Postdoctoral Fellow

Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe, IL 60022




About my research
































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Figures modified from McDonnell, A., Parks, M., & Fishbein, M. (2018). Multilocus Phylogenetics of New World Milkweed Vines (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Gonolobinae). Systematic Botany, 43(1), 77-96.

2018-04-11 11.54.37


Rare plants in Pennsylvania

Ongoing collaborative work between the Martine lab and the PA Natural Heritage Program has focused on the population genomics of Erigenia bulbosa (right), Chasmanthium latiflorum, and Baptisia australis, with the latter being the focus of MS student Cheyenne Moore's thesis.

Australian Solanums

As a part of my postdoctoral position, I am working on the phylogeny and evolution of a couple of groups of Solanum endemic to the northern 1/3 of the Australian continent. We are using a targeted enrichment approach to better understand relationships and the evolution of breeding systems.


I've spent some time studying milkweed vines that are found exclusively in the New World (subtribe Gonolobinae, ~500 species). Gonoloboid milkweeds are arguably the most common milkweeds in American subtropics, but they are little known due to an abundance of uncommon taxa and their confused classification, particularly with respect to the large "trashcan genus" Matelea. 


Subgenus Chthamalia (an unfortunate name, I know. Blame Decaisne! I pronounce it as though the Ch were silent) includes unusual non-twining species that are heterogeneous in corolla size and shape and exhibit putative adaptations to aridity (loss of twining habit, tubular flowers, and extreme hairiness). My resulting phylogenetic and phylogenomic hypotheses of Gonolobinae and Chthamalia will serve as frameworks for downstream analyses to test hypotheses about adaptive ecological shifts in growth form and floral morphology as well as biogeography.


Schiedea genome assembly and evolution

I am currently working on genome assembly of three species of the Hawaiian endemic genus, Schiedea, from PacBio data. Broadly, Schiedea is the product of a rapid radiation and is diverse in morphology and breeding system.  Most of the species are also extremely rare, making the group of conservation concern. The genomic resources I am helping develop will be used in evolutionary and conservation studies of the lineage.