The Plant Evolutionary Ecology laboratory

Research field: The Plant Evolutionary Ecology laboratory studies the interface between genetic and ecology to understand plant evolution. We use ecological, genomics and functional genetic approaches to gain insights into the evolutionary mechanisms governing plant adaptations. We are studying the role of climatic conditions and pollinators in ecological speciation, and plants adaptation to climate change.

Specific Research interests/topics: 
• Evolution of floral traits 
• The molecular basis of floral traits
• Conservation ecology
• Phylogeography, speciation and taxonomy

Research methods: 
Ecological experiments in greenhouse and natural environments; Flower traits measurements, including morphometry, colour reflectance, flower thermodynamics, and image analysis. Measurements of plants fitness and natural selection in the wild; DNA and RNA extraction and qPCR for molecular analyses. Population genetics and Phylogeography.

Main projects in the lab include:
1. Evolution of flower colour and size in the Royal Irises
2. Flower colour polymorphism in anemone along environmental gradients
3. The molecular basis of flower colour polymorphism in anemone
4. Estimating the potential niche of endangered plants for reintroduction

Lab Facilities and capabilities:
The Plant Evolutionary Ecology lab has the capabilities for nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) extractions and for molecular analysis of genes and their expression.
We have the facilities to conduct ecological experiments in controlled environments (greenhouse), as well as in the field. For example, growing plants under different water treatments.

Available Research Services:
1. Ecological experimental design and execution.
2. 3-d printing.
3. Field botany.
4. Nucleic acids facilities.

Potential industries:

1. Conservation agencies.
2. Ornamental flowers industry.
3. Landscape designers

Website: https://labsapir.wixsite.com/l…

Contact Details: sapiry@tauex.tau.ac.il