Postdoctoral Fellow

Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe, IL 60022




Welcome to my blog.


I use this space to post short updates about my work and the like. If there's anything you'd like to see or ask me about, feel free to leave a comment here. You can also tweet me @angelajmcd.

By Angela, Apr 23 2019 07:42PM

Today started briiiight and early, with a live interview with my supervisor, Chris Martine, and I on the sunrise show on AM radio, local station WKOK from Sunbury, PA.

It was a really fun exercise in scicomm for me and such a treat to watch real radio and communications experts operate. We did two segments, one mostly about a new species that is *just about* to come out in an upcoming issue of PhytoKeys. The species is Solanum plastisexum from the Northern Territory of Australia. So, we talked a little about that and the process of describing new species. The second half of the interview covered upcoming episodes of Chris's YouTube series, "Plants are cool, too!". We also touched on diversity in science education and the importance of science communication a bit.

It was fun! You can check it out at the link below:

By Angela, Oct 29 2018 02:26PM

I was invited to give a presentation about how to successfully present your research, aimed mostly at new grad students. It offered me a chance to reflect and think a lot about all the things (yes, some of them are pretty neurotic) that I do when I need to effectively communicate about my research AND manage myself before/during/after giving a talk. Bill Hammond organized the event for the Botany Graduate Student Organization, and I believe they'll be hosting more of these in the future. If you are interested in sharing your tips, let Bill know! He can be reached on twitter @wmhammond. It was a fun time and the group had a lot of thoughtful questions for me.

You can find the slides for my presentation by following this link.

By Angela, Jun 26 2018 08:38PM

It's been a long time in the making, but I can finally say that my first first-authored phylogeny paper was published in April (I know, I'm late!). I'm still so happy it's out, and excited to be working on the next milkweed vine phylogeny installment, to be submitted for publication sometime later this year.

You can find the article in Systematic Botany here:

I just paid the page charges for the article today (no open access, unfortunately) and that reminded me I should make a short post here on the blog about the article. It's a nice small phylogeny that represents a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on my end of things. I couldn't be happier that it's finally out for everyone to read.

So, I am still excited about this one and I still have more exciting milkweed work to come.

Speaking of exciting milkweed work, I was also fortunate to work with my PhD supervisor and some colleagues on another paper about Apocynaceae phylogenomics that was more recently published in the American Journal of Botany. The link for that is here: (and it IS open access. Thanks Shannon!)

By Angela, Feb 17 2018 08:17PM

An overview of Matelea hirtelliflora's discovery in Texas and a nice interview of Mark and I are a part of the new issue of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences' magazine. They did a great job highlighting the importance of biodiversity discovery and new species description. It also features a nice photo of the OSU herbarium!

Check it out here:

By Angela, Feb 17 2018 07:31PM

Just before New Year's, Matt Candeias (brains/host/plant geek behind In Defense of Plants) asked me if I would be interested in chatting with him about milkweeds on his show! We chatted for a bit about my career path and how I got involved in milkweed research as well as some of the specifics about my dissertation. Here's the episode that came out in January! I was pretty nervous, but it turned out well (thanks for the good editing, Matt!).

Here's the link to Episode 145, Obscure Apocynaceae Appreciation, which you can download or listen to directly on the site: