Daniel Spalink

T.A. for Vascular Flora of Wisconsin - Section 301   dspalink@gmail.com

Office Hours: by appointment 

256 Birge Hall, 262-4422 

My research interests involve the bulrushes (Scirpus) as a model group to better understand issues relating to species distributions, barriers to species movements, and effects of global warming on species distributions and movements. To explore these issues, I am conducting a multidisciplinary study that integrates phylogenetics, population genetics, and biogeography. This novel approach will use evolutionary and ecological data to investigate the degree to which closely related species with varying levels of infraspecific genetic diversity, ecological plasticity, and geographic distribution may be differentially impacted by a warming climate.I will use a phylogenetic framework to 1) investigate the historical biogeography of Scirpus in North America, 2) determine if endemic Scirpus species are geographically restricted because of narrow ecological envelopes and limited habitat, or if they are ecologically restricted because of geographic barriers preventing their spread to new habitats, 3) test the hypothesis that severely restricted taxa are genetically depauperate compared to their widespread sister taxa, 4) determine the extent to which latitudinally distributed species are locally adapted to climate and 5) test the hypothesis that endemic taxa will be more adversely affected by global warming than their widely distributed sister taxa.