Erin Tripp

  • Nov 12, 2018
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Date & Location: November 12, 2018, at 4p; Room 1200 Molecular Plant Sciences Building

Talk focus: Lichens and molecular genetics of obligate mutualisms

About the Speaker

University: University of Colorado-Boulder

Research Interests: As a biologist, Dr. Tripp is broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of all life on Earth, particularly how natural selection and contingency have shaped the evolution of millions of “endless forms most beautiful”. As a natural historian, she is interested in patterns and trends that characterize the histories of these endless forms. Knowledge of evolutionary history is empowering, has real-world applications, and predictive potential.

In attempt to understand the evolution of biodiversity and the ecological functions that biodiversity sustains, Dr. Tripp focuses on macroevolutionary approaches at or above the species level. Most of her research emphasizes the species-rich (>4,000 taxa) and morphologically diverse tropical plant family Acanthaceae. More recently, Dr. Tripp has advanced research in lichenology, particularly here in the United States where amazingly, some 230 years after Bartram first traversed the Southeast, we still know incredibly little about these organisms from taxonomic and biogeographic perspectives. In addition to biodiversity research on Acanths and lichens, she has maintained a long-term interest in the flora of the tepui highlands of northern South America, where she has participated in or co-led numerous plant collecting expeditions to remote locations in effort to provide baseline plant biodiversity information for these highly endemic ecosystems.