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

Porter Hall 315 | Athens OH 45701 | Tel 740 593 1125 | Fax 740 593 1130

Phylogenetic Systematics at OU

Our mission is to employ independent sources of data
(e.g., morphology of living and extinct organisms, DNA variation) to infer phylogenetic relationships and to use the phylogeny as a framework to study character evolution and biogeography.


Participating Faculty


Current and Past Projects

  • Adaptive radiation and morphological evolution in the Hawaiian violets (Ballard)
  • Comparison of cellular slime mold populations on three islands in the Caribbean of different plant diversities (Cavender)
  • Development of a robust molecular phylogeny of the Batrachospermales using nuclear and plastid DNA sequences (Vis)
  • Dictyostelids of New Zealand (Cavender)
  • Floral developmental evolution and phylogenetic restructuring of the Violaceae (Ballard)
  • Fossil history of Araceae/Lemnaceae (Rothwell)
  • Morphology and systematics of Paleozoic conifers (Rothwell, Mapes)
  • Origin of plants (Rothwell)
  • Origin of seed plants (Rothwell)
  • Origins and phylogenetic affinities of batrachospermalean taxa in Australia (Vis)
  • Paleontology and seed plant phylogeny (Rothwell)
  • Phylogenetic relationships and polyploid evolution in the pansies (Ballard)
  • Phylogenetic relationships of ferns (Rothwell)
  • Phylogenetic relationships of lycophytes (Rothwell)
  • Phylogeny and affinities of Lemnaceae (Rothwell, Ballard)
  • Phylogeny and taxonomy of the Caryopteris-Trichostema complex (Lamiaceae) (Cantino)
  • Phylogeny of dictyostelids (Cavender)
  • Phylogeny of the major clades of Lamiaceae (Cantino)
  • Phylogeography in North America of Batrachospermum helminthosum using molecular markers, nuclear, plastid and mitochondrial DNA (Vis)
  • Preparation of the PhyloCode, a set of rules to govern phylogenetic nomenclature (Cantino)
  • Reproductive biology and evolution of Bennettitales (Rothwell)
  • Revisionary systematic studies of Neotropical violet genera (Ballard)
  • Systematics of Acytostelium (Cavender)
  • Tests of allopatric speciation models in the Viola canadensis complex (Ballard)
  • Treatments of subfamilies and genera of Lamiaceae for Kubitzki's "Families and Genera of Vascular Plants" (Cantino)
  • Treatment of the Violaceae for Kubitzki's "Families and Genera of Vascular Plants" (Ballard)
  • Utilization of developmental characters for taxonomy in Batrachospermum (Vis)
  • Variations in mode and tempo of plant evolution (Rothwell)


External Funding Sources

  • National Science Foundation
  • Ohio Biological Survey
  • Sigma Xi
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Useful Links

Phylogeny (general):

The Tree of Life Project

Phylogenetics Resources


Angiosperm phylogeny:

Angiosperm Phylogeny Website

Phylogenetic nomenclature:

The PhyloCode

Systematics societies:

Society of Systematic Biologists

American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Association of Systematics Collections

International Organisation of Palaeobotany

Botanical Society of America