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Boston, MA 02131


Elizabeth Spriggs

Visiting Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

I am interested in the phylogeography and recent evolution of North American plants. As a Putnam fellow, I will focus on the chestnuts and ashes (Castanea and Fraxinus) – iconic, but severely threatened, North American trees. I will use genomics approaches to examine the genetic diversity and population structure of these species in relation to the spread of invasive herbivores and pathogens. I anticipate that this project will lead to new insight into the history of these species and will inform future conservation strategies.


  • Spriggs EL, Schmerler SB, Edwards EJ, Donoghue MJ. In press. Leaf form evolution in Viburnum paralleles variation within individual plants. The American Naturalist.
  • Eaton DAR, Spriggs EL, Park B, Donoghue MJ. (2017) Misconceptions on missing data in RAD-seq phylogenetics with a deep-scale example from flowering plants. Systematic Biology 66(3) 399-412.
  • Edwards EJ, Spriggs EL, Chatelet DS, Donoghue MJ. (2016) Unpacking a century-old mystery: winter buds and the latitudinal gradient in leaf form. American Journal of Botany 103(6): 975-978.
  • Spriggs EL, Clement WL, Sweeney PW, Madriñán S, Edwards EJ, Donoghue MJ. (2015) Temperate radiations and dying embers of a tropical past: the diversification of Viburnum. New Phytologist 207(2): 340-354.
  • Spriggs EL, Christin PA, Edwards EJ. 2014. C4 Photosynthesis promoted species diversification during the Miocene grassland expansion. Plos ONE 9(5): e97722.
  • Christin PA, Spriggs EL, Osborne CP, Strömberg CAE, Salamin N, Edwards EJ. (2014) Molecular dating, evolutionary rates, and the age of the grasses. Systematic Biology 63(2) 153-165.


Yale University
Yale University
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