University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
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Richard P. Wunderlin
Office: LIF 270, 271
Email: rwunder (at) usf.edu
Ph.D., St. Louis University, 1973.
Systematics of Cucurbitaceae, Systematics and evolution of Bauhinia (Leguminosae), Flora of Florida.
The focus of my research is the systematics and evolution of vascular plants with emphasis on tropical and subtropical species of the legume genus Bauhinia, the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), and the flora of Florida. The pantropical genus Bauhinia, consisting of approximately 300 species, is of considerable interest because of its diverse morphology, pollination biology, and ecology. To understand this genus, current research involves herbarium, field, and laboratory studies in a variety of subdisciplines such as palynology, morphology, molecular systematics, cladistic analysis, pollination biology, phytogeography, and ecology. Systematic studies are being conducted in collaboration with workers in the United States, Europe, and South America to develop a taxonomic base for the group. The Cucurbitaceae, a predominantly tropical family of approximately 90 genera and 700 species, is of economical and evolutionary significance. My work currently centers around floristic treatments in tropical America and systematic studies of the primitive subfamily Zanonioideae. My ongoing research on the flora of Florida (over 4,100 species) includes preparation of a comprehensive eight volume flora, an online distribution atlas and nomenclature database (http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu), and a synoptic identification guide.