Proposed Symposium Title: SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION OF EUPHORBIACEAE
Abstract: With nearly 230 genera and 5700 species, Euphorbiaceae are a large, morphologically and biochemically diverse, mainly pantropical family whose ancient origins (ca 90 mya) create challenges for reconstructing deep phylogenetic relationships. Their morphological character evolution, biogeography, and ecological interactions are complex despite possessing typically small, simple flowers. Much of our current understanding of systematics in the family dates to the seminal work of Grady Webster 30+ years ago, but many problems remain as current circumscriptions of subfamilies, and many tribes and genera are controversial or uncertain despite molecular data for nearly all genera. The tools of (phylo)genomics are starting to address these topics and have put us within reach of a resolved deep phylogeny and an overdue new classification system. This symposium brings forward diverse research on the systematics and evolution of Euphorbiaceae, with new insights on biogeography, development, character evolution, modes of diversification, and classification.
Speaker 1: Kenneth J. Wurdack
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013-7012, USA
Tentative talk title: Evolutionary relationships in Euphorbiaceae: Implications for classification and understanding character evolution
Speaker 2: Pakkapol Thaowetsuwan
Sanam Chandra Palace Campus, Silpakorn University, Thailand
Tentative talk title: Inflorescence and floral morphology in tribe Crotoneae: Implications for the systematics and evolution of Crotonoideae (Euphorbiaceae)
Speaker 3: Ricarda Riina
Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Plaza de Murillo 2, Madrid 28014, Spain
Tentative talk title: Understanding the “Odd Man Out”: Biodiversity patterns in African Euphorbiaceae
Topics (Up to three): Systematics
Topic 2: Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics
Topic 3: Biogeography / Phylogeography
Justification: Euphorbiaceae were last considered at IBC 1999 and 2005 (Euphorbia was a focus in 2011) when phylogenetic work in the family was nascent relative to other similarly large groups. This symposium presents a capstone opportunity for several leading experts and a chance to highlight a new generation of students. The symposium will at least cover Topics 3, 22, and 31, and the three listed speakers span gender, career stage, and world geography. We have interest from other potential speakers that further broaden diversity and topic.