How were the floras of Asia and Australia assembled?

Title of Project

How were the floras of Asia and Australia assembled?

Name of Advisor/s

Prof. Darren Crayn


College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

The origins of the flora of the Asian and Australian continents, and migrations of plant lineages between them, have fascinated biologists since the late 17th century. But only recently have methods to rigorously address these questions become available. Analysis of DNA sequence data with reference to fossils allows significant historical events, such as the origins of new lineages, to be dated. This project will apply this approach using publicly available data, enhanced with new genetic data, to document the dynamics through time of the exchange and diversification of major plant groups between and within these biodiverse landmasses, contributing to understanding the evolution of plant communities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Key Words

flora, historical biogeography, evolution, Australasia, phylogenetic analysis, genome

Would suit an applicant who

Is interested in how historical migrations and diversification of plant lineages have shaped the plant communities we see today, and has an interest in phylogenetic analysis, historical biogeography, and bioinformatics.