Our research spans a wide range of topics in bioengineering, flowering genetics, plant conservation, systematics and evolution, involving undergraduate and graduate students as well as international collaborations. Our general research goal is to test systematic and evolutionary hypotheses in a phylogenetic context. We integrate information from DNA sequences, morphology, and fossils to reconstruct the phylogeny of plants and use the phylogeny as a basis to elucidate the biogeographic history (e.g., time and place of origin, time and routes of migration) and to understand the rate and pattern of molecular and morphological evolution. We apply molecular population genetics and phylogeographic methods to study evolutionary pattern and dynamics in rare and endangered species, in natural hybrid zones, and polyploid species. We have recently expanded our research to evolutonary developmental genetic study and use biotechnology and comparative genomic approach to understand the molecular and developmental basis of important morphological changes in plant reproductive structures.