Ecology and evolutionary biology, ecological genetics, plant reproductive biology.
My research uses ecological and genetical approaches to explore mechanisms of adaptation and patterns of evolutionary change in natural plant populations. Plants are sedentary and therefore can not directly choose their growth environment or mates, they vary in their gender and potential for inbreeding, and many species are polyploid having more than two copies of each chromosome and gene. I study the consequences of these plant attributes for evolution using a combination of field and greenhouse studies, quantitative genetics, and molecular techniques.
My current research focuses on the adaptive role of maternal effects, cross-generation influences of the environment and maternal genes. In addition, I am investigating how the multiple gene copies in polyploids affect the accumulation of reproductive isolation that leads to speciation as well as the consequences of inbreeding.
My students and I incorporate studies of invasive species, altered habitats, and climate change into our research because these novel conditions permit insight into mechanisms of evolution.
For more information on research interests, see my lab webpage: http://faculty.virginia.edu/galloway/