Dr. Michael Simpson to Speak January 9th

Dr. Michael G. Simpson, recently retired from the San Diego State University biology department, will deliver a public lecture on Assessing plant biodiversity: Collections and DNA on Monday, January 9, 2017. The lecture is free.

Simpson is now Professor of Biology emeritus at San Diego State University.  His area of expertise is plant systematics, which is the description, identification, naming, and classification of plants with the overriding goal of discovering the pattern of the evolutionary history of plants. The first few Certification Classes of the Botany Society used his excellent textbook, Plant Systematics, as a text.

His talk will focus on two aspects of the plant sciences used to assess biodiversity.  One is the importance of collections (that is, plant specimens collected and placed in herbaria) in recognizing and describing new species or species previously thought to be extinct.  The second is the use of DNA sequence data to trace the evolutionary history of species, in evaluating their relationships, geographic history, and changes in morphology. Popcorn flowers will be used as a model system to illustrate these two interwoven scientific disciplines in assessing biodiversity.   

Who: Michael Simpson, Botanist
What: Assessing plant biodiversity: Collections and DNA
When: Monday, January 9 2017; 10 AM
Where: Discovery Lab, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® Visitor Center
Cost: Free to the public