About the lab...
Our research program aims to integrate data from disciplines such as genetics, ecology, and geography to address broad questions of how biological and physical processes interact to drive evolution. Our empirical work has focused primarily on plant diversity and evolution. In particular, we have a great interest in Valerianaceae and Dipsacales, and in the origin and early evolution of flowering plants. Also from an empirical standpoint, we are extremely interested in the biogeography of the Northern Hemisphere, the evolution of alpine flora, and molecular evolution, especially as it pertains to phylogenetic inference.
In collaboration with several other researchers, we have been involved in the molecular phylogenetic analyses of a number of other angiosperm groups, including Malphigiaceae, palms, Polemoniaceae (phlox family), and the basal eudicots (buttercups, poppies, and magnolias). Most recently, we have be using chloroplast genome sequences to infer phylogenetic relationships among major lineages of angiosperms.
Although most of my (C. Bell) systematics training has been geared towards flowering plants, I have also been involved in molecular phylogenetic projects on Drosophila, fish, cup fungi, butterflies, birds, and ants. I feel that collaboration is an integral part of science and it has further exposed me to the great diversity of life on Earth.