Tropical Ginger
Specht in Greenhouse with Students


Welcome to the Specht Lab!

Tropical Ginger

The Specht Lab focuses on studies in Plant form and function. 
We use traditional morphological and developmental techniques combined with molecular genetics, comparative genomics and evolutionary biology to study the natural diversity of plants and to help better understand the forces creating and sustaining this diversity.  Our research incorporates elements of systematics, developmental genetics and molecular evolution to study the patterns and processes associated with plant speciation and diversification.  We are part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums (including the UC/Jepson Herbaria and the UC Botanical Garden) and take advantage of living and preserved collections to advance our research in plant systematics, biogeography, and developmental evolution.

Funding for Research on Zingiberales

Funding for research on Zingiberales now available from the Heliconia Society International

Spiraling into History!

Former undergrad Shayla Salzman publishes the culmination of 10 years of Specht Lab research, investigating the phylogeny and evolution of pollination syndrome across neotropical Costus.

Specht Lab members attend XI Latin America Congress of Botany

Alma Pineyro-Nelson, Roxana Yockteng and Ana Almeida pose with Natalia Pabon-Mora in Bahia Brazil. All four attended the XI Latin American Congress of Botany in Salvador, Bahia.

Former undergraduate Shayla Salzman visits Montgomery Botanical Center

Shayla, currently a PhD student at Harvard University, is pictured here with fellow plant morphologists and cycad experts Dr. Barry Tomlinson and Dr. Dennis Stevenson.

Ana's Polarity Paper Published in Scientific Reports!

Ana Almeida's dissertation research uncovered the role of the gene regulatory network involved in organ polarity in defining the evolution of stamen morphology across angiosperms. This work was published in collaboration then fellow graduate student James Schnable and PMB professor Mike Freeling in addition to Miller Visiting Professor Elena Alvarez-Buylla.

Welcome Fall 2014

Summer isn't over, its finally here!!

Dr. Tanya Renner -- new Assistant Professor at San Diego State University

Former lab member Tanya Renner (PhD in Plant Biology 2012) has accepted a tenure-track position at San Diego State University starting Fall 2015. Tanya will be joining a world renowned biology department with a strong focus on evolutionary biology. Congratulations, Tanya!!

Nisrine and Gracie awarded a 2014 Heckard fund grant

Postdoc Nisrine Machaka-Houri and graduate student Gracie Benson-Martin received a 2014 Heckard Endowment Fund Award to work on species delimitation and population genetics in Calochortus venustus. Congratulations!!

Specht Lab Graduates 2014

Congratulations to Kat Yu, Grady Pierroz and Cameron Musser, our 2014 UC Berkeley Graduates!!

Kat presents Honor's Thesis Research at CalDay 2014

Undergraduate IB major Katharine Yu, 4 year veteran of the Specht Lab, presented her Honors Thesis research at Cal Day 2014.


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