Past-President Presidential Address

Thu, July 22, 14:25 hrs (UTC±00:00)

Invasive Species

Saara DeWalt

I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. I have been at Clemson for 15 years as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor, and now Chair. The Department is currently working on finalizing our strategic plan, BioSciFORWARD. I am also the Past-President for the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

 

My lab uses ecological and molecular genetic techniques to address a number of questions in population, evolutionary, and community ecology: How is genetic variation distributed within and among plant populations? What are the ecological and evolutionary processes that affect and maintain genetic variation and structure in plant populations? Which current and historical factors determine the structure and composition of plant communities? What are the roles of herbivores and pathogens in shaping patterns of plant abundance and distribution on local and broad geographic scales? Primarily, we address these questions by studying lianas (woody vines) and non-native, invasive plants in temperate and tropical forests. These study systems offer ideal conditions for testing hypotheses concerning the determinants of genetic variation, genetic differentiation, species abundance, community composition, and diversity. The work on invasive species also provides opportunities for applied research on effective control methods.

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