Brad R. Ruhfel



My main interests are in plant systematics, biogeography, and evolution. I am also interested in floristics and herbarium curation. My research combines fieldwork, herbarium work, and molecular study.

Currently I am focused on large scale plastid phylogenetics using next-generation sequence data. I am also working to further resolve the phylogeny of the clusioid clade (Malpighiales). The clusioids consist of five families (Bonnetiaceae, Calophyllaceae, Clusiaceae, Hypericaceae, and Podostemaceae) and have both tropical and temperate representatives. Examples of plants included in this group are the St. Johns worts; the tropical fruits, the mangosteen and the mammey apple; and the river-weeds. It is my hope that by resolving relationships within this clade, we can begin to understand the systematics, biogeography, and character evolution within this fascinating group of plants.

Connecting Students to Citizen Science and Curated Collections

Check out our project designed to help students learn about plant systematics and collecting in the context of our information-rich digital age. Students connect physical plant specimens to citizen science observations and online herbarium databases. They also explore how making these connections helps contribute to our understanding of global biodiversity. The project webpage is *here*.


Search the EKU Herbarium via the SERNEC portal *here*.