University of California, Davis, 1998, Botany
Graduate Degree: Washington State University, 2005, PhD, Botany
Post Doctoral Work:
Mississippi State University, 2005-2006, Population Genetics; Portland State University, 2006-2007, Population Genetics
Biological Investigation; Introductory Biology for Majors (171, 172, 173); Summer field course (Geology/Biology); Molecular Ecology
I am deeply curious about patterns and processes that shape organismal diversity. I am interested in the evolution of morphological diversity in plants (e.g., plant architecture), historical biogeography and aspects of evolutionary ecology, such as habitat preferences, pollinator-mediated hybridization and introgression. My approaches have included developmental and comparative morphology, molecular systematics, population genetics and field pollination biology. My primary study system has been the small tribe Montieae (Portulacaceae), but additional systems have included Loasaceae and more recently Asclepias (Apocynaceae). With my research, I aim to synthesize evidence in a phylogenetic framework from diverse fields to understand plant species diversity.
Research opportunities for students are the central focus of my research agenda. I frame many of my research questions in "bite-sized" chunks, so that they are attractive and doable to students who may have limited time, but substantial interest. This approach produces project ideas that are perfect for student research because they can be accomplished as individualized units, but effectively contribute to my broader research objectives. However, providing projects from my own research are not the sole aim of my research agenda. I am equally motivated to mentor student-initiated independent projects. Students with an interest in plant systematics, population biology, biogeography or morphology are encouraged to contact me.
O'Quinn, R. and L. Hufford. 2005. Molecular Systematics of Montieae (Portulacaceae): Implications for taxonomy, biogeography and ecology. Systematic Botany. 30:314-331.
O'Quinn, R. and M. Fishbein. 2008. Isolation, characterization and cross-species amplification of polymorphic microsatellite loci in Asclepias (Apocynaceae). Conservation Genetics. In press, DOI 10.1007.
Eppley, S.M., O'Quinn, R., and A.L. Brown. 2009. New sequence-tagged site molecular markers for identification of sex in Distichlis spicata. Molecular Ecology Resources. 9:1373-1374.
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