Brent D. Mishler

Director of the University & Jepson Herbaria
Professor, Dept. of Integrative Biology
1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, # 2465
Berkeley, CA 94720-2465
The Mishler Lab

Brent D. Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria at University of California, Berkeley, as well as Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, where he teaches phylogenetic systematics, plant diversity, and island biology. A native southern Californian, he attended Bonita High School in La Verne, California and worked for Los Angeles County as a ranger-naturalist at San Dimas Canyon County Park, where he became interested in natural history and especially botany. He attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he received his B.S. degree in Biology in 1975 and his M.S. in biology in 1978. He then received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984, and was on the faculty at Duke University for nine years before moving to UC Berkeley in 1993.

His research interests are in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, as well as in the phylogeny of green plants. He is also interested in more general topics involving the theoretical basis of systematic and evolutionary biology, such as phylogenetic methods and the nature of species. He has been heavily involved in developing electronic resources to present plant taxonomic and distributional information to the public, and applications of these data to conservation concerns through the development of new "spatial phylogenetic" tools for studying biodiversity and endemism using large-scale phylogenies and collection data in a geographic and statistical framework. Current projects include: (1) spatial phylogenetic studies of the floras of Australia, Chile, and California; and (2) integrated systematic, evolutionary, and ecological studies of the diverse dryland moss genus Syntrichia, specifically focused on desiccation tolerance and reproductive biology.

Selected Recent Publications (see long CV for full list)

Google Scholar Citation Page, with indices

B. Swartz and B.D. Mishler (eds.). 2022. Speciesism in Biology and Culture: How Human Exceptionalism is Pushing Planetary Boundaries. Springer Nature. [Open access book]

J.A. Jáuregui-Lazo, J.C. Brinda, GoFlag Consortium, and B.D. Mishler. 2022. The phylogeny of Syntrichia Brid.: An ecologically diverse clade of mosses with an origin in South America. American Journal of Botany e16103.

B.D. Mishler. 2022. Ecology, evolution, and systematics in a post-species world. In J. Wilkins, F. Zachos, and I. Pavlinov (eds.) Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. pp. 177-190. Taylor and Francis Group, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

B.E. Carter, T.M. Misiewicz, and B.D. Mishler. 2022. Spatial phylogenetic patterns in the North American moss flora are shaped by history and climate. Journal of Biogeography 49: 1327– 1338.

J. Nitta, B.D. Mishler, W. Iwasaki, and A. Ebihara. 2022. Spatial phylogenetics of Japanese ferns: Patterns, processes, and implications for conservation. American Journal of Botany 109: 727–745.

J.T.B. Ekwealor, S.D. Benjamin, J.Z. Jomsky, M.A. Bowker, L.R. Stark, D.N. McLetchie, B.D. Mishler, and K.M. Fisher. 2022. Genotypic confirmation of a biased phenotypic sex ratio in a dryland moss using restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Applications in Plant Sciences 2022;10:e11467.

X. Zhang, J. Ye, S.W. Laffan, B.D. Mishler, A.H. Thornhill, L. Lu, L. Mao, B. Liu, Y. Chen, A. Lu, J.T. Miller, and Z. Chen. 2022. Spatial phylogenetics of the Chinese angiosperm flora provides insights into endemism and conservation. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 64: 105–117.

J.C. Brinda, J.A. Jáuregui-Lazo, M.J. Oliver, and B.D. Mishler. 2021. Notes on the genus Syntrichia with a revised infrageneric classification and the recognition of a new genus Syntrichiadelphus (Bryophyta, Pottiaceae). Phytologia 103(4): 90-103.

J.T.B. Ekwealor and B.D. Mishler. 2021. Transcriptomic effects of acute ultraviolet radiation exposure on two Syntrichia mosses. 2021. Frontiers in Plant Science 12: 752913.

M. Bowker, M.C. Rengifo-Faiffer, A. Antoninka, H. Grover, K. Coe, K. Fisher, B.D. Mishler, M.J. Oliver, and L.R. Stark. 2021. Community composition influences ecosystem resistance and production more than species richness or intraspecific diversity. Oikos 130: 1399-1410.

J.T.B. Ekwealor, T.A. Clark, O. Dautermann, A. Russell, S. Ebrahimi, L.R. Stark, K.K. Niyogi, and B.D. Mishler. 2021. Natural UV exposure alters photosynthetic biology and improves recovery from desiccation in a desert moss. Journal of Experimental Botany 72: 4161–4179.

