January 2023
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Research update

Yesterday I finally finished determining the Geigeria vouchers for the DNA samples sequenced for my new research project! Geigeria of family Compositae is a small genus of some 20+ species, mostly in the deserts of southern Africa. In the next nine months or so, I will try to investigate the evolution of its pappus (modified calyx, aiding in the dispersal, and present on all members of Compositae, in one form or another), and perhaps also other structures like life form, presence/absence of spines, winged stems, etc. I also want to take a deeper look into the biogeography of the genus; its member are desert living and might tell something about the evolution of the deserts in that part of Africa over the last 5 million years or so. To my help I have sequences from six DNA markers from some 20 specimens. Today I aligned the sequences, and right now I’m running a phylogenetic analysis that will finish tomorrow. Then I will know if I need to sequence more representatives from the genus… The best would be if I have to go to Angola and Namibia and collect more material, but I don’t think there will be time for that…

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