Christine E. Edwards, PhD

Assistant Scientist
Missouri Botanical Garden
Honorary Adjunct Professor

Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program
Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program

  • 314-577-9473


  • Using genetic approaches to understand the evolutionary and ecological causes and consequences of rarity in endangered plant species

Research Abstract:

My research focuses on using genetic approaches to understand the evolutionary and ecological causes and consequences of rarity in endangered plant species. My research combines the fields of population genetics, genomics, ecological/quantitative genetics, phylogeography, and plant systematics to understand the biology of rare species. My main research interests specifically focus on the following areas: 1) using genetic data to help understand the ecology and reproductive biology of endangered plants, 2) using genetic analysis of ex-situ collections to aid in applied conservation and restoration efforts, 3) understanding the relationship between geographic range size and levels of genetic diversity in lineages with rare and widespread plant species and identifying the factors affecting levels of genetic diversity of rare species, 4) elucidating patterns of evolutionary history and species boundaries in closely related species complexes containing endangered plant species, and 5) understanding phenotypic plasticity, the potential for adaptive evolution, and the genetic architecture of phenotypic traits of plants in response to environmental stress/variation. The overall goal of this research to use genetic data to
help conserve rare plants more effectively.

Selected Publications:

2015. Farrington, H., C. E. Edwards, X. Guan, M. Carr, and R.L. Lance. Development and Testing of New Genetic Markers for the Detection of Invasive Bighead and Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and H. molitrix) DNA in environmental water samples from North America. PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117803

2014. Edwards, C. E., D. L. Lindsay, P. Bailey, and R. F. Lance. Patterns of genetic diversity in the rare Erigeron lemmoni and comparison with its more widespread congener, Erigeron arisolius (Asteraceae). Conservation Genetics 15: 419-428.

2012. Edwards, C. E., B. E. Ewers, C. R. McClung, P. Lou and C. Weinig. Quantitative variation in water-use efficiency across water regimes in Brassica rapa and its relationship with circadian, ecophysiological, vegetative, and reproductive traits. Molecular Plant 5: 653-668.

2012. Edwards, C. E., T. L. Parchman, and C. Weekley. Assembly, gene annotation and marker development using 454 floral transcriptome sequences in Ziziphus celata (Rhamnaceae), a highly endangered, Florida endemic plant. DNA research 19: 1-9.

2011. Edwards, C. E., B. E. Ewers, D. G. Williams, Q. Xie, P. Lou, X. Xu, C. R. McClung, and C Weinig. The genetic architecture of ecophysiological and circadian traits in Brassica rapa. Genetics 189: 375-390.

Last Updated: 9/4/2015 12:14:30 PM

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