My current research concerns ancestral range reconstruction, phylogenetics and taxonomy of Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae). Cyrtandra is the most species-rich in the family (500-600 species) and is widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  I am using both molecular markers and ancestral range reconstruction analysis to study the relationships within this large genus, principally in Hawaii, and the South Pacific.  I continue to conduct collecting expeditions (Hawai’i, 2004, 2005, 2007; [Western] Samoa, 2004-2005; Fiji 2006) to fill gaps in species distribution data and to collect silica gel-dried tissue for molecular analysis.  I have conducted extensive laboratory work to develop a phylogenetic hypothesis based on combined and individual analysis of the nrDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), nuclear ribosomal external transcribed spacer region (ETS) and cpDNA psbA-trnH spacer region. 

This research has led to the comparative analysis of various methods for ancestral range reconstruction to ascertain their utility in reconstructing insular lineage histories. 

I am also in the development phase for implementing a program to explore the Southeast Asia – Pacific interface region (a region centered on Fiji; principally the Solomon Islands south to New Caledonia and east to Samoa) – this region is of major biogeographic importance due to its association as a stepping-stone system into the remote Pacific islands as well as being a convergence zone between the Pacific and the Asian and Australian biotic zones.