So for those of you that I have not told already... This past Friday I was invited by a professor at UNC-Charlotte to come work on some research projects with him as a graduate school student. The goals of the project are 1) understanding natural genetic variation (including hybridization and speciation) of Sarracenia plants with genetic and genomic tools 2) Understanding genetic basis of ecological adaptation of sarracenia species; 3) plant and insect interaction. Basically, this means I would get to work on one of my favorite genera of plants for a masters degree. The professor then elaborated and said, assuming I do well with the masters program it is likely I will be able to stay on to get my doctorate. I have not committed to this idea 100% but it is by far my best option right now for when I graduate from NCSU in December. Just wanted to tell you all the good news!
My hope is that by the end of it I will have found genetic evidence to differentiate between all of the species and intraspecific varieties of Sarracenia. Basically, I want to put the whole S. rosea vs. S. purpurea thing, the S. rubra ssp. rubra vs ssp. gulfensis vs. ssp. alabamensis, vs. jonesii thing, and the purpurea ssp. purpurea vs. purpurea ssp. venosa to rest. I'm hoping it will work out something like this, as this is my current theory as to how Sarracenia taxonomy should be:
S. alata will likely be divided into further intraspecific varieties and possibly subspecies
S. flava will remain as it is including all the intraspecific varieties
S. leucophylla will remain as it is including all the intraspecific varieties
S. minor will remain as it is including all the intraspecific varieties
S. oreophila will remain as it is including all the intraspecific varieties
S. jonesii remains its own species
S. rubra ssp. alabamensis will be raised to species rank as S. alabamensis ssp. alabamensis
S. rubra ssp. wherryi will be changed to S. alabamensis ssp. wherryi
S. rubra ssp. gulfensis will remain the same
S. rubra ssp. rubra will remain the same
and the undiagnosed S. rubra ancestral form will hopefully fall under either S. rubra or S. alabamensis somewhere. My guess is its some sort of hybrid between the two genetically.
Anyway, thanks for reading!