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Plant Evolution
Simon Malcomber, Ph.D.

Department of Biological Sciences

California State University - Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Blvd

Long Beach, CA 90840

Phone: 562-985-4814

Fax: 562-985-8878


Office: MLSC 202

Lab: MLSC 211


My students and I use a variety of evolutionary, molecular, morphological and developmental techniques to investigate (1) how plants are related to one another (systematics) and (2) the developmental and genetic changes that cause plants to look different from one another (Evolutionary Developmental Genetics).

Most of our research is focused on the grass family (Poaceae, including the cereal crops barley, corn, oats, rice, sorghum, tef, and wheat) and immediate grass relatives such as Ecdeiocoleaceae, Joinvilleaceae, Flagellariaceae, Anarthriaceae, Centrolepidaceae and Restionaceae.

We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms regulating the way flowers appear (floral morphology) and how flowers are arranged upon a plant (inflorescence morphology). These characters are used extensively in taxonomic keys to identify the different species and have also been under intense selection during the domestication of the different cereal to improve crop yield.

last modified: May 2008