Nisrine and Gracie awarded a 2014 Heckard fund grant

Nisrine Machaka-Houri is a postdoc from Lebanon who joined the Specht lab in September, 2013.  Gracie graduated UCB with a degree in Genetics and Plant Biology (2013) and began pursuing a graduate degree in the Specht lab in fall 2013.  They have joined their efforts to work on the “Species Delimitation and Population Genetics in Calochortus venustus” project.  This study will set the framework for future work in Calochortus systematics and evolution. By focusing on this most variable species in C. venustus and its close relatives, we will gain valuable insight into the patterns and processes affecting the evolution of this group as a whole.  The project includes prediction maps based on suitability analysis, sample collection; population genetic analysis, and phylogenetics.  The project will also enrich the Jepson Herbarium with samples of this genus.  Nisrine and Gracie have been spending the late spring and early summer travelling around California, collecting Calochortus from some of the most beautiful places on earth!!