Kate B. Lepis


                       Contact Information:

                    Dept. of Plant Biology and Pathology

                59 Dudley Road, 237 Foran Hall

                Cook College Rutgers University

                New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

                Phone: 732-932-9711 x231, FAX: 732-932-9411

                Email: katburke@rci.rutgers.edu





Photo Gallery

 Brazil Trip 2003

 Brazil Tripp 2004

 Brazil trip 2005

 Other gentians observed in Brazil

                Curriculum Vitae


                        Advisory Committee:

                                      Lena Struwe

                                      Peter Smouse

                                      Jim White

                                      Jim French





Research Interests - Chelonanthus:

I am interested in the systematics of the Neotropical gentian genus Chelonanthus. Complicated taxonomic issues are being resolved using morphological and molecular phylogenetics as well as morphometrics and GIS based methods. The paraphyletic state (Struwe et al., 2002; unpubl.; Lepis et al., unpubl.) resulting from two separate evolutionary lineages will lead to a new taxonomic system for the genus.

One lineage contains the type species Chelonanthus purpurascens with purple flowers and pollen released as polyads (many pollen grains stuck together). The other lineage is composed of all other species with green to white to yellow flowers and pollen shed as tetrads (four pollen grains stuck together). The later group includes the most widespread species of the genus, Chelonanthus alatus, which has also been shown to be polyphyletic as currently defined (Lepis et al., unpubl.). This group also contains species representing a continuum of habitat strategies from rare endemics to widespread weeds. Once a phylogeny emerges based on data from multiple levels of organismal organization, theories on the evolution of habitat strategies will be developed. 

Other Interests:

Click here to see a third grade lesson plan on Northeastern forests with emphasis placed on forest community and ethnobotany. This plan includes aspects to achieve NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in Science.

Copyright Kate Lepis 2006-2008, All rights reserved.