Brandie Quarles

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Student in Biology, 2017-Present

As a PhD student in the Donohue Lab ( ), I study plant phenology, population biology, plant demography, and plant evolutionary ecology in general. As habitat fragmentation and changing climatic conditions pose mounting threats to plant populations, it is important to learn more about the traits that may ensure survival of individual plants and the population-level effects of those traits, like dispersal. I currently have 2 field experiments set-up in the Duke Forest near the Duke Campus Farm aimed at addressing this issue. One of them is part of a larger global experiment called GrENE-net which aims to identify genetic loci associated with local adaptation across a native and introduced geographic range of Arabidopsis thaliana.  In addition to the main goal of the larger experiment, I have added on treatments that allow me to investigate the effects of spatial dispersal on local adaptation and whether or not certain traits have co-evolved with spatial dispersal in this species. The second experiment is aimed at identifying the effects of temporal dispersal (i.e. delayed germination) on local adaptation and plant population demography. 

Before coming to Duke, I went to the University of Virginia where I was part of an undergraduate research program called USOAR which connected me to Deborah Roach's lab. I was in that lab from 2014-2017 and my work ultimately culminated into an independent research thesis on plant aging in Plantago lanceolata . In addition, I pursued a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Mountain Lake Biological Station where I studied the relationship between polyploidy and self-incompatibility in Campanula rotundifolia

Education History:
Bachelor of Science, 2013-2017
Major Biology, Highest Distinction
Minor: African-American and African Studies
University of Virginia

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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