This week we welcomed two new HUH Research Fellows to our community!
Dr. Yujing Yan is an Evolutionary Macroecologist with a broad interest in biogeography, phylogenomics, and climate change ecology. She recently completed her Ph.D. at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution, and Climate at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark where she worked on the biogeography and evolution of the tea family (Theaceae).
At the HUH, Yujing will be mentored by Dr. Charles Davis and will focus her research on modeling the impact of past climate change on the extinction of plant species, using Franklinia alatamaha (a notable member of the tea family) as an example. The research will combine genetic data and distribution data obtained from herbarium specimens and multiple other data sources to reconstruct the population history of the species. The project will generate invaluable data to guide the ex-situ conservation of F. alatamaha and establish a paradigm for innovative research documenting the extinction process in plants. During the process, she will mine and digitize the specimens of recent extinct and rare species of HUH. She also plans to collect new vouchers of focal species to contribute to the collections.
Dr. Michael Bradshaw is a Plant Pathologist. He recently completed a post-doc with the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland and a Ph.D. at the University of Washington where he worked on the epidemiology and biology of powdery mildews and their host plants with an emphasis on virulent, non-native species. Powdery mildews are ecologically and economically important plant pathogens that belong to a single monophyletic family (Erysiphaceae, Helotiales, Leotiomycetes, Ascomycota) of unculturable fungi; they have been reported to infect over 10,000 flowering plant species worldwide. Current research, using phylogenetic approaches, has shown that they are a more diverse group than originally thought from traditional morphological studies. Although they are one of the world’s most common plant pathogens, consisting of an estimated 906 species, scant research has been conducted on the many species found in North America.
At the HUH, Michael will be mentored by Dr. Donald Pfister and will focus his research on powdery mildews with the goal of writing the first comprehensive monograph of the Erysiphaceae of North America. Michael will morphologically and phylogenetically analyze the powdery mildews at the Farlow Herbarium as well as fresh collections from botanical gardens throughout North America.
Welcome Yujing and Michael!