Department of Botany
Lilla Frescativägen 5 114 18 Stockholm
Phone: +46(0)8-16 3774
MSc (2011) Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Sweden
BSc (2009) Department of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, China
I recently started as PhD student in Catarina Rydin’s research group. She works on evolution, pollination biology and fossil history of the Gnetales, a small but well-known group of seed plants. Among current projects in our group are analyses of biodiversity patterns and processes in gymnosperms based on molecular data and fossils, morphological studies of living and fossil members of the Gnetales, and pollen and pollination biology in the group. My project focuses on the hereto least studied groups of the Gnetales, the genus Gnetum.
Gnetum comprises about 40 species of evergreen trees or lianas in rain forests of Asia, Africa and South America. They are superficially similar to angiosperms in gross vegetative morphology with broad pinnate-veined leaves, but their close affinity to the other members of the gymnospermous group Gnetales is clearly supported by molecular data as well as reproductive morphological data. Gnetum is the closest living relative of the strange and well-known plant Welwitschia, restricted to the Namib Desert. The third genus of the Gnetales, Ephedra, is sister to the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade.
My PhD studies will focus on evolutionary diversification patterns, pollination biology and biogeography of Gnetum and will be based on molecular laboratory work as well as field studies and experiments. A key to all further studies of evolution is a well-resolved phylogeny of the group of interest and I will therefore start there.
(the photo refers to Wiki Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnetum)