Investigator:

Sarah Federman

Advisor: Michael Donoghue

Description:

I am interested in investigating the plant family Erythroxylaceae.  Erythroxylaceae is a pantropical family of ca. 250 plants most notable for Erythroxylum coca, the leaves of which are used to produce cocaine.  I believe that a better understanding of the current distributions and physiological tolerances of Erythroxylaceae will be important components in elucidating the evolutionary history of the family.  I am particularly interested in investigating how historical biogeography and ancestral habitat may have informed the evolutionary history of tropane alkaloids in Erythroxylaceae and its sister group Rhizophoraceae, the mangroves.