Plant Systematics and Evolution

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

Understanding the diversity of plants and their evolutionary relationships are fundamental to understanding the complex web of life on Earth.  Nearly all other organisms, including humans, rely on plants directly or indirectly for their food and oxygen.  Consequently, plants are essential to our existence and by studying plants in detail we learn more about our own species and the world we inhabit.  This course is an introductory survey of plant diversity.  In it you will gain a thorough understanding of the diverse morphology of plants and will acquire a basic understanding of phylogenetic relationships among them.  You will be able to describe morphological structures of plants using botanical terminology and learn how to identify prominent plant families using diagnostic morphological characters and plant keys.  Seminars and associated labs will be supplemented with independent field collections. Open.