Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Barrett, Spencer C.H.
Location University of Toronto
Primary Field Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Election Citation
Barrett is an evolutionary biologist working on plant reproduction, sexual systems and invasion genetics.
 Research Interests
Spencer C.H. Barrett is an evolutionary biologist with research interests in the evolution of plant reproductive and genetic systems. His laboratory at Toronto uses a wide range of approaches and tools for solving problems in plant evolution including field experiments, comparative methods, theoretical models and genomics. His contributions have rejuvenated plant reproductive biology, making it one of the most active areas within ecology and evolutionary biology. He is the world's leading authority on the selective mechanisms driving evolutionary transitions in plant reproductive systems, particularly the evolution and breakdown of heterostyly. He has made key contributions to understanding the evolution of self-fertilization from outcrossing, the evolution of separate sexes (dioecy) from hermaphroditism and, more recently, the evolution of wind from animal pollination. He has made novel discoveries concerning floral adaptation and function, particularly how male mating costs associated with pollen transfer between flowers of a plant have shaped the evolution of many features of floral design and display. Spencer also helped to initiate the rapidly developing field of invasion genetics. Much of his current work is focused on sex chromosome evolution and the mechanisms causing biased sex ratios in plant populations.

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