Mating System Evolution in Clarkia
The major goals of this work are to evaluate the factors that influence the evolution of self-fertilization within and among Clarkia species. In Clarkia, self-fertilization (autogamy) has evolved independently at least 12 times in the genus. This provides the opportunity to examine multiple pairs of sister taxa — each comprised of one predominantly outcrossing and one predominantly self-fertilizing species or subspecies — when evaluating whether the same factors appear to promote the evolution of self-fertilization in each sister pair. Recently, we have been interested in determining whether natural selection favors relatively short life cycles and rapid development under compressed growing seasons, resulting in correlated (indirect) selection on floral traits that also promote self-fertilization.