There are three levels of training associated with this grant: undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral. NSF funding supports undergraduate student researchers, graduate student researchers, and postdoctoral researchers. The students take formal classes from the diverse array offered by the Department of Integrative Biology, tailored to their previous background, to ensure training in all areas of systematics. Both graduate and undergraduate students participate in field, herbarium, and lab research, thus the bulk of the training is hands-on.

The PI, Mishler, is responsible for the overall direction of the project, and training in the areas of systematic theory and method, laboratory techniques, and experimental procedures. Because of the integrative nature of this work, three formal collaborators will assist the PI in advising the trainees: Dr. William Reese, Dr. Haji Mohamed, and Dr. Daniel Norris. Dr. Reese and Dr. Mohamed are the world experts on taxonomy of Calymperaceae and Mitthyridium; both will help advise students on herbarium procedures and taxonomy. Dr. Reese has a number of prior commitments, and so will only have infrequent contact with students during their occasional short visits to his lab and herbarium collection at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Dr. Mohamed has agreed to take a more active role and will be a great help to the students with field work since his home institution is located in the center of diversity for Mitthyridium. Funds are requested for Mohamed to be able to participate in field work and monographic studies with students. Dr. Norris is an expert on floristics and taxonomy of paleotropical mosses, and will advise students on field work, herbarium techniques, and monography. He remains a Research Botanist at UC Berkeley, and although he has moved his home to Washington state, he continues to be in close contact with the bryology program here. Funds are requested for Norris to participate in field work and herbarium studies with students.

Dennis Wall (who is the initial graduate student supported) began his studies in Fall 1996, and has already tentatively identified the Calymperaceae as a dissertation focus. He has a strong background in evolution and ecology from his undergraduate work at Tulane and has carried out an unusually large amount of research. The second graduate student, postdoctoral associate, and the undergraduate trainees, are being chosen via a general advertising process.

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