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Mac Alford

Dr. Mac Alford



Plant systematics and floristics are the two major areas of my research. In systematics, my research focuses on the tropical relatives of willows, poplars, and cottonwoods (Salicaceae, Samydaceae, and Achariaceae), trees and shrubs formerly placed in the heterogeneous family Flacourtiaceae. Delimiting and describing species and working out the nomenclature make up the classical aspects of these studies, and inferring relationships using phylogenetic techniques with data obtained from morphology, anatomy, and DNA sequences make up the modern aspects. In floristics, my research focuses on the state of Mississippi and the Gulf Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States.

  • Plant Systematics (PHD) - Cornell University (2005)
  • Botany (MS) - Duke University (1999)
  • Biology / Chemistry (BS) - Mississippi College (1997)

Undergraduate Courses:
BSC 226/L: General Botany
BSC 305: Evolution
BSC 404/L: Field Biology: Tropical Ecology in Belize & Guatemala
BSC 429/L: Comparative Morphology of Plants
BSC 430/L: Aquatic and Marsh Plants
BSC 433/L: Plant Systematics
HON 111, 112: Honors Colloquium
IDS 350: Interdisciplinary Investigations: Opioids

Graduate Courses:
BSC 706/L: Principles of Biological Systematics

  • Preliminary investigation of a diverse megafossil floral assemblage from the middle Miocene of southern Mississippi, USA, Palaeontologia Electronica , 2019, 10.26879/906
  • New circumscription of the genus Gamochaeta (Asteraceae, Gnaphalieae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, PLANT SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION, 2016, 10.1007/s00606-016-1316-4
  • Multilayered structure of tension wood cell walls in Salicaceae sensu lato and its taxonomic significance, BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, 2016, 10.1111/boj.12471
  • Checklist of the vascular flora of the Gopher Farm Sandhill, Wayne County, Mississippi, Castanea, 2016, 10.2179/15-078
  • Genetic and morphometric evidence for the recognition of several recently synonymized species of trans-Andean Rhamdia (Pisces: Siluriformes: Heptapteridae), Copeia, 2015, 10.1643/CI-14-145
  • Enhancing PCR amplification of DNA from recalcitrant plant specimens using a trehalose-based additive, Applications in Plant Sciences, 2013, 10.3732/apps.1200236
  • Huerteales sister to Brassicales plus Malvales, and newly circumscribed to include Dipentodon, Gerrardina, Huertea, Perrottetia, and Tapiscia, Taxon, 2009
  • Gerrardinaceae: a new family of African flowering plants unresolved among Brassicales, Huerteales, Malvales, and Sapindales, Taxon, 2006, 10.2307/25065689
  • International Association for Plant Taxonomy
  • American Society of Plant Taxonomists
  • Botanical Society of America
  • Linnaean Society of London
  • Southern Appalachian Botanical Society
  • English (Native or Bilingual)
  • Spanish (Professional Working)
  • French (Professional Working)
  • Serbo-Croatian (Limited Working)
  • German (Elementary)
  • Chinese (Elementary)

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Areas of Expertise

botany, plant systematics, evolutionary biology, tropical biology, floristics, environmental science