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Chelsea Specht

University of California, Berkeley
111 Koshland Hall MC3102
Berkeley, CA 94720


Taxa Studied: Plants
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Sanger Sequencing, 454 Pyrosequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Sectioning for Histology, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy
Research Description: Broadly, my lab is focused on studying trait evolution and functional diversification in plants. We use phylogenetics, population genetics, and developmental biology (morphology and genetics) to study the mechanisms underlying the generation and maintenance of novel traits. Developmental and phylogenetic evolution in tropical monocots: Using a combination of phylogenetics and developmental biology, we are identifying the genetic programs underlying floral development associated with pollination syndromes and are studying phylogenetics, temporal diversification, biogeography, and interspecies co-diversification in the tropical gingers (Zingiberales) and other monocot lineages. The evolution of carnivory (Caryophyllales) and thermogenesis (cycads): As with our monocot-based research, we are using a combination of phylogenetics and genomics to study the role of functional traits on tempo and mode of speciation and diversification. We are finding tractable parallels between selection, copy number, expression pattern, and the potential for functional diversification.
Lab Web Page: http://pmb.berkeley.edu/~specht
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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