Curator Kelly Matsunaga receives NSF Career Award

Assistant curator of paleobotany at the Biodiversity Institute and Thomas N. Taylor assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Kelly Matsunaga, has been awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation.  The CAREER is a 5-year grant. Total award amount is $946,323. The project will investigate how the widespread and ancient group of plants known as conifers (examples: pines, junipers, redwoods) evolved over the last 300 million years in response to a changing planet. "We will integrate information from living species and the extensive fossil record of the group to reconstruct evolutionary relationships, investigate evolutionary dynamics through time, and test hypotheses on the evolution of conifer reproductive organs," Matsunaga said. "As part of the project, I will offer a new research-based course on plant anatomy and development, and create a new permanent exhibit in the KU Natural History Museum."

Read more about the project: Unearthing the conifer tree of death