Charlotte C. Germain-Aubrey

PhD candidate

Department of Biology

University of Florida


I am currently a postdoctoral associate for Dr. Gordon Burleigh at the University of Florida. I am working on the Florida phylogeny project, looking at phylogenetic signal in the community composition throughout the state, and enquiring on past distribution shifts to predict the impact of urbanization and global climate change on these communities.

I just graduate with my PhD from the Soltis lab where I studied phylogeography and conservation genetics of rare endemic plants to the central Florida scrub under the joined supervision of Dr. Pamela Soltis and Dr. Matthew Gitzendanner at UF.

Florida Museum of Natural History -Carr Hall - POBox 118525 - Gainesville, Fl 32611

Tel: (352) 318-1459  -  Fax: (352) 846-2154  -  Email: cgermain  *at*

I am interested in processes, both past and present, that have shaped and are shaping populations, communities and ecosystems. At the population level, mechanisms such as drift, bottlenecks and gene dispersal (pollen and seeds) can influence not only a particular population, but flow between populations of a specific species. At the community level, common patterns of flow between populations of different species, both plants and animals can inform us the environmental changes that have led to the formation of a particular community, and the influence of present forces, especially anthropogenic disturbances, on any particular species, but also on the processes that govern a community. Finally, at the ecosystem or landscape level, different phylogeography tools, such as comparative phylogenetics can be use to statisticall test a priory hypotheses on the historical forces that have shaped a particular region.

The combined use of targeted regions and microsatellites have been most useful to deal with these questions, and the new technologies of Next Generation Sequencing are opening new doors at to the quantity and informativeness of the data that is now available to answer questions of this nature. Analytical tools such as Bayesian statistics (both in phylogenetics and population genetics), species distribution modeling and scripting can offer powerful combinations to depict past and present forces influencing the biology and assemblage of threatened species and systems.