Plant biodiversity of tropical Africa - An integrated approach for delimiting taxa of the African genus, Ledebouria (Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloidea)
Stedje/Bjorå research group
Master projects under this “umbrella” will be a part of a five year collaboration project between researchers at Natural History Museum and partner universities in Ethipoia, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The project started in 2017 and its main aim is to strengthen the education at all partner institutions by two-way mobility of students and researchers. Norwegian students will have the opportunity to go to partner institutions/countries to take do fieldwork, take courses and/or getting supervision from local co-supervisors. Several master projects are suggested by partners, all within the frame of plant biodiversity. They will most often have their foundation in plant systematics (phylogeny and evolution), but may also include aspects as biogeography, distribution modelling, ecology and ethnobotany (“plant use”). Nearly all projects include both own fieldwork and labwork (DNA methods). Some can be carried out without labwork. It is also possible to define projects based on already collected material where own fieldwork is not necessary. In addition to the projects outlined below we are open to discuss projects based on other plant groups and/or any special interest of the student.
This master project will be run in close collaboration with a PhD student who will be recruited before summer 2018.
The study group of the masters and the PhD is the mainly African genera, Ledebouria, Drimiopsis and Resnova (Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloidea), which is known for its intricate morphological and cytological variation which in preliminary studies show poor congruence with phylogenies based on DNA sequence data. A master project will be defined within the genus Ledebouria. New species, particularly from South Africa, are still described, and it is likely that more undescribed taxa exist. The overall aim of the project is to test if there are real conflict s in the datasets based on an extensive sampling of material and data and to use an integrative approach for untangling evolutionary relationships and produce well-funded systematic treatments for the group, and also try to understand present and past distribution of the biodiversity of the study group. Relevant methods include: DNA sequencing, chromosome studies, morphological studies and distribution modelling
Main supervisor: Brita Stedje, email@example.com (with collaborators)