Dr. Jennifer Ackerfield photo2021 Fall Seminar Series Presents

DR. JENNIFER ACKERFIELD
Head Curator of Natural History Collections and
Associate Director of Biodiversity Research

WHEN:  October 8, 2021, at Noon
WHERE: Seminar will be presented via Zoom
Please complete the RSVP FORM to receive the Zoom Meeting link. Forms can be submitted any time before the Seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

Thistle be a mess: Untangling the taxonomy of the Cirsium eatonii varietal complex (mountaintop thistles) using next-generation sequencing (Hyb-Seq)

The assessment and ultimate preservation of biodiversity is reliant upon a well-delineated taxonomy based on a robust morphological and molecular systematic framework. Cirsium (i.e., “thistles”) is one of the most taxonomically challenging groups of Compositae (Asteraceae) in North America, in part because of the lack of a robust phylogeny to test current species hypotheses. This presentation will focus on the results of both Sanger and next-generation sequencing (Hyb-Seq) methods as they pertain to the polymorphic C. eatonii (mountaintop thistle) varietal complex. Currently, C. eatonii is treated as a single species with seven varieties. However, the results from both Sanger and next-generation sequencing demonstrate that C. eatonii does not constitute a monophyletic lineage. I will highlight the use of not only genetic data, but also morphological, ecological, and geographical evidence to sort out the resulting taxonomic mess. Some good old detective work was even applied to make sense of confounding lines of evidence. 

Everyone is welcome to join the seminar, please complete the RSVP FORM to receive the Zoom link. Forms can be submitted any time before the seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.