Brent Mishler's research interests are in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, as well as in the phylogeny of green plants. He is also interested in more general topics involving the theoretical basis of systematic and evolutionary biology, such as phylogenetic methods and the nature of species. He has been heavily involved in developing electronic resources to present plant taxonomic and distributional information to the public, and applications of these data to conservation concerns through the development of new "spatial phylogenetic" tools for studying biodiversity and endemism using large-scale phylogenies and collection data in a geographic and statistical framework. Current projects include: (1) spatial phylogenetic studies of the floras of Australia, Chile, and California; and (2) integrated systematic, evolutionary, and ecological studies of the diverse dryland moss genus Syntrichia, specifically focused on desiccation tolerance and reproductive biology.
In the News
Humans can’t survive more than a few days without water, but some plants, in particular mosses, can survive drought for decades and suddenly revive with the first rain. KQED’s “Deep Look” team visited UC Berkeley’s University and Jepson Herbaria to learn about these so-called “resurrection plants.”
Despite a deluge of new information about the diversity and distribution of plants and animals around the globe, “big data” has yet to make a mark on conservation efforts to preserve the planet’s biodiversity. But that may soon change.
The Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley has a big mission: understanding and protecting California’s flora. Given that the state is home to thousands of native plants, nearly 1,500 of which can be found only here, that’s a lot of work for a lot of people with a lot of specialized knowledge. So the Jepson Herbarium has done what comes naturally in order to ensure it will always have the well-trained plant-lovers it needs.
A throng turned out for Thursday’s high-spirited launch of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. Designed to help researchers across the disciplines harness data in order to spur discoveries and create knowledge, the center for data-related teaching and collaboration will be housed in Doe Library.