Lab News

  • Candidate Mick! (4/22/2018)

    Mick is a PhD candidate!

    On the entirely coincidental date of 4.20, Mick passed his quals! And with flying colours, by all accounts. Thanks to Ben, Brent, Britt, and Cindy for being on his committee, and to Carrie for organizing the celebrations. And congratulations to Mick!!!

    Getting the festivities going! Ah, awkward cheese. (Mick demonstrating some of his non-academic skills).


    Cutting the cake.


    And what a cake!!!!!! Look at those Azolla! (Culinary and artistic genius: Carrie Tribble).



  • Back-to-back AJB pubs from RLab grads! (3/26/2018)

    On a publication roll!

    Rothfels Lab grads are on an American Journal of Botany publication roll! The January issue featured Mick’s article on a previously “undiscovered” gene in the chloroplast genome of ferns, and included the the publication of the transcriptome and chloroplast genome sequence of Adiantum shastense, the Shasta Maidenhair. You know, no biggie.

    And today come the announcement that Forrest’s study of the continued evolutionary morphological simplification of Isoetes is available online! This result is super cool–showing that the pattern of morphological reduction for their once large tree-like ancestors is continuing in Isoetes. However, I have a particularly soft spot of the methods: this paper demonstrates the power of reversible jump MCMC and Bayesian model averaging (and irreversible models of character evolution) for studying processes of morphological evolution. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this type of approach!


  • Farewell to GaHun- Onward to Paris! (3/16/2018)

    Onwards and Upwards!

    Today the Misher lab is hosting a teatime party to wish our friend and colleague GaHun Boo a warm farewell!

    Gahun is heading back to his home country this weekend for a break before beginning his new adventure as a PostDoc Fellow at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris! His project title is “Mitochondrial genome diversity and biogeography of the red alga Gelidiella acerosa complex in tropical seas”.

    The entire Rothfels Lab and Botany Crew wish you the best of luck!

    Image by GaHun Boo


  • Happy Birthday Carl!!! (3/5/2018)

    Carl is old!

    Today we wish Carl a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thanks for bringing donuts guys!! 



  • TED grant launched! (3/2/2018)

    The Rothfels Lab gets serious about dating

    Cindy Looy, Nathalie Nagalingum, Michael Sundue, and I (Carl, in this case), are delighted that our grant proposal to apply “total evidence dating” (TED) methods to infer the timeline of vascular plant evolution has been (almost completely) approved! In lieu of embarrassing photos of the PIs, I’ll post here some of the figures from our application, to provide somewhat of a feel for what this project entails.

    An example of what a total-evidence timeline of vascular plants might look like.


    Taxon sampling will be very important for this project.


  • Corm lobation department botany lunch (2/12/2018)

    Isoetes has morphology!

    Last Friday, Forrest delivered a smashing talk focusing on his collaborative works with Will Freyman and Carl Rothfels! This project focused on tracing the best evolutionary model to explain corm lobation character transitions on the phylogeny. We all learned a ton about Iso√ętes. Turns out that the most informative characters may lie below the surface #cormlobation. 


  • Three generations of polyploid enthusiast team up for a Reed College lecture! (11/27/2017)

    All in the family

    Mick and Dr. Jeff Doyle (Cornell) gave guest lectures at Reed College in the Genetics course taught by Prof. Jeremy Coate who advised Mick during undergrad and who was himself advised by Jeff at Cornell. Together they study the young allotetraploid complex of wild soybean (Gycine subgen. Glycine) and are always keen on inspiring young botanists! Three generations of plant scientists! 


  • NorCal (11/14/2017)

    Arcata 2017

    In which Carl goes to actual NorCal (or is it NoCal?) to spread the fern gospel with the North Coast Chapter of the CNPS (California Native Plants Society). A great time was had by all, or at least by Carl (thanks to Carol Ralph!).

    Enjoying the dune forest with Carol. Lots of Pinus contorta contorta.
    The Dunes, where live many rare plants. Not so good for ferns, however.
    We made an expedition to Patrick’s Point SP to see this Selaginella, which, despite its decidedly terrestrial/rupestral nature, is S. oregana. Very cool! It’s much more “droopy” than one would expect from S. wallacei, and doesn’t have rhizophores except near the base.
    More S. oregana.
    I like S. oregana a lot.
    To round out our North Coast Selaginella, we visit a naturalized population of S. kraussiana near Humboldt State.
    Looks pretty well established to me… (all that lighter green stuff along the road is Selaginella kraussiana.)

    And finally, vertebrates put on a pretty good show too, including this spectacular 8-inch or so beauty: Dicramptodon tenebrosus. It was just sitting there at Patrick’s Point!




  • We celebrate our time with Ingrid Jordon-Thaden! (11/6/2017)

    Bye Ingrid!!!!

    We wholeheartedly congratulate Ingrid Jordon-Thaden on her new position as the Director of  the Botany Greenhouse at University of Wisconsin-Madison. We thank you for all of your incredible contributions to the Rothfels Lab and we wish you success in your new gig!!

    PotLuck and cookout celebration for Ingrid! (Who brought the chips?)


    Integrative Biology students chatting it up at the going away PotLuck for Ingrid!


    Alan posing for the camera!


    Although we are sad to see you go…


    We are truly ecstatic for you!




  • Fall 2017 Lab Photo & New Members (10/30/2017)

    Rothfels lab, fall 2017

    We welcome several new lab members to the Rothfels lab! Introducing undergraduate researcher, Jonathan Qu (Left2), first year graduate student, Maryam Sedaghatpour (Left3) and two IB PhD candidates, Carrie Tribble (Right3) and Joyce Chery (Right1). We’re excited to integrate all of our interest in plant evolutionary biology! Missing and/or hiding: Sraavya, Alan, and Abby. We’ll get them next time! And really missing: Ingrid!