David S. Barrington

The Barrington Group at the University of Vermont is a community of scholars and students working together on an array of inquiries into the diversity and evolution of spore-dispersed plants, especially ferns and clubmosses. Our current fascination is with the biogeography and diversification rates of these plants and the ecological and geological variables that determine these patterns. We have for many years been exploring the origins of diversity via hybridization and polyploidy as well as through primary divergence.

Dave has directed the Pringle Herbarium since 1974. Prior to coming to the University of Vermont, he studied plant systematics and evolution at Bates College and Harvard University. His current research focuses on the geographic diversity and evolution of ferns in tropical America and Asia.


Testo, W., E. Sessa, and D. Barrington. The rise of the Andes promoted rapid diversification in Neotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae). New Phytologist. Accepted for publication.

Patel, N.R., C.X. Li, L. B. Zhang, and D. Barrington. 2018. Biodiversity and apomixis: insights from the East-Asian holly ferns in Polystichum section Xiphopolystichum. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 127: 345–355.

Testo, W., A. Field, and D. Barrington. 2018. Overcoming among-lineage rate heterogeneity to infer the divergence times and biogeography of the clubmoss family Lycopodiaceae. Journal of Biogeography 2018: 1–13.

Dave Barrington

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Plant Systematics and Evolution


  • Ph.D. Harvard


  • 802-656-0431
Office Location:

310 Jeffords Hall

Office Hours:

By appointment

Courses Taught

PBIO  241  Tropical Plant Systematics
PBIO  209  Biology of Ferns