Abby Moore

Research Interests

I am studying the genus Grindelia in the tribe Astereae of the Asteraceae. It has yellow ray and disc flowers and resinous involucres that give it the common name of gumweed. Grindelia is native to open habitats throughout western North America, Mexico, and southwestern South America. Members of the genus grow in a wide variety of habitats and many different soil types including salt marshes, coastal dunes, serpentine soils, dry roadsides, and open pine woodlands. In addition to this diversity of habitats, Grindelia shows a wide range of morphologies from sub-shrubs and upright, much-branched perennials to plants with unbranched stems growing from a basal rosette and prostrate forms. However, all of these forms are connected by intermediates and it is not clear how much gene exchange there is and how much of the variation is phenotypic. I am currently examining the phylogeny of the genus using gene sequence data. In the future I hope to examine the morphological variation in western North American species more closely using common garden experiments and investigate gene flow among the populations growing in different habitats using population genetics approaches.