Darin S. Penneys Lab

Welcome to my lab website. I am an evolutionary biologist specializing in angiosperms.  My research interests include systematics, natural history, and evolution of angiosperms.  Current projects include higher-level phylogenetic studies of Melastomataceae, using a global, multi-locus, molecular phylogeny that will serve as a foundation for a revised familial classification and biogeographical analyses.  Additionally, I am conducting species-level phylogenetic investigations using molecular and morphological characters on several tribes, some of which I recently discovered.

I am especially interested in character evolution, particularly as pertains to plant-animal interactions and ecology.  The Melastomataceae have fascinating relationships with pollinators ranging from highly specialized bees, to hummingbirds, passerines, bats, and even rodents.  They also have mutualistic associations with ants and mites that live inside of domatia that are produced by the plants.