Dr. Andrew Leslie, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, will speak to the New England Botanical Club on Friday, March 2 at 6:45 in the Haller Lecture Hall, Room 102, Geological Museum, 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge. His topic is The Evolution of Conifer Cones Across Time and Space. At the broadest level, Dr. Leslie is interested in understanding the drivers of morphological diversification in organisms. He primarily approaches this topic using seed plants as a study group, focusing on relationships between form and function in reproductive structures and asking how these interactions generate evolutionary patterns over million-year time scales. Properly answering these questions requires an understanding of the broader ecological, geological, and climatic contexts in which these changes are occurring, and he therefore uses an integrative approach that incorporates techniques from paleontology, biogeography, and phylogenetics. His work particularly focuses on conifers because the group is diverse today but was also important in many ancient ecosystems, and the relationships between morphology and function can be directly tested in living as well as in extinct plants.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.rhodora.org.