I am a graduate student at the University of Chicago (Committee on Evolutionary Biology). My research focuses on questions related to the macroevolutionary dynamics of fungi, together with the evolutionary origins and subsequent diversification of symbiotic associations. To address these questions, I utilize the lichen symbiosis (associations between fungi and algae) as a model. As many of these questions rely on the accurate placement of taxa and understanding the identity of these algal symbionts, much of my work has focused on clarifying the phylogenetic position of various fungal taxa and using sequence data to identify algal symbionts while simultaneously elucidating their genetic diversity. Additionally, many of these questions rely on accurate estimates of species richness, consequently, I have also worked on projects related to species delimitation and the formal description of unclassified taxa.
Contact: mpnelsen [@] gmail [.] com (remove brackets [ ] and spaces)