PLANT ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION

Christopher Eckert, Department of Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6 Canada
ph +1-613-533-6158, fax +1-613-533-6617, chris.eckert[at]queensu.ca

 
 

The research in my lab investigates the process of and limits to adaptation in plants. We are currently tackling two unresolved questions: the evolutionary transition from outcrossing to self-fertilization and the evolutionary limits to species geographic ranges. We also study biological invasions as an opportunity to study evolutionary adaptation in action, and apply the evolutionary and population genetic approaches to the management of plant species at risk.


We use a combination of large-scale geographical populations surveys, manipulative experiments in natural populations, DNA and protein marker-gene analysis of reproductive patterns & genetic structure, plus a variety of lab-based tools, including quantitative genetics, developmental analyses, image analysis, and computer modeling.


Our field work takes place in a variety of locations across North America and Europe. Currently, we have projects on the coevolution of geographic range limits and the mating system based on the pacific coast of North America, a large-scale analysis of adaptive evolution during biological invasion based in Europe and eastern North America, and studies of mating system evolution and plant reproductive ecology at the Queen’s University Biological Station in eastern Ontario.

Our research investigates evolutionary adaptation in flowering plants: from reproductive systems to geographic range limits