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Welcome to the Stacy Lab at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. We use a combination of field, greenhouse, and lab (molecular and microscopy) techniques to study plant evolution, with a particular focus on speciation in trees. Our studies examine population divergence and reproductive isolation within Hawaiian plant groups, especially within the landscape-dominant tree genus Metrosideros (’Ohi’a). Current projects in the lab include:

  • Phylo- and functional genomics of diversification within Metrosideros
  • Ecological divergence among Metrosideros taxa
  • Strengths and stages of reproductive barriers within Metrosideros
  • Patterns of phenotypic diversification of Cyrtandra and Clermontia across islands

Lab News

May 2024:

Congratulations to April for winning a Graduate Student Research Award from the Botanical Society of America!  Proposal: The role of the shikimate pathway in intrinsic postzygotic isolation between sympatric varieties of Hawaiian Metrosideros, an ongoing adaptive radiation.

April 2024:

Maryam and Hossein were again awarded Summer Doctoral Research Fellowships from UNLV’s Graduate College. Congratulations to you both!

January 2024:

Congratulations to Tomoko for successfully defending her dissertation on plant-plant communication in the successional varieties of Metrosideros polymorpha!

October 2023:

Congratulations to Elizabeth for being appointed to the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Botany!

July 2023:

Hossein’s research is highlighted in the AGA Blog! You can read it here.

April 2023:

Congratulations to Maryam on the publication of her first paper! This protocol on RNA extraction from diverse leaves of Metrosideros will be essential for future projects.

Maryam and Hossein were each awarded a Summer Doctoral Research Fellowship from UNLV’s Graduate College. Congratulations to you both!

Elizabeth just returned from Tvarminne Zoological Field Station in Finland where she convened with 39 other speciation biologists at a four-day workshop on Integrating Speciation Research, sponsored by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

March 2023:

Congratulations to Hossein for winning an EECG Award from the American Genetic Association for his population genomic analysis of disease-resistance gene diversity across the Metrosideros adaptive radiation!

August 2022:

Welcome new graduate student, April Wallace, to the lab!

June 2022:

Collaborator, Jae Young Choi, presented an invited talk on our study of ancestral polymorphisms in Hawaiian Metrosideros in the American Society of Naturalists’ Vice Presidential Symposium: Re-viewing adaptive genetic variation. Joint Meeting of the ASN & SSE, Cleveland.

Congratulations to Hossein for winning a Graduate Student Research Award from the Botanical Society of America!  Proposal: The role of immune system incompatibilities in the evolution of isolating barriers within an ongoing adaptive radiation.

Congratulations to Maryam for presenting the first insights into WRKY gene family diversity and evolution in Hawaiian Metrosideros at the Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics Conference, Genetics Society of America, Pacific Grove, California.

Congratulations to Rosalie for winning another Summer Research Award from UNLV’s Office of Undergraduate Research!

May 2022:

We’re funded!  Thank you to the NSF for supporting our research on The Genetic Basis of Local Adaptation Across an Island Adaptive Radiation.

Elizabeth presented an invited talk on patterns of reproductive isolation within Hawaiian Metrosideros in the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany Seminar Series, University of Zurich.

February 2022:

Welcome to our new Greenhouse/Garden Manager, Kassandra!  And best wishes to Morgan in her next adventures.  Thanks for a job (very) well done!

Congratulations to Sarem for being accepted to the graduate program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Idaho!  Good luck, Sarem!

View of Waianae ridges from Mt. Ka`ala (O`ahu)

Read or hear about our research here…

Prospective Students: If you would like to join our group to study plant ecology and evolution (at either the undergraduate or graduate level), please send me an email!

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Stacy (she/her/hers)
School of Life Sciences
Office: WHI 213, Lab: WHI 252
University of Nevada Las Vegas
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Office: 702-895-4461
Lab: 702-895-1190
Mail Stop: 4004