Congratulations to Dr. Elliot Gardner, an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, who recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about the evolution of tropical trees “Echoes of ancient introgression punctuate stable genomic lineages in the evolution of figs”. From the paper:
Understanding the processes responsible for the striking plant diversity found in tropical forests has been a constant preoccupation of ecology and evolutionary biology. Recent studies have proposed a role for introgressive gene flow. To test the prevalence of introgression in a high-diversity clade of trees with a specialized pollination system, we built a global phylogenomic framework of figs (Ficus), a keystone species across tropical forests and partners in a celebrated pollination mutualism.
You can read more on Dr. Gardner’s work here: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2222035120