Ohio University | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Environmental and Plant Biology

Porter Hall 315 | Athens OH 45701 | Tel 740 593 1126 | Fax 740 593 1130

Elizabeth J. Hermsen

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2005


Porter Hall 401
740 593 0716

Faculty Research Focus Areas

Paleobotany, Plant Systematics


PBIO 1030 Plants & People
PBIO 1150 Structure & Development

Research Program Summary

My research focuses on plant evolution and systematics from the perspective of the fossil record. I am currently especially interested in exploring the evolution of Southern Hemisphere floras. My research includes field collecting, documentation of newly discovered diversity through taxonomic descriptions, performing phylogenetic analyses to place fossil taxa within the plant tree of life, and exploration of other issues such as the morphological evolution and the biogeography of plants.

Selected References

Ten recent publications:

Carvalho, M.R., P. Wilf, E.J. Hermsen, M.A. Gandolfo, N.R. Cúneo, and K.R. Johnson. 2013. First record of Todea (Osmundaceae) in South America, from the early Eocene paleorainforests of Laguna del Hunco (Patagonia, Argentina). American Journal of Botany 100: 1831-1848. doi:10.3732/ajb.1200637

Cúneo, N.R., E.J. Hermsen, and M.A. Gandolfo. 2013. Regnellidium macrofossils (Salviniales, Marsileaceae) and associated spores from the Late Cretaceous of South America. International Journal of Plant Sciences 174: 340-349. Special Issue: Conceptual Advances in Fossil Plant Biology. G. Rothwell and R. Stockey, eds. doi:10.1086/668811

Hermsen, E.J. 2013. A review of the fossil record of the genus Itea (Iteaceae, Saxifragales) with comments on its historical biogeography. Botanical Review 79: 1-47. doi:10.1007/s12229-012-9114-3

Hermsen, E.J., M.A. Gandolfo, and M.C. Zamaloa. 2012. The fossil record of Eucalyptus in Patagonia. American Journal of Botany 99: 1356-1374. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200025.

Gandolfo, M.A., E J. Hermsen, M.C. Zamaloa, K.C. Nixon, C.C. González, P. Wilf, N.R. Cúneo, and K.R. Johnson. 2011. Oldest known Eucalyptus macrofossils are from South America. PLoS One 6(6): e21084. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021084.

Ksepka, D.T., M.J. Benton, M.T. Carrano, M.A. Gandolfo, J.J. Head, E.J. Hermsen, W.G. Joyce, K.S. Lamm, J.S.L. Patané, M.J. Phillips, P.D. Polly, M. Van Tuinen, J.L. Ware, R.C.M. Warnock, and J.F. Parham. 2011. Synthesizing and databasing fossil calibrations: divergence dating and beyond. Biology Letters. (Meeting report) doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0356

Hermsen, E.J., E.L. Taylor, and T.N. Taylor. 2009. Morphology and ecology of the Antarcticycas plant. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 153: 108-123. doi: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2008.07.005.

Ryberg, P.E., E.J. Hermsen, E.L. Taylor, T.N. Taylor, and J.M. Osborn. 2008. Development and ecological implications of dormant buds in the high-paleolatitude Triassic sphenophyte Spaciinodum (Equisetaceae). American Journal of Botany 95: 1443-1453. doi: 10.3732/ajb.0800215.

Hermsen, E.J., and J.R. Hendricks. 2008. W(h)ither fossils? Studying morphological character evolution in the age of molecular sequences. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 95: 72-100. Symposium volume: Paleobotany in the post-genomics era. W.L. Crepet and M.A. Gandolfo, eds. doi: 10.3417/2006206

Hermsen, E.J., and J.R. Hendricks. 2007. A method for constraining the age of origination of derived characters. Cladistics 23: 169-179. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2006.00129.x

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