Genetic variation and spatial distribution of Castilleja species along the west coast of the United States.
Castilleja is a taxonomically tricky and morphologically variable plant genus in the western United States. The species in this genus have been known to naturally hybridize and have overlapping ranges yet are considered distinct from one another. We will be comparing the genetic variation within a population of Castilleja species and among populations of Castilleja species on the west coast of the United States. Gaining an understanding of the genetic variation and possible spatial processes that can affect genetic structure will help to tease apart the genetic distinctness of Castilleja species. There will be a possibility for field work along the west coast on west side of the mountain rage (CA, OR, and maybe WA) to collect leaf samples and morphological traits. Other work will involve extracting DNA and running microsatellite samples, and working with Arc GIS to map out Castilleja populations.