• Clarkia unguiculata
    Clarkia unguiculata

Floral Variation in Clarkia unguiculata

In her dissertation work on ontogenetic and quantitative genetic variation in floral pigments and flower size within and among wild populations of Clarkia unguiculata, PhD student Kristen Peach is seeking evidence for the functional significance of variation in floral phenotype.  She is investigating the effects on pollen receipt (due to the activities of pollinators) of floral pigmentation in the ultraviolet and in the visible portions of the light spectrum.  In addition, she is investigating whether UV-absorption by buds or petals protects developing pollen from the potentially damaging effects of UV radiation.

Researchers

Kristen Peach

Kristen Peach

In my thesis research I am exploring the genetic basis and ecological function of floral traits, specifically those involved in pollinator attraction and plant defense. I am examining sources of variation in floral pigment and pattern in Clarkia unguiculata and beginning to identify the effects of this variation on fitness in the field.