Maryam globetrotting!

Maryam has been in the Eastern Mediterranean collecting all the late summer plants in bloom! Check out some photos from her recent trip!

Entrance of a Cedar and Fir reserve


Pinus brutia overlooking an artificial lake


a very vibrant Centaurium tenuiflorum (also naturalized in California)


Ferns on limestone outcrop! Cheilanthes catanensis (left), Asplenium ceterach (right)


A coastal mountain summit overlooking agricultural land to the East. *Notice the plants hugging the ground*


A Cytisus bush (Fabaceae) surrounded by Pteridium but it looks like An found some Rubus in there too!


Collecting a special Levant variety of pear for more snacking!


A common view of the Maquis Shrubland floor. Limestone contrasted with rich brown soil



Entering a sea of Pteridium!


An edible Lupinus sp. Common were the canopy is open and in the supermarkets!


Last seasons Quercus calliprinos (Sec. Cerris) acorns create such a beautiful floor in mature Oak forests!


An old Pinus brutia that is a trademark of the local village


Field work is best capped off with chai and a small fire


Upcoming at Botany – Geophytes Galore!

Jumpin Jeepers, Geophytes!

Attention fans of underground morphology!! Check out this post highlighting upcoming research presentations at the Botany 2018 conference. If you’re around, come check out talks by Carrie (that’s me!!) and her collaborator Cody. Long live geophytes!

GOOPhy: Geophytic Organisms – Ontogeny & Phylogeny




The Genomes Have Landed

Last but not least … ferns enter the genomic era

Humans have their genomes sequenced, there’s a lycophyte genome, a moss genome, a liverwort genome, shloads of angiosperm genomes… but until this week no fern genome had been sequenced. It was the last frontier! But we need wait no longer — with the publication earlier this week of “Fern genomes elucidate land plant evolution and cyanobacterial symbioses” we have not one, but two fern reference genomes: Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata. Special congratulations to lead author (and former Rothfels Labmate) Fay-Wei Li, by whose blood, sweat, and tears (mostly tears) this achievement was made possible.

And it got the cover! Who can blame them — look at this beauty (photo credit: Laura Dijkhuizen):

This paper has also received some cool press–Discover Magazine, Cosmos, Earth.comCornell Chronicle, BTI press release, and  Nature Plants News & Views–it’s great to see people excited about ferns, and fern biology.


Joyce in Space

Dinner with a scientist, and not just any scientist!

Twice a year, 220 guests come together at the Chabot Space and Science Center for “Dinner with a Scientist.” And on May 8th that scientist was…. Joyce!!!

The program includes a TED-talk style presentation from the keynote speaker (did I mention that that was Joyce?) describing their personal journey in science, group discussions, and science activities, with the goal of bringing together Oakland middle- and high-school teachers, their students, and local scientists.

Congratulations to Joyce for her work to inspire a current generation of educators and a future generation of scientists!

Joyce in action.


Such sciencing! (I believe I even see a fern involved.)


(I promised Joyce I wouldn’t mention the standing ovation she got. But my fingers were crossed: STANDING OVATION!)