NYREE J. C. ZEREGA, Ph.D.
Northwestern University and The Chicago Botanic Garden
Plant Biology and Conservation
2205 Tech Drive, 2-144 Hogan
Evanston, IL 60208
- Ph.D. -- May 2003 (Biology/Plant Resources), New York University (NYU) and the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), NY, NY. Major Advisor: Dr. Timothy Motley, Dissertation: "Molecular Phylogenetic and Genome-wide Analyses of Artocarpus (Moraceae): Implications for the Systematics, Origins, Human-mediated Dispersal, and Conservation of Breadfruit"
- M.S. -- September 1998 (Biology), NYU, passed qualifying exam with distinction
- B.A. -- May 1995 (Biology, German Minor), Truman State University (TSU), Kirksville, MO, Magna Cum Laude, received the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Biology Award
SUPPORT & AWARDS
- Director of Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden, June 2005 - present
- Develop curriculum, teach, coordinate the graduate program, and maintain research program in plant systematics.
- Lecturer, Program in Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, June 2005 - present
- Teach one to two courses per year at the undergraduate and graduate level
- Curator, Chicago Botanic Garden Nancy Poole Rich Herbarium, January 2007 - present
- Supervise staff in processing, accessioning, mounting, and databasing new collections, loans, exchanges, and general herbarium procedures
- Research Associate, Field Museum of Natural History, June 2007 - present
- Collaborate on research and utilize facilities at the Field Museum
- Research Associate, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Breadfruit Institute, Hawaii, Sept 2003 - present
- Collaborate on international breadfruit research and collect wild relatives of breadfruit for propagation in the world's largest breadfruit germplasm collection.
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, July 2003 - May 2005
- Design and conduct molecular, morphological, and field-oriented evolutionary and ecological studies in the Moraceae (mulberry) family; manage the lab, train and supervise students. Funded through the U.S. National Science Foundation Grant DEB-0128833: Phylogenetic Systematics of Moraceae: Inflorescence Evolution and the Origin of a Pollination Mutualism (G. D. Weiblen, PI).
- Cullman Laboratory for Molecular Systematics Studies Student Fellow, NYBG, Dec 1999 - May 2003
- Introduced and optimized molecular protocols in the Cullman Lab, trained students and visiting scientists in molecular techniques and analyses, led lab tours for donors and scientists.
- DNA Fingerprinting Research Assistant, NYBG & PureWorld Botanicals, Inc., Aug 2000 - June 2001
- Developed DNA fingerprinting profiles (using amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) for the quality control of the botanical dietary supplement black cohosh, Actaea racemosa (Ranunculaceae).
- Archaeobotanical Research Assistant, NYBG, Summer 1997
- Identified charcoal plant remains from archaeological sites in Central America.
- Herbarium Assistant, NYBG, Fall 1996
- Identified, databased, mounted, filed, and created labels for plant specimens.
- Horticulture Intern, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Oct 1995 - Aug 1996
- Planted and cared for plant exhibitions throughout the zoo, maintained the endangered plants' greenhouse and garden.
- Research Assistant for the "Seed Cryopreservation Project for Endangered Ohio Wetland Plants" at the Plant Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Wildlife, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Oct 1995 - Aug 1996
- Collected seeds of endangered Ohio wetland plants and tested their viability after cryopreservation.
- Herbarium Assistant, Truman State University, Spring 1995
- Collected, identified, databased, mounted, and filed plant specimens.
- Field Ecology Research Assistant, Truman State University, Summer 1992
- Collected germination data in southern Missouri for the endangered plant Lesquerella filiformis (Brassicaceae).
- National Science Foundtion- Research Experience for Undergraduates, "Plant Conservation Biology, from Genes to Ecosystems," $277,660, 2008 - 2010, (in review).
- Hewlett Fund, Northwestern University, $5,000 for "Integration of computer technology with living plant collections in the evolution and ecology curriculum." Spring 2006.
- Hall Fund for Plant Evolutionary Studies, University of Minnesota, with G.D. Weiblen, $10,000 for "Low copy nuclear gene phylogeny of New Guinea Sycomorus figs, " May 2005.
- George R. Cooley Award, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, for the single most outstanding presentation in systematics by a student or young professor at the annual meeting in Madison, WI, Aug 2002.
- Edmund H. Fulling Award (honorable mention), Society for Economic Botany, for the best oral presentation contributed by a student or young professor at the annual meeting in NY, NY June 2002.
- Torrey Botanical Society Symposium Support Award, with co-organizers Timothy J. Motley and Hugh B. Cross, $1,000 for "Origins, Evolution, and Conservation of Crop Plants: A Molecular Approach," at the Society for Economic Botany annual meeting at the New York Botanical Garden, June 23, 2002.
- National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, $10,000 for "Incorporating Artocarpus phylogenetics with biogeography, taxonomy, and conservation of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)," May 2000-2002.
- NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science Travel Grants, $300 to present at the Society for Economic Botany 2001 meeting, and $300 to present at the Botany 2002 meeting.
- NYBG Graduate Studies Travel grant, $200 to present at the Society for Economic Botany 2001 meeting.
