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Kathleen M. Pryer, Professor of Biology and Pryer Lab and Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Kathleen M. Pryer

My research focuses on understanding the evolutionary relationships of ancient land plants, especially ferns and horsetails, by integrating evidence from morphology, molecules (DNA sequence data from multiple genes), and the fossil record. I use an explicit phylogenetic framework to examine the morphological evolution of various sporophytic and gametophytic characters within vascular plants, and to gain insight into the evolution of various life history traits and the body plans that typify vascular plants. A phylogenetic perspective also informs my molecular evolutionary studies that attempt to elucidate why we observe remarkable rate heterogeneity in chloroplast genes in land plant phylogeny.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  358 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-7380
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2019):

    Bio Sci 144, W 01:25 PM-03:55 PM

Ph.D.Duke University1995
M.S.University of Guelph (Canada)1981
B.S.McGill University (Canada)1976

Vascular Plants

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Fay-Wei Li  
  • Erin Sigel  
  • Amanda Grusz  
Postdocs Mentored

  • James Beck (September, 2007 - August, 2009)  
  • Layne Huiet (August, 2007 - June, 2010)  
  • Eric Schuettpelz (May, 2007 - July 31, 2009)  
  • David Hearn (March, 2005 - February, 2006)  
  • Petra Korall (July 1, 2004 - December 31, 2006)  
  • Sabine Hennequin (2004 - December, 2007)  
  • Michal Skakuj (October 01, 2003 - July 31, 2005)  
  • Nathalie Nagalingum (August, 2003 - July, 2007)  
  • Jennifer Steinbachs (1999-2000)  
  • Stefan Zoller (1999 - 2001)  
  • Harald Schneider (1999-2001)  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Rothfels, CJ; Larsson, A; Li, F-W; Sigel, EM; Huiet, L; Burge, DO; Ruhsam, M; Graham, SW; Stevenson, DW; Wong, GK-S; Korall, P; Pryer, KM, Transcriptome-mining for single-copy nuclear markers in ferns., Plos One, vol. 8 no. 10 (January, 2013), pp. e76957 [24116189], [doi]  [abs]
  2. Korall, P; Pryer, KM, Global biogeography of scaly tree ferns (Cyatheaceae): evidence for Gondwanan vicariance and limited transoceanic dispersal., Journal of Biogeography, vol. 41 no. 2 (February, 2014), pp. 402-413, ISSN 0305-0270 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Li, FW; Pryer, KM; Windham, MD, Gaga, a new fern genus segregated from cheilanthes (pteridaceae), Systematic Botany, vol. 37 no. 4 (October, 2012), pp. 845-860, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, ISSN 0363-6445 [repository], [doi]  [abs]
  4. Beck, JB; Allison, JR; Pryer, KM; Windham, MD, Identifying multiple origins of polyploid taxa: a multilocus study of the hybrid cloak fern (Astrolepis integerrima; Pteridaceae)., American Journal of Botany, vol. 99 no. 11 (November, 2012), pp. 1857-1865 [23108464], [doi]  [abs]
  5. Rothfels, CJ; Larsson, A; Kuo, L-Y; Korall, P; Chiou, W-L; Pryer, KM, Overcoming deep roots, fast rates, and short internodes to resolve the ancient rapid radiation of eupolypod II ferns., Systematic Biology, vol. 61 no. 3 (May, 2012), pp. 490-509 [22223449], [doi]  [abs]
  6. Schuettpelz, E; Pryer, KM, Evidence for a Cenozoic radiation of ferns in an angiosperm-dominated canopy., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 106 no. 27 (July, 2009), pp. 11200-11205 [19567832], [doi]  [abs]
  7. Schuettpelz, E; Pryer, KM, Fern phylogeny inferred from 400 leptosporangiate species and three plastid genes, Taxon, vol. 56 no. 4 (January, 2007), pp. 1037-1050, WILEY, ISSN 0040-0262 [doi]  [abs]
  8. Smith, AR; Pryer, KM; Schuettpelz, E; Korall, P; Schneider, H; Wolf, PG, A classification for extant ferns, Taxon, vol. 55 no. 3 (January, 2006), pp. 705-731, WILEY, ISSN 0040-0262 [doi]  [abs]
  9. Schneider, H; Schuettpelz, E; Pryer, KM; Cranfill, R; Magall√≥n, S; Lupia, R, Ferns diversified in the shadow of angiosperms., Nature, vol. 428 no. 6982 (April, 2004), pp. 553-557 [15058303], [doi]  [abs]
  10. PRYER, KM, Horsetails and ferns are a monophyletic group and the closest living relatives to seed plants, Nature, vol. 409 no. 6820 (2001), pp. 618-622, ISSN 0028-0836 [11214320], [doi]  [abs]

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