For both her Master's and Ph.D. Julie Dragon focused her research on members of the large and complex genus Carex L. in the Cyperaceae. For her Master's, Julie used nuclear markers to identify a monophyletic group within the largest section of Carex (section Phacocystis) that includes Carex aquatilis and Carex lenticularis and their allies. Her goals in the doctoral research were to 1) reevaluate the phylogenetic history of the Carex aquatilis-lenticularis group with more taxa and chloroplast markers included in the analyses; 2) identify the sister to the group; 3) revise the circumscription of at both the species and varietal levels; and 4) infer their biogeographic history. Her work provided insight into the speciation of a diverse group within a notoriously complex genus and a better understanding of the evolutionary history of one of the most variable and widespread sedges, C.aquatilis.

sedge tussock

Julie is currently funded on an National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, working with Marcia Waterway at McGill University.    Julie remains informally connected to our lab group, especially as she shares our interest in developing AFLPs as a dataset for population-level inquiries.  She can be reached at Julie.Dragon@uvm.edu.

Julie with her plants on the shores of James Bay. A member of the Carex acuta group from northern Europe