• A. Jonathan Shaw

  • Professor
  • Duke Herbarium
  • Rm 139, Bio Phy Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
  • Campus Box 90338
  • Phone: (919) 660-7344
  • Fax: 919-660-7293
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    My research centers on the evolution and diversity of bryophytes. Current projects in the lab include molecular phylogenetic analyses of familial and ordinal level relationships in the arthrodontous mosses, studies of hybridization using molecular and morphological markers, and investigations of cryptic speciation within geographically widespread species. My own particular focus (as opposed to those of post-docs and graduate students in the lab) at present is the genus Sphagnum (peatmosses). Ongoing research is grounded in phylogenetic analyses at various levels of biological organization from populations up to genus-wide. We utilize DNA sequence data from the nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial genomes to infer historical processes of biodiversification. I have a special interest in the genetic structure of both rare and widespread species. Morphological and molecular information is being used to explore geographic patterns in phylogenetic diversity within the peatmosses. Of particular interest are biogeographic relationships between boreal, tropical, and Southern Hemisphere taxa, and between New and Old World taxa. Our data base presently includes nucleotide sequences from multiple loci representing some 500-600 accessions of peatmosses. Additional information about this ongoing work can be found here. The bryology laboratory is engaged in ongoing collaborative research projects with the New York Botanical Garden, the University of Connecticut, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the University of Alberta. Additional information about these projects can be found here. I serve as Curator of the Bryophyte Herbarium, which includes approximately 230,000 collections of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. The collections represent a central resource for bryological research at Duke, and we are actively integrating molecular investigations with field work and collections- based approaches.
  • Specialties

    • Bryophytes
  • Teaching

    • BIOLOGY 344S.01
      • PLANT DIVERSITY IN THE FIELD
      • Bio Sci 060
      • TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    • LS 760.24
      • SELECTED TOPICS
      • Bio Sci 130
      • W 06:15 PM-08:45 PM
  • Education

      • Ph.D.,
      • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor,
      • 1983
      • M.S.,
      • University of Alberta (Canada),
      • 1980
      • B.S.,
      • Cornell University,
      • 1977
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Richard Spruce Award,
      • International Association of Bryologiists,
      • December 2010
      • William Starling Sullivant Award,
      • American Bryological and Lichenological Society,
      • January 2000
  • Recent Publications

      • AJ Shaw, B Shaw, MG Johnson, N Devos, HK Stenøien, KI Flatberg and BE Carter.
      • (2015).
      • Phylogenetic structure and biogeography of the Pacific Rim clade ofsubgen.: haploid and allodiploid taxa.
      • Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
      • ,
      • 116
      • (2)
      • ,
      • 295-311.
      • [web]
      • DJ Weston, CM Timm, AP Walker, L Gu, W Muchero, J Schmutz, AJ Shaw, GA Tuskan, JM Warren and SD Wullschleger.
      • (2015).
      • Sphagnum physiology in the context of changing climate: emergent influences of genomics, modelling and host-microbiome interactions on understanding ecosystem function..
      • Plant, cell & environment
      • ,
      • 38
      • (9)
      • ,
      • 1737-1751.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      Peatlands harbour more than one-third of terrestrial carbon leading to the argument that the bryophytes, as major components of peatland ecosystems, store more organic carbon in soils than any other collective plant taxa. Plants of the genus Sphagnum are important components of peatland ecosystems and are potentially vulnerable to changing climatic conditions. However, the response of Sphagnum to rising temperatures, elevated CO2 and shifts in local hydrology have yet to be fully characterized. In this review, we examine Sphagnum biology and ecology and explore the role of this group of keystone species and its associated microbiome in carbon and nitrogen cycling using literature review and model simulations. Several issues are highlighted including the consequences of a variable environment on plant-microbiome interactions, uncertainty associated with CO2 diffusion resistances and the relationship between fixed N and that partitioned to the photosynthetic apparatus. We note that the Sphagnum fallax genome is currently being sequenced and outline potential applications of population-level genomics and corresponding plant photosynthesis and microbial metabolic modelling techniques. We highlight Sphagnum as a model organism to explore ecosystem response to a changing climate and to define the role that Sphagnum can play at the intersection of physiology, genetics and functional genomics.

      • J Patiño, M Carine, P Mardulyn, N Devos, RG Mateo, JM González-Mancebo, AJ Shaw and A Vanderpoorten.
      • (2015).
      • Approximate Bayesian Computation Reveals the Crucial Role of Oceanic Islands for the Assembly of Continental Biodiversity..
      • Systematic biology
      • ,
      • 64
      • (4)
      • ,
      • 579-589.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      The perceived low levels of genetic diversity, poor interspecific competitive and defensive ability, and loss of dispersal capacities of insular lineages have driven the view that oceanic islands are evolutionary dead ends. Focusing on the Atlantic bryophyte flora distributed across the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Western Europe, and northwestern Africa, we used an integrative approach with species distribution modeling and population genetic analyses based on approximate Bayesian computation to determine whether this view applies to organisms with inherent high dispersal capacities. Genetic diversity was found to be higher in island than in continental populations, contributing to mounting evidence that, contrary to theoretical expectations, island populations are not necessarily genetically depauperate. Patterns of genetic variation among island and continental populations consistently fitted those simulated under a scenario of de novo foundation of continental populations from insular ancestors better than those expected if islands would represent a sink or a refugium of continental biodiversity. We, suggest that the northeastern Atlantic archipelagos have played a key role as a stepping stone for transoceanic migrants. Our results challenge the traditional notion that oceanic islands are the end of the colonization road and illustrate the significant role of oceanic islands as reservoirs of novel biodiversity for the assembly of continental floras.

      • MG Johnson and AJ Shaw.
      • (2015).
      • Genetic diversity, sexual condition, and microhabitat preference determine mating patterns in(Sphagnaceae) peat-mosses.
      • Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
      • ,
      • 115
      • (1)
      • ,
      • 96-113.
      • [web]
      • AJ Shaw, B Shaw, HK Stenøien, GK Golinski, K Hassel and KI Flatberg.
      • (2015).
      • Pleistocene survival, regional genetic structure and interspecific gene flow among three northern peat-mosses:,and.
      • Journal of Biogeography
      • M Carine (Eds.),
      • ,
      • 42
      • (2)
      • ,
      • 364-376.
      • [web]
  • View All Publications
  • Postdoctoral Students

    • Benjamin Carter
      • 2013 - present
    • Boon-Chuan Ho
      • 2010 - 2012
    • Peter Slovenyi
      • 2007 - present
    • Nico Devos
      • November 15, 2007 - present
    • Lisa Karst
      • August 15, 2007 - present
    • Jing Yu
      • August, 2007 - present
    • Piers Majestyk
      • December 15, 2006 - present
    • Gisela Olivan
      • January 01, 2006 - December 15, 2006
    • Christine Davis
      • October 1, 2005 - present
    • Ping Zhou
      • Started in Fall, 2003
      • Thesis: Not determined
    • Alain Vanderpoorten
      • January 1, 2002 - October 1, 2003
  • PhD Students

    • Jessica Nelson
    • Arielle Garrett
      • August, 2012 - present
    • Matthew G Johnson
      • September, 2007 - present
    • Mariana Ricca
      • September, 2006 - present
    • Lisa Pokorny
      • September, 2006 - present
    • Ping Zhou
      • 2004 - present
    • Kim Ryall
      • 2004 - present
      • 2004 - present
    • Christine Davis
      • Status: PostPrelim
      • Thesis: Fungal endophytes of liverworts: diversity and phylos
A. Jonathan Shaw
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