Charles Davis

Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Curator of Vascular Plants in the Harvard University Herbaria
Co-Director, Harvard University Herbaria

Phone: 617-496-0515
E-mail:
Office: HUH, 22 Divinity Ave

Lab Website: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~ccdavis/index.html


Our research on plant diversity integrates the disciplines of systematics, paleobiology, evolution, ecology, and molecular biology. One major theme that unites these disciplines is phylogenetic theory, which we apply to reconstruct the history of plant diversity through evolutionary time. Biogeography, biome evolution, plant-insect interactions, and horizontal gene transfer are some of the focal points of our work in this area. Our recent projects have sought to understand the origins of intercontinental disjunctions, the age of modern tropical rain forest, the maintenance of morphological stasis in the tree of life, and mechanisms for horizontal gene transfer. This research combines fieldwork with specimen-based studies in the herbarium and molecular approaches in the lab. Broader interests of our lab also include monographic and floristic study.


Recent Publications


Xi, Z., B. R. Ruhfel, H. Schaefer, A. M. Amorim, M. Sugumaran, K. J. Wurdack, P. K. Endress, M. L. Matthews, P. F. Stevens,S. Mathews*, and C. C. Davis*. 2012. Phylogenomics and a posteriori data partitioning resolve the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation Malpighiales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109: 17519-17524.

Xi, Z., R. K. Bradley, K. J. Wurdack, K.-M. Wong, M. Sugumaran, K. Bomblies, J. S. Rest*, and C. C. Davis*. 2012. Horizontal transfer of expressed genes in a parasitic flowering plant. BMC Genomics 13: 227.

Zhang, W., E. M. Kramer, and C. C. Davis. 2012. Similar genetic mechanisms underlie the parallel evolution of floral phenotypes. PLoS ONE 7: e36033.

Zhang, W., E. M. Kramer, and C. C. Davis*. 2010. Floral symmetry genes and the origin and maintenance of zygomorphy in a plant-pollinator mutualism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107:6388-6393. [cover]

Davis, C.C., C.G. Willis, R.B. Primack, and A.J. Miller-Rushing. 2010. The relevance of phylogeny to the study of phenological response to climate change. Invited symposium paper. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 365: 32013213.

Willis, C. G., B. Ruhfel, R. B. Primack, A. J. Miller-Rushing, and C. C. Davis. 2008. Phylogenetic patterns of species loss in Thoreau's woods are driven by climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105: 17029-17033.

Davis, C. C., M. Latvis, D. L. Nickrent, K. J. Wurdack, and D. A. Baum. 2007. Floral gigantism in Rafflesiaceae. Science 315: 1812.

Willis, C. G., B. Ruhfel, R. B. Primack, A. J. Miller-Rushing, and C. C. Davis. 2008. Phylogenetic patterns of species loss in Thoreau's woods are driven by climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105: 17029-17033.

Davis, C. C., M. Latvis, D. L. Nickrent, K. J. Wurdack, and D. A. Baum. 2007. Floral gigantism in Rafflesiaceae. Science 315: 1812.

Qiu, Y.-L., L. Li, B. Wang, Z. Chen, V. Knoop, M. Groth-Malonek, O. Dombrovska, J. Lee, L. Kent, J. Rest, G. F. Estabrook, T. A. Hendry, D. W. Taylor, C. M. Testa, M. Ambros, B. Crandall-Stotler, R. J. Duff, M. Stech, W. Frey, D. Quandt, and C. C. Davis. 2006. The deepest divergences in land plants inferred from phylogenomic evidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103: 15511-15516.

Davis, C. C., C. O. Webb, K. J. Wurdack, C. A. Jaramillo, and M. J. Donoghue. 2005. Explosive radiation of Malpighiales supports a mid-Cretaceous origin of modern tropical rain forests. American Naturalist 165: E36-E65.

Davis, C. C., and K. J. Wurdack. 2004. Host-to-parasite gene transfer in flowering plants: phylogenetic evidence from Malpighiales. Science 305: 676-678.

Davis, C. C., C. D. Bell, S. Mathews, and M. J. Donoghue. 2002. Laurasian migration explains Gondwanan disjunctions: evidence from Malpighiaceae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 10: 6833-6837.

Davis, C. C. 2002. Madagasikaria (Malpighiaceae): a new genus from Madagascar with implications for floral evolution in Malpighiaceae. American Journal of Botany 89: 699-706

See complete publications list.


Courses Taught


OEB 59 (formerly OEB 104) Plants and Human Affairs

OEB 103 Plant Systematics and Evolution

EEB 556 Field Botany of Northern Michigan

 

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