B.D. Mishler. 2021. What, if Anything, are Species? Taylor and Francis Group, CRC Press. [Open access book]

C. Earl, M.W. Belitz, S.W. Laffan, V. Barve, N. Barve, D.E. Soltis, J.M. Allen, P.S. Soltis, B.D. Mishler, A.Y. Kawahara, and R. Guralnick. 2021. Spatial phylogenetics of butterflies in relation to environmental drivers and angiosperm diversity across North America. iScience 24 (4): 102239.

A.T. Silva, B. Gao, K.M. Fisher, B.D. Mishler, J.T.B. Ekwealor, L.R. Stark, X. Li, D. Zhang, M.A. Bowker, J.C. Brinda, K.K. Coe, and M.J. Oliver. 2021. To dry perchance to live: insights from the genome of the desiccation-tolerant biocrust moss Syntrichia caninervis. The Plant Journal.

W.M. Knapp, A. Frances, R. Noss, R.F.C. Naczi, A. Weakley, G.D. Gann, B.G. Baldwin, J. Miller, P. McIntyre, B.D. Mishler, G. Moore, R.G. Olmstead, A. Strong, K. Kennedy, B.L. Heidel, and D. Gluesenkamp. 2021. The extinct plants of North America north of Mexico: A baseline for the Anthropocene. Conservation Biology.

B.D. Mishler, R.Guralnick, P.S. Soltis, S.A. Smith, D.E. Soltis, N. Barve, J.M. Allen, and S.W. Laffan. 2020. Spatial phylogenetics of the North American flora. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 58: 393-405.

I.M. Mienna, J.D.M. Speed, M. Bendiksby, A.H. Thornhill, B.D. Mishler, and M.D. Martin. Differential patterns of floristic phylogenetic diversity across a post-glacial landscape. 2019. Journal of Biogeography. 2020; 47: 915–926.

K.K. Coe, N.B. Howard, M.L. Slate, M.A. Bowker, B.D. Mishler, R. Butler, J. Greenwood, and L.R. Stark. 2019. Morphological and physiological traits in relation to carbon balance in a diverse clade of dryland mosses. Plant, Cell & Environment 42: 3140–3151.

J.M. Allen, C.C. Germain-Aubrey, N. Barve, K.M. Neubig, L.C. Majure, S.W. Laffan, B.D. Mishler, H.L. Owens, S.A. Smith, W.M. Whitten, J.R. Abbott, D.E. Soltis, R. Guralnick, P.S. Soltis. 2019. Spatial phylogenetics of Florida vascular plants: the effects of calibration and uncertainty on diversity estimates. iScience 11: 57–70.

M.M. Kling, B.D. Mishler, A.H. Thornhill, B.G. Baldwin, and D.D. Ackerly. 2018. Facets of phylodiversity: evolutionary diversification, divergence, and survival as conservation targets. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B. 374: 20170397.

J.T. Miller, G. Jolley-Rogers, B.D. Mishler and A.H. Thornhill. 2018. Phylogenetic diversity is a better measure of biodiversity than taxon counting. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 56: 663–667.

B.D. Mishler and J.S. Wilkins. 2018. The hunting of the SNaRC: a snarky solution to the species problem. Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology. 10: 1-18.

A.H. Thornhill, B.G. Baldwin, W.A. Freyman, S. Nosratinia, M.M. Kling, N. Morueta-Holme, T.P Madsen, D.D. Ackerly, and B.D. Mishler. 2017. Spatial phylogenetics of the native California flora. BMC Biology 15:96.

R.A. Scherson, A.H. Thornhill, R. Urbina-Casanova, WA. Freyman, P.A. Pliscoff, and B.D. Mishler. 2017. Spatial phylogenetics of the vascular flora of Chile. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 112: 88-95.

B.G. Baldwin, A.H. Thornhill, W.A. Freyman, D.D. Ackerly, M.M. Kling, N. Morueta-Holme, & B.D. Mishler. 2017. Species richness and endemism in the native flora of California. American Journal of Botany. 104: 487–501.

S.W. Laffan, D.F. Rosauer, G. Di Virgilio, J.T. Miller, C.E. González-Orozco, N. Knerr, A.H. Thornhill, & B.D. Mishler. 2016. Range-weighted metrics of species and phylogenetic turnover can better resolve biogeographic transition zones. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 580-588.

A.H. Thornhill, B.D. Mishler, N. Knerr, C.E. Gonzalez-Orozco, C.M. Costion, D.M. Crayn, S.W. Laffan, & J.T. Miller. 2016. Continental-scale spatial phylogenetics of Australian angiosperms provides insights into ecology, evolution and conservation. Journal of Biogeography. 43: 2085–2098.

