TAXONOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETIC STUDIES ON BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST LICHENS

We have studied the taxonomy of tropical lichens since the 1970’s. One genus, Phyllopsora, is common on tree trunks in primary rainforest throughout the tropics, and we have given it much attention using classical methods (morphology, anatomy, chemistry). But still we often encounter specimens which are not easily placed in any of the ca. 70 accepted species. Our preliminary molecular studies have shown that many unrecognized species exist and that the genus consists of at least four unrelated linages. Currently, we are building a molecular phylogeny of the entire genus and related taxa (i.e. the family Ramalinaceae) in cooperation with researchers at Trondheim and Uppsala. We are also planning a PhD project on rainforest lichen biodiversity in Brazil in cooperation with the Goeldi Museum in Belém (Pará) and scientists in Aracaju (Sergipe).

Picture by Einar Timdal: Phyllopsora glaucescens, an Amazonian rainforest lichen which is currently misplaced in the family; there is apparently no genus for it in the Ramalinaceae.

Project: The master project will be a part of the Ramalinaceae phylogeny project, and will focus on the phylogeny and species circumscription within one of the four Phyllopsora linages we currently recognize. About three weeks field work will be conducted in Brazil in cooperation with the planned PhD project and the details of the master project will depend on the material collected. During this master, you will be trained in molecular phylogenetics and taxonomy.

Material and methods: The project will be based on material collected from Pará in March 2014, older (2000-2013) material from various tropical areas deposited in the herbarium at NHM or borrowed from other institutions, and the material collected by you during fieldwork in Brazil. The material will be studied by light microscopy, thin-layer chromatography, and molecular methods (both data production and phylogenetic analysis).

Main supervisor:

Einar Timdal, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

einar.timdal@nhm.uio.no

Tel. 22851620 or 41441356

 

Associate supervisor:

Mika Bendiksby, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim

 

Picture by Einar Timdal: Phyllopsora glaucescens, an Amazonian rainforest lichen which is currently misplaced in the family; there is apparently no genus for it in the Ramalinaceae.

 

Publisert 12. apr. 2018 07:32 - Sist endret 12. apr. 2018 07:32

Omfang (studiepoeng)

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