcome, Lauren and Ethan!
Range disjunctions are common in the natural world and, in eastern North America, are thought to arise from barriers formed by the Mississippi River embayment, vicariance due to glacial flooding during the Pleistocene, colonization from separate glacial refugia, or long-distance dispersal in recent times. Led by Rebekah Mohn and Christy Edwards, our new paper in …
Continue reading An odd disjunction
That’s us! –> Interested in joining as a student, postdoc, intern, or volunteer? Please feel free to contact Adam (adam ::dot:: smith ::at:: mobot ::dot:: org).
It is well-known that herbarium and museum specimen records provide imperfect, and often biased, snapshots of where species occur. To date, a number of bias-correction methods exist, some from the species distribution modeling (SDM) framework based on data filtering and some from the occupancy modeling (OM) framework based on collector-specific covariates. However, we don’t really …
Continue reading How to correct for collector-specific bias when modeling species’ distributions
We are very sad to announce the passing of Alan Graham, Ph.D., a renowned paleobotanist and great supporter of the Global Change Conservation Lab here at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Alan was a thoughtful, witty, and generous person who elevated himself above his circumstances, as detailed in his autobiography. Accomplishment in science was a key …
Continue reading Thank you, Alan Graham
We are happy to announce the publication of a review article in Journal of Ecology on the use of common gardens for understanding local adaptation, with a focus on grasslands. Interesting facts: The modal study employing common gardens used a single tree species growing in a monoculture sourced from three sites and growing at one …
Continue reading Common gardens: A lens into local adaptation
A pack of old, yellowed papers… puzzling species names… and some sleuthing led Matt and colleagues to uncover how climate change is affecting pollen transfer within and between species and perhaps inducing greater selfing over the past 80 years. Matt’s research and the wider story were recently covered by Saint Louis Public Radio!
Kelsey has received the prestigious Shirley A. Graham Fellowship in Systematic Botany and Biogeography! She will be working this summer disentangling the relative influences of taxonomy, climate, geography, and mating system on flowering phenology of Leavenworthia. Congratulations, Kelsey!