Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science
Plant Biology Section
The Specht Lab studies the evolution and diversification of Plant Form and Function.
We use traditional morphological and developmental techniques combined with molecular genetics, comparative genomics and evolutionary biology to study the natural diversity of plants and to help better understand the forces creating and sustaining this diversity. Our research incorporates elements of systematics, developmental genetics and molecular evolution to study the patterns and processes associated with plant speciation and diversification. We take advantage of living and preserved collections to advance our research in plant systematics, biogeography, and developmental evolution. Ongoing research projects include:
EvoDevo of floral form in the Zingiberales.
Systematics, evolution and diversification of Zingiberales and its component lineages (esp. Costaceae and Heliconiaceae).
Evolutionary History of Calochortus – systematics and gene flow.
Evolution of Adaptive Traits in cool monocot lineages.
As part of its mission to make Cornell a more diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students, the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE) have awarded three Belonging at Cornell innovation grants of $15,000 apiece...
This summer, we collaborated with Cornell Botanic Gardens to lead a 4-week online course for school-aged students called “Plants Have Families Too!” The material was adapted from the Botanic Gardens’ annual family botanical event, Judy’s Day...