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Suzanne Fredericq

1980 B.S. (Zoology) State University of Ghent, Ghent (Belgium)

1984 M.S. (Biology) George Mason University, Fairfax VA

1988 Ph.D. (Botany) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC

The focus of our LAB’S RESEARCH is red algal systematics and seaweed biogeography. My main interests lie in discovering and analyzing patterns of morphological and molecular evolution in the Red Algae in the context of a collections-based research program. My goal is to correlate molecular and morphological data sets from marine taxa around the world with possible biogeographic hypotheses. Currently I am investigating the phylogenetic relationships of red algae above the species level. The morphological approach is very successful in generating taxonomic concepts based on a comparative analysis of characters that illustrate the differentiation of vegetative and reproductive (sexual and asexual) structures as a function of stages of filament ontogeny and cytological modification. The florideophycean red algae are unusual in that the plant body, including the reproductive structures, is made up entirely of branched filaments in which the cells are linked by pit connections, so that the origin of every filamentous structure can be traced back and illustrated cell-by-cell, filament-by- filament. Once the developmental sequence of a morphological structure is understood and illustrated in one taxon, it is compared with that in other taxa. My goal is to try to assess the homology of the morphological characters for the purpose of constructing morphological data sets for phylogenetic analyses. The molecular approach I currently employ is to construct nucleotide data sets based on direct sequence analysis of genes of choice for inferring phylogenetic relationships within the red algae, for example in the Gigartinales sensu lato and the Ceramiales in order to test current systems of classification and generate new systems of classification. Our laboratory is also actively involved in assessing macroalgal diversity and biogeographic patterns throughout the deep offshore Gulf of Mexico Hard Bank Communities,  and Panama.

Our research is currently funded by NSF.

For more information visit my lab page!

Feel free to contact me at this address:

Suzanne Fredericq Department of Biology, PO Box 42451, Lafayette, LA 70504 or, Telephone: (337) 482-5057