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The mint family (Lamiaceae) is among the most diverse and economically important families of flowering plants, with many species used in traditional medicines or serving as important sources of timber, culinary herbs and spices, and essential oils. The extreme morphological complexity of the Lamiaceae, combined with the large number of species spanning diverse habitats across the globe, presents many taxonomic problems; it is often difficult to distinguish closely related genera and species. Resolving these taxonomic problems is a priority, but it currently presents many scientific challenges.

My research combines field botany with recent advances in computational biology and molecular genetics, and uses Lamiaceae as a case study to evaluate new, cross-disciplinary approaches for resolving difficult phylogenetic problems. The results of my study will contribute insights into the evolutionary history and biogeography of New World mint groups, especially Poliomintha, Hedeoma, and allied species, and provide an essential framework for a much needed taxonomic revision.


©2013 Grant Godden, University of Florida
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