My lab addresses questions related to the evolution, ecology, development and conservation of flowering plants and their communities. One focus of my research explores the conditions that favor or maintain both outcross and self-pollination within populations and species (mixed mating) including the pollination environment and inbreeding depression. We are testing the long-standing idea that selfing is an evolutionary dead-end using the genus Collinsia, an excellent model system. For the past two years (2005-07) I co-led a working group at National Evolution Synthesis Center (NESCent) on the Paradox of Mixed Mating in Flowering Plants. Related to the evolution of selfing, I investigate the development of male and female phases within a flower, which influences the timing of selfing within a flower and exploring the role of genes in the floral symmetry gene network in gender phase expression development. My second major focus is the role of herbivory on population and community dynamics of forest understory herbaceous species. This research addresses the dynamics of palatable vs. unpalatable species and the role of white-tailed deer and invasive species in the destabilization of mutualisms, populations, and communities. I also have long-standing, long-term research projects on the evolution of seed dormancy.
November 16, 2012: Alison Hale successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "An Empirical Test of the Mutualism Disruption Hypothesis: Impacts of an Allelopathic Invader on the Ecophysiology of a Native Forest Herb"! Congratulations Dr. Hale!!
Alison Hale has been invited to give a seminar at Bucknell University on April 4th, 2013.
The Kalisz lab welcomes new undergraduate researchers Lauren Bakale, Abby Lee, and Mari Goetz to the lab!
Nathan Brouwer successfully induced dormancy in several plants in common garden experiment!
Dr. Rachel Spigler presented a poster with co-author Basia Pietrzak, entitled 'Modulating the rate of evolution by the presence of germ bank: a simple model' at this past July's Evolution meeting in Ottawa, Canada.
March 22, 2012: Graduate student Alison Hale won an "Outstanding Presentation" award at the Univeristy of Pittsburgh Arts and Sciences 2012 Graduate Student Exposition for her talk: Impacts of the allelopathic invader, garlic mustard, on native plant carbon acquisition and allocation. Congratulations Alison!
March 1, 2012: Dr. Rachel Spigler was promoted to Research Assistant Professor! Congratulations Rachel!
March 1, 2012: Graduate student Nathan Brouwer passed his comprehensive exam in pursuit of his Ph.D. Excellent job, Nathan!
Khaled M. Hazzour, Juan S. Escobar, Rob W. Ness, Killian L. Newman, April M. Randle, Susan Kalisz and Stephen I. Wright. (in press) Comparative population genomics in Collinsia sister species reveals evidence for reduced effective population size, relaxed selection and evolution of biased gene conversion with an ongoing mating system shift. Evolution.
Hale, A.N. and S. Kalisz. 2012. Perspectives on allelopathic disruption of plant mutualisms: a framework for individual- and population-level fitness consequences. Plant Ecology, Special Issue: Invited review. doi: 10.1007/s11258-012-0128-z
Kalisz, S., A.M. Randle D. Chaiffetz, M. Faigeles, A. Butera, C. Beight. 2012. Dichogamy correlates with outcrossing rate and defines the selfing syndrome in the mixed mating genus, Collinsia. (Invited paper) Annals of Botany doi: 10.1093/aob/mcr237
Hale, A.N., S.J. Tonsor, and S. Kalisz. 2011. Testing the mutualism disruption hypothesis: a physiological mechanism for invasion of intact perennial plant communities. Ecosphere 2:110. doi: 10.1890/ES11-00136.1
Winn, A. A., E. Elle, S. Kalisz., P.-O.Cheptou, C. G. Eckert, C. Goodwillie, M. O. Johnston, D. A. Moeller, R. H. Ree, R. D. Sargent, and M. Vallejo-Marin. 2011. Analysis of inbreeding depression I mixed mating plants provides evidence for selective interference and stable mixed mating. Perspectives paper in Evolution 65: 3339–3644.
(PDF Reprint: 1.05MB)
Cantor, A., J. Aaron, A. Hale, B. Traw, and S. Kalisz. 2011. Low allelochemical concentrations detected in garlic mustard-invaded forest soils inhibit fungal growth and AMF spore germination. Biological Invasions doi: 10.1007/s10530-011-9986-x
(PDF Reprint: 627KB)
Baldwin, B.G., S. Kalisz, and W.S. Armbruster. 2011. Phylogenetic perspectives on diversification, diversity, and phytogeography of Collinsia and Tonella (Plantaginaceae). American Journal of Botany 98:731-753.
(PDF Reprint: 1.5MB)
Burke, D., M. Weintraub, C. Hewins, and S. Kalisz. 2010. Relationship between soil enzyme activities, nutrient cycling and soil fungal communities in a northern hardwood forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry accepted.
Whitney, K.D., E.J. Baack, J.L. Hamrick, M.J.W. Godt, B.C. Barringer, M.D. Bennett, C.G. Eckert, C. Goodwillie, S. Kalisz, I.J. Leitch and J. Ross-Ibarra. 2010. A role for nonadaptive processes in plant genome size evolution? Evolution 64:2097-2109.
(PDF Reprint: 872KB)
Goodwillie, C., R.D. Sargent, C.G. Eckert, E. Elle, M.A. Geber, M.O. Johnston, S. Kalisz, D.A. Moeller, R.H. Ree, M. Vallejo-Marin and A.A. Winn. 2010. Correlated evolution of mating system and floral display traits in flowering plants and its implications for the distribution of mating system variation. New Phytologist 185:311-321.
(PDF Reprint: 508KB)
Eckert, C.G., S. Kalisz, M.A. Geber, R. Sargent, E. Elle, P.O. Cheptou, C. Goodwillie, M.O. Johnston, J.K. Kelly, D.A. Moeller, E. Porcher, R.H. Ree, M. Vallejo-Marin and A.A. Winn. 2010. Plant mating systems in a changing world. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25:35-43.
(PDF Reprint: 496KB)
Heckel, C.D., N.A. Bourg, W.J. McShea and S. Kalisz. 2010. Nonconsumptive effects of a generalist ungulate herbivore drive decline of unpalatable forest herbs. Ecology 91:319-326.
(PDF Reprint: 192KB)
NESCent working group on the Paradox of Mixed Mating in Flowering Plants
NESCent National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
NSF Research Coordination Network MORPH
NCEAS National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Population Biology - BIOSC 1320
This is a course in the scientific study of the distribution and abundances of animal and plant populations. The course will begin with the dynamics of single populations, emphasizing demography, exponential growth, and intra-specific competition. Next we will cover interactions between populations, especially competition and predations. Finally we will consider the implications of population dynamics to the evolution of life history strategies, to population regulation, and to community structure. Throughout, empirical studies of natural and laboratory populations will be used to test mathematical models of population processes.
Evolution - BIOSC 1130
This course is an introduction to biological evolution. The theory, process and pattern of evolutionary change are presented. This course will encompass both microevolutionary and macroevolutionary concepts. Lecture topics will include inheritance and variation, population genetics, natural selection, speciation, adaptation, the fossil record, and phylogenetics.