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Invasive plant biology

Brian Alfaro

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Prof. Diane Marshall's laboratory at the University of New Mexico, where I study evolution of invasive plants.

Mapping invasive wetland plants at San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex units
(circa 2012, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).

My focal questions are the following:

  • How do natural and artificial landscape features influence local and regional migration of invasive species?
  • Is there adaptive selection on traits that contribute to long-distance seed dispersal?
  • Do populations at invasive range margins exhibit more plasticity in phenology and morphology compared to core populations as a response to varying levels of moisture?


Brassica tournefortii

My study system is the invasive Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii Gouan),  introduced in Mecca, CA
and now widespread in Southwestern U.S. Photo from calphotos.berkeley.edu