- National Science Foundation Plant Resources Ph.D. Training Fellowship, September 2000 - May 2001.
- Garden Club of America Award in Tropical Botany, $5,500 for "Incorporating Artocarpus phylogenetics with conservation and biogeography of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)," May 2000.
- Explorers Club Award, $1,200 for "Conservation and historical dispersal routes of breadfruit," Aug. 2000.
- Sokol Travel Research Award, $3,959 for "Conservation and biogeography of Pacific breadfruit," Apr. 2000.
- Association of Women in Science (honorable mention), for "Incorporating Artocarpus phylogenetics with conservation, taxonomy, and biogeography of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)," May 2000.
- National Science Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship at TSU, for plant-insect interaction research, May-Sep.1994.
- Plant Systematics (Northwestern University), Spring 2006, Fall 2006
- Graduate Teaching Assistant (NYU), September 1996 - Summer 2000, Summer 2001 - May 2003
- Designed and led class lectures, field trips, and laboratories; wrote and graded exams and assignments. Classes included: Plant Systematics (graduate level), Ecological Field Botany (graduate level), Economic Botany (graduate level), Field Biology and Elements of Ecology (undergraduate level for nonscience majors), Principles of Biology Labs I & II (undergraduate level for science majors), Genetics (undergraduate level for science majors), The Biosphere (undergraduate level for nonscience majors), Human Reproduction (undergraduate level for nonscience majors)
- Lecture at Rutgers University, Introduction to Ethnobotany, "Case Studies in Ethnobotany," April 17, 2003.
- Lecture at Cooper Union, General Botany, "The Scientific Method," Oct. 23, 2001.
- Lecture for Southern Connecticut State University, part of a course in a graduate program for secondary science education, "Molecular tools in plant science," June 21, 2001.
- Seasonal Park Naturalist, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville, MO, May-August 1995, Created and presented educational programs on botany, natural history, limnology, and zoology; designed and led park tours.
- Current Environmental Issues (TSU), Spring 1994, helped design, implement, and team teach this undergraduate reading and discussion course.
- Plant Identification, May 23, 2006, For Bureau of Land Management Interns training session at the Chicago Botanic Garden
- Molecular Techniques, June 12-13, 2006, For NSF-REU students at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Rĝnsted, N., Weiblen, G.D., Clement W.L., Zerega, N.J.C., and Savolainen, V. In press. Reconstructing the phylogeny of figs (Ficus, Moraceae) to reveal the history of the fig pollination mutualism. Symbiosis 45.
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2005. Species limits and a taxonomic treatment of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae). Systematic Botany 30(3): 603-615.
Zerega, N.J.C., W.L. Clement, S.L. Datwyler, and G.D. Weiblen. 2005. Biogeography and divergence times in the mulberry family based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 402-416.
Zerega, N.J.C., Mound, L.A., and G.D. Weiblen. 2004. Pollination in the New Guinea endemic Antiaropsis decipiens (Moraceae) is mediated by a new species of thrips, Thrips antiaropsidis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 165(6): 1017-1026.
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2004. Complex origins of breadfruit: Implications for human migrations in Oceania. American Journal of Botany 91(5): 760-766.
Motley T. J., L. Lück and N. J. C. Zerega. 2004. Genetic diversity and DNA fingerprinting of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa). Proceeding of the Global Summit on Medicinal Plants 1:112-118.
Zerega, N.J.C., S. Mori, C. Lindqvist, Q. Zheng, and T.J. Motley. 2002. Using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) to identify black cohosh (Actaea racemosa). Economic Botany 56(2): 154-164.
Bultman, T.L. and N.J. Conard. 1998. Effects of endophytic fungus, nutrient level, and plant damage on performance of Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Environmental Entomology 27(3): 631-635.
PUBLICATIONS IN PREPARATION
Zerega, N.J.C., S. Noor, and T.J. Motley. Artocarpus (Moraceae) phylogeny and the evolution of perianth fusion based on molecular and morphological data: Implications for taxonomy. Systematic Biology (in preparation).
Zerega, N.J.C., S. Silvieus, W.L. Clement, and G.D. Weiblen. Cospeciation among figs and their pollinating and non-pollinating fig wasps (in preparation).
BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2006. Breadfruit Origins, Diversity, and Human-faciliated Distribution. Pp. 213-238 in T.J. Motley, N.J.C. Zerega, and H.B. Cross [eds.], Darwin's Harvest: New Approaches to the Origins, Evolution, and Conservation of Crops. Columbia University Press, New York, New York, USA.
Motley, T.J., N.J.C. Zerega, and H.B. Cross. 2006. Darwin's Harvest: New Approaches to the Origins, Evolution, and Conservation of Crops. Columbia University Press, New York, New York, USA.
Zerega, N.J.C. 2003. The Breadfruit Trail. Natural History 112(10): 46-51.
ABSTRACTS AND PRESENTATIONS
(*graduate student, **undergraduate student)
*Huebner, Diane C., N.J.C. Zerega, S. Wagenius, and J.S. Walsh. A molecular, morphological and experimental assessment of the conservation status