Brent D. Mishler
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Research Expertise and Interest
My research interests can be grouped into two main areas: empirical studies of ecology, phylogeny, systematics, and development of mosses, and the theoretical basis of systematic and evolutionary biology.
Empirical studies include:
- The phylogenetic relationships of the major groups of bryophytes and other green plants, using morphological, developmental, and ultrastructural characters as well as chloroplast DNA sequence data.
- The development of moss peristomes in relation to evolution of the group.
- Biosystematic studies of the haplolepideous mosses, including the tropical family Calymperaceae and the diverse temperate genus Tortula (Syntrichia), which involve remote-sensing, transplant, and ecological studies in the field, DNA sequencing, comparative physiological measurements, and culture experiments in the lab, and morphological studies in the herbarium.
- The reproductive biology of bryophytes, especially dryland mosses.
- The bryophyte flora of California and of Moorea (in the Society Islands of the South Pacific), and Australia.
Theoretical studies include:
- Investigations of the nature of species, rank-free classification, methods for phylogenetic reconstruction (with an emphasis on cladistic analysis of molecular and genomic data).
- The relationship between development and evolution, phyloinformatics (comparative genomics, databasing, and visualization of phylogenetic trees).
- Biodiversity informatics (digitization and databasing of biological collections, and integration with taxonomic, ecological, geographic, and phylogenetic data).