Research

research staff

Research

FACULTY

LUCINDA A. MCDADE, PHD
Professor and Chair of the Botany Department, Claremont Graduate University
Judith B. Friend Director of Research, California Botanic Garden
Professor McDade arrived at CalBG (then RSABG) in Fall 2006 as chair of the CGU Botany Department and Director of Research. She earned her Ph.D. from Duke University and has held previous appointments in academia (University of Arizona, 1992-2000), natural history museums (the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 2001-2006) and in science administration (the Organization for Tropical Studies, 1985-1992). McDade's research focuses on the large (>4000 species) plant family Acanthaceae, on the role of hybridization in plant evolutionary history and in phylogeny reconstruction and on plant reproductive biology.
J. TRAVIS COLUMBUS, PHD
Professor of Botany, CGU | Research Scientist, CalBG
Professor Columbus joined the Garden staff and CGU faculty in 1994. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. His focus is the systematics of the grass family (Gramineae or Poaceae), especially subfamily Chloridoideae, comprising some 1,400 species worldwide. In addition to fieldwork, he employs morphological, anatomical, cytological, developmental, and molecular data to discover the phylogenetic relationships among species, describe new genera and species, improve the classification, and gain insights into processes of diversification and biogeography.
J. MARK PORTER, PHD
Associate Professor of Botany, CGU | Research Scientist, CalBG
Arriving at the Garden in 1993 after completing his doctorate at the University of Arizona, Professor Porter's general research interests are the theory and applications of phylogenetic systematics. Porter is best known for his molecular systematic studies in the families Polemoniaceae and Cactaceae. He is especially interested in the contributions of phylogenetic information for the conservation of biotic diversity.
NAOMI FRAGA, PHD
Research Assistant Professor of Botany, CGU | Director of Conservation Programs, CalBG
Beginning her work at the Garden in 2001, Dr. Fraga has taken on various roles; currently she serves as Director of Conservation Programs. Fraga earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from Claremont Graduate University and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.  Her research focuses on systematics of the species formerly treated in the genus Mimulus (Phrymaceae) and commonly known as monkeyflowers, floristics of California, conservation of rare species, and pollination biology.
CARRIE KIEL, PHD
Research Assistant Professor of Botany, CGU | Postdoctoral Fellow, CalBG
Dr. Kiel earned her doctoral degree from Claremont Graduate University and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in 2016. Her research focuses on floral trait evolution, systematics, plant-pollinator interactions and conservation of the genus Justicia (Acanthaceae) using phylogenomic and comparative methods.