Brian R. Speer's Research

Phylogeny of the Marchantiopsida

Part of my doctoral resarch includes a phylogeny of the complex-thalloid liverworts (Class Marchantiopsida, Division Hepaticophyta). This will be based on morphological characters as well as the sequence of the chloroplast gene rbcL. I have already assembled a preliminary morphological data matrix, from which I have gained an idea of the overall topology of the cladogram, and I am now extracting DNA for sequencing. All DNA has come from fresh material, my thanks to Helen Bischler, Ann Rushing, and John Wheeler for providing material of some taxa.

Bryophyte Flora of
Raven Rock State Park, North Carolina

The first three semesters of my time in graduate school were spent at Duke University. With encouragement from Brent Mishler and Dr. Lewis Anderson, I undertook a survey of the bryoflora at Raven Rock State Park. Despite its floristically intersting location on the boundary between the piedmont and coastal plain, the disjunct presence of montane taxa, and its citation as the type and only known locality of Lejeunea glaucenscens var. acrogyna, the park has never been well collected. Bryophytes were collected and identified from the park; vouchers were deposited at DUKE. Vascular plants and fungi were also collected and similarly deposited. No information has been published, but a checklist has been provided to the Park Administration.

Pteridophyte Flora of
White County, Arkansas

While an undergraduate at Harding University, I worked as the Herbarium Manager. Very soon, I realized that the county flora was very poorly known, and that our own collections did not accurately represent the regional vegetation. Rather that try to intensively research the entire flora, I focussed on the ferns and their allies. The research added thirteen new taxa to those previously recorded for the county, and resulted in the discovery of another site for the hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula), which is rare in Arkansas.

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Last modified: 6 August 1996

Brian R. Speer,