Description: Trichomes are hyper-diverse plant structures that can influence defense against herbivores, seed dispersal, nutrient acquisition, and more. However, our knowledge of trichome evolution is fragmented and we know surprisingly little about the macroevolutionary drivers of trichome diversification, which limits our ability to recognize patterns across lineages and test adaptive hypotheses. My dissertation will address this gap by leveraging phylogenetic and experimental approaches to examine trichome evolution in Loasaceae, a family known for its extraordinarily complex hairs.
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