2016 Lucy Cranwell Lecture
Integrative systematic research of New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots
Heidi M Meudt, Research Scientist at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Heidi Meudt’s research focuses on the evolution and classification of native New Zealand flowering plants. She uses morphology, DNA and other data to understand evolutionary patterns and update the taxonomy of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and foxgloves (Ourisia spp.).
In this talk, Heidi will give a brief overview of integrative systematics, in which multiple sources of data are used to identify evolutionarily distinct lineages, and why this science is important in New Zealand. In the main part of her talk, she will discuss previous and current integrative systematics research on native New Zealand forget-me-nots (Myosotis, Boraginaceae).
Myosotis comprises over 40 described native NZ species, the majority of which are listed on the New Zealand Threat Classification System as Threatened or At Risk. There are also up to two dozen tag-named potential species, which together with the described species, require further investigation regarding species boundaries and circumscription. By presenting a combination of field photos as well as statistical analyses of different data sets, she will show how using an integrative systematics approach of analysing morphological, molecular, pollen and other data sets can aid species delimitation and new species discovery in native Myosotis, and allow taxonomic and conservation inferences. Her talk will give a sneak peek into the most up to date (and unpublished) results, including some possible new forget-me-not species.
Heidi is originally from Wisconsin (USA). She graduated with a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004, and came to New Zealand shortly after to do a postdoc with Peter Lockhart (Massey University). She has been a research scientist in Botany at Te Papa since 2006. Between 2012-2014 she was an Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellow at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, working in Dirk Albach’s lab.