Marc will be discussing variation in morphology and other characters, geographic isolation, polyploidy, and apogamy; and how these affect evolution and taxonomy of cacti. Marc will present examples of studies in various North American and some South American cacti.
I first began studying cacti at an academic level for my Ph.D. with Dr. Pinkava at ASU who brought to my attention problems in chollas centering on apogamy, hybridization, and polyploidy. I used various methods in an attempt to answer questions and test hypotheses with the most successful centering on cytogenetics and multivariate analysis of morphological characters. Since then, I have used these methods, along with classical taxonomic techniques to pursue problematic taxa in Opuntia, Cylindropuntia, Coryphantha, Echinocereus, and other genera.
Just a note from the program director. Tom Van Devender brought to my attention the need to have Marc Baker as a guest speaker because of his extensive knowledge of the Opuntia, Cylindropuntia and many other cacti genera. This should be a program you must not miss! Please join us for a great evening and bring a friend for an excellent program and so much more.