Faculty:

Staff:

Kathleen Donohue

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My interests are in evolutionary ecology and evolutionary genetics, and most of my research is conducted in natural plant populations. I have a strong ecological focus to my research, as I am interested in mechanisms of natural selection and ecotypic differentiation in variable environments. My research addresses the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, dispersal, dormancy, and parental effects. Studying the evolution of these complex characters is intriguing since it requires investigating different levels of selection in variable environments, and it requires consideration of the coevolution of suites of traits, some of which influence fitness in more than one generation. My interest in dispersal and dormancy, moreover, extends to their influence on population demography, population genetic structure, and the manner in which they determine the selective environment experienced by an organism. I have conducted fieldwork in the lakeshore dunes of Michigan and Indiana, forests and sand plains of New England, wadis of Yemen, and old fields of Kentucky.