I am a PhD candidate in Biology at the University of Virginia interested in the early stages of speciation. Secondary contact between lineages of incipient species can be important in speciation because it can either purge alleles causing incompatibility, leading to collapse back into a single species, or allow reinforcement to accelerate the process of speciation. The American Bellflower (Campanula americana) is divided into reproductively isolated lineages that are in secondary contact in several places in nature. Catherine uses a combination of population genetics, greenhouse, and field studies to explore the dynamics of secondary contact zones and the factors that influence them.
University of Virginia
Department of Biology