C.E. González-Orozco, L.J. Pollock, A.H. Thornhill, B.D. Mishler, N. Knerr, S.W. Laffan, J.T. Miller, D.F. Rosauer, D.P. Faith D.A. Nipperess, H.Kujala, S. Linke, N. Butt, C. Külheim, M.D. Crisp, & B. Gruber. 2016. Phylogenetic approaches reveal biodiversity threats under climate change. Nature Climate Change 6: 1110–1114.

N.S. Nagalingum, N. Knerr, S. Laffan, C.E. González-Orozco, A. Thornhill, J. Miller, & B.D. Mishler. 2015. Continental scale patterns and predictors of fern richness and phylogenetic diversity. Frontiers in Genetics. 6:132.

A.N. Schmidt-Lebuhn, N.J. Knerr, J.T. Miller, & B.D. Mishler. 2015. Phylogenetic diversity and endemism of Australian daisies (Asteraceae). Journal of Biogeography 42: 1114–1122.

A.E. Paasch, B.D. Mishler, S. Nosratinia, L.R. Stark, & K.M. Fisher. 2015. Decoupling of sexual reproduction and genetic diversity in the female-biased Mojave Desert moss Syntrichia caninervis (Pottiaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 176: 751–761.

C.E. González-Orozco, B.D. Mishler, J.T. Miller, S.W. Laffan, N. Knerr, P. Unmack, Arthur Georges, A.H. Thornhill, D.F. Rosauer, & B. Gruber. 2015. Assessing biodiversity and endemism using phylogenetic methods across multiple taxonomic groups. Ecology and Evolution 5: 5177–5192.

N.E Bell, J.L Boore, B.D. Mishler, & J. Hyvönen. 2014. Organellar genomes of the four-toothed moss, Tetraphis pellucida. 2014. BMC Genomics. 15: 383.

C.E. González-Orozco, M.C. Ebach, S. Laffan, A.H. Thornhill, N.J. Knerr, A.N. Schmidt-Lebuhn, C.C. Cargill, M. Clements, N.S. Nagalingum, B.D. Mishler, & J.T. Miller. 2014. Quantifying phytogeographical regions of Australia using geospatial turnover in species composition. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92558.

B.D. Mishler, N.J. Knerr, C.E. González-Orozco, A.H. Thornhill, S.W. Laffan, & J.T. Miller. 2014. Phylogenetic measures of biodiversity and neo- and paleo-endemism in Australian Acacia. Nature Communications. 5: 4473.

Y. Fang, R.-L. Zhu & B.D. Mishler. 2014. Evolution of oleosin in land plants. PLoS ONE 9(8): e103806.

B.D. Mishler. 2013. History and theory in the development of phylogenetics in botany. In A. Hamilton (ed.), The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics, pp. 189-210. University of California Press.

N. Cellinese, D.A. Baum, and B.D. Mishler. 2012. Species and phylogenetic nomenclature. Systematic Biology 61: 885-891.

S. Nosratinia, J.R. Shevock, and B.D. Mishler. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships of Yunnanobryon (Musci: Regmatodontaceae). The Bryologist 114: 547-555.

M. Benassi, L.R. Stark, J.C. Brinda, D.N. McLetchie, M. Bonine, and B.D. Mishler. 2011. Plant size, sex expression, and sexual reproduction along an elevation gradient in a desert moss. The Bryologist 114: 277-288.

B.D. Mishler. 2010. Species are not uniquely real biological entities. In F. Ayala and R. Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology, pp. 110-122. Wiley-Blackwell

M.J. Oliver, A.G. Murdock, B.D. Mishler, J.V. Kuehl, J.L. Boore, D.F. Mandoli, K.D.E. Everett, P.G. Wolf, A.M. Duffy, and K.G. Karol. 2010. Chloroplast genome sequence of the moss Tortula ruralis: gene content, polymorphism, and structural arrangement relative to other green plant chloroplast genomes. BMC Genomics 11: 143.

K.G. Karol, K. Arumuganathan, J.L. Boore, A.M. Duffy, K.D.E. Everett, J.D. Hall, S.K. Hansen, J.V. Kuehl, D.F. Mandoli, B.D. Mishler, R.G. Olmstead, K.S. Renzaglia, and P.G. Wolf. 2010. Complete plastome sequences of Equisetum arvense and Isoetes flaccida: implications for phylogeny and plastid genome evolution of early land plant lineages. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 321.