Research Scientist, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Associate Professor of Botany, Claremont Graduate University

Phylogenetics and systematics of Polemoniaceae

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Research interests:

I am a vascular plant systematist with broad interests in evolutionary biology and reproductive ecology, and a special emphasis on quantitative phylogenetics. Indeed, most of my research has a strong phylogenetic component. I have been involved in research focusing upon systematics, classification, evolution of pollination mechanisms, and quantitative change in corolla morphology, conservation, and floristics. Much of my recent research has concentrated on the Phlox family, Polemoniaceae. These studies have included comparative DNA sequence (e.g., nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer, GapC, tpi, chas, chloroplast trnL intron, trnL-trnF intergenic spacer [IGS], trnS-trnG IGS, ndhF-trnL region, and mitochondrial nad1 intron), comparative morphological, palynological, and anatomical investigations, as well as pollination surveys. These comparative studies have been used to test hypotheses concerning evolution of pollination mechanisms and breeding systems, and hypotheses concerning the age and diversification of Polemoniaceae. This research has resulted in a new classification of the family, revision of Aliciella, revised classification of Ipomopsis (including phylogeny and age estimates), and a broad-scaled comparative and monographic study of Loeselia (in progress).

In addition to the Phlox family, I have continued research in the Cactus family, in collaboration with Jennifer Cruse Sanders, Charlie Butterworth, and Kenneth D. Heil. Our studies have centered on two cold-hardy genera of western United States, Sclerocactus and Pediocactus, and have included taxonomic, comparative morphological and DNA investigations. These studies have been used to address conservation issues, surrounding the rare members of Sclerocactus and Pediocactus.

It is my desire to integrate traditional systematic approaches (comparative anatomy, morphology, cytology, etc) and more modern methods (comparative DNA sequence, microsatellite and/or other genetic data) and bring these to bear on issues of adaptation, under the umbrella of common ancestry and phylogeny.



Loeselia Clade



Porter, J. M., L. A. Johnson, and D. Wilken. 2010. Phylogenetics and evolution of Ipomopsis (Polemoniaceae): inferences from chloroplast trnL-F and nuclear ribosomal ITS DNA sequences. Systematic Botany, in press. (pdf)

Porter, J. M., and V. W. Steinmann. 2009. Two new Loeselia (Polemoniaceae) species from Michoacán, Mexico. Systematic Botany 34: 730-736 (pdf)

Griffith, M. P., and J. M. Porter. 2009. Phylogeny of Opuntioideae (Cactaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 170: 107–116. (pdf)
Porter, J. M., and L. A. Prather. 2008. Cantua dendritica (Polemoniaceae) a new species from Peru, and two new Cantua names. Aliso 24: 31–35. (pdf)

Columbus, J. T., E. A. Friar, J. M. Porter, L. M. Prince, and M. G. Simpson (eds.). 2007. Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution—Poales. Aliso 23: 1–682. 2006. Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution—Excluding Poales. Aliso 22: 1–735.

Friar, E. A., L. M. Prince, E. H. Roalson, M. E. McGlaughlin, J. M. Cruse-Sanders, S. J. De Groot and J. M. Porter. 2006. Ecological speciation in the east Maui-endemic Dubautia (Asteraceae) species. Evolution, 60: 1777–1792. (pdf)

Johnson, L. A., K. H. Huish, and J. M. Porter. 2004. Seed surface sculpturing and its systematic significance in Gilia (Polemoniaceae) and segregate genera. International Journal of Plant Sciences 165: 153-172. (pdf)

Heil, K. D. and J. M. Porter. 2004 Sclerocactus. pp. 197-206, and Pediocactus. pp. 211-216, In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. vol. 4. New York and Oxford.

Porter, J. M. and L. A. Johnson. 2000. A phylogenetic classification of Polemoniaceae. Aliso 19: 55-91. (pdf)

Porter, J. M., M. Kinney, and K. D. Heil. 2000. Relationships between Sclerocactus and Toumeya (Cactaceae) based in chloroplast trnL-F sequences. Haseltonia 7: 8–23. (pdf)
Morrell, P. L., J. M. Porter and E. A. Friar. 2000. Intercontinental dispersal: the origin of the widespread South American plant species Gilia laciniata (Polemoniaceae) from a rare California and Oregon coastal endemic. Plant Syst. Evol. 13–32. (pdf)

Porter, J. M. and L. A. Johnson 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of Polemoniaceae: inferences from mitochondrial nad1b intron sequences. Aliso 17: 159–190.

Porter, J. M. 1998. Aliciella, a recircumscribed genus of Polemoniaceae. Aliso 17: 23–46. (pdf)

Porter, J. M. 1998. Nomenclatural changes in Polemoniaceae. Aliso 17: 83–85. (pdf)

Heil, K. D. and J. M. Porter. 1994. Sclerocactus: A revision. Haseltonia 2: 20–46.