The Science Seminar Series: December 2, 2010
The Evolutionary History of the Macadamias and their Relatives
Dr. Austin Mast
Department of Biology
Florida State University
Student Union Theater
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
The Macadamia nut family (Proteaceae; ca. 1800 species in 80 genera) is widespread across the southern hemisphere on all major fragments of what was once the super-continent Gondwana, and it has played a central role in our historical interpretation of the interplay of continental drift and biotic evolution. I will weave together phylogenetic inferences, molecular age estimates, and fruit evolution reconstructions from my lab to propose new interpretations of the role that continental drift played in generating biogeographic patterns and ecological diversity in the southern hemisphere. I will also discuss unexpected discoveries related to the evolutionary history of macadamia nuts, in particular.