Plant Systematics. Phylogeography. Evolutionary Ecology. Species Diversification.

Research Interests

My research explores the processes that create plant biodiversity by investigating the interaction between genetic change and ecology in a community context. I aim to identify the population level evolutionary forces responsible for population divergence in order to delineate independently evolving lineages and species boundaries. This work is conducted in a phylogenetic context to facilitate the detection of current, continuing and historical processes. Because microbial communities influence the ecology, evolution and fitness of plants my research also explores how plant:microbe interactions influence patterns of community structure and diversity. This holistic approach combines classic field experiments, a variety of novel methodological approaches and powerful molecular techniques (454-pyrosequencing and genomic fingerprinting).

I grew up in the Sonoran desert and attended Northern Arizona University, where I received a BS degree in botany. I then joined David Baum’s lab at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I  explored the evolutionary history of the Hibiscus Tribe (Hibisceae: Malvaceae) on Madagascar.  My postdoc (with Bryan Carstens at Louisiana State University) explored several innovative approaches to identify evolutionary forces that have contributed to the evolution of the carnivorous Pitcher Plant genus, Sarracenia. This fall I joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan University in the Department of Biology where I teach introductory botany and curate the herbarium (EMC).

Contact information

Email: mkoopma2(AT)emich.edu

316 Mark Jefferson Hall
Department of Biology
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197