Erin M. Sigel
Assistant Professor of Integrative Genomics
Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
410 E. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70503
Office: 243 Billeaud Hall
Office phone: 337 482 5245
2014-2016 Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany
2014 Ph.D. Biology, Duke University
2008 M. S. Botany, University of Vermont
2003 B.S. Environmental Science, University of New Hampshire
Jonas Mendez Reneau
I am interested in using multidisciplinary approaches to bolster our understanding of plant systematics, particularly in regard to polyploid fern systems. I seek to synthesize inter and intra species evolutionary relationships to form a holistic understanding of the continuum between population and species level evolution. My next approach seeks to understand how polyploidy and reproductive systems inform observed phylogenies in diploid and polyploid species. In this regard I am investigating mechanisms that cause polyploid spore formation via meiotic deviations as well as how reproductive hormonal chemistry and breeding systems of fern gametophytes affect their adaptive potential. Informed by these phylogenetic and lab approaches I will be using field based collections and experiments to test hypothesis about polyploid spore formation and preferred breeding systems within the context of a wild population's ecological niche. These results will then be related in a broader biogeography context at the genus level to bridge our understanding of population and species level eco-evolutionary and polyploid dynamics.
My PhD dissertation focuses on the fern genus Polypodium s.s. with the goal of using it as a model system to understand the evolution of polyploid vascular plants. My first chapter is concerned with resolving phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships within the genus as well as identifying cryptic allopolyploid species. My second chapter focuses on population genetics, breeding systems, and ecological niches of two species; the various morpho and eco types of Hawaiian endemic P. pellucidum and its most closely related species, P. scouleri, from the west coast United States and Baja California. The third chapter examines biochemical and environmental mechanisms leading to polyploid spore formation in live individuals of diploid, triploid, and tetraploid species of Polypodium.
The Sigel Lab has openings for Postdoctoral Researchers, Graduate Students, and Undergraduate Students.
Please contact Erin Sigel to discuss opinions for Graduate Fellowships/Assistantships and Postdoctoral Fellowships including: