Niches: Update on the Phylogeny of the Angiosperms:
There are many reasons why we want to know the evolutionary relationships of the families of flowering plants, the Angiosperms. They all revolve around the absolutely amazing diversity in morphology, biochemistry, and developmental and physiological behavior of Angiosperms. As a developmental biologist, I am interested in where and when character states, such as fused petals or embryo-imposed seed dormancy, arose and where and when they were subsequently lost. This information can be used to help test iterative hypotheses about the genetic mechanisms responsible for these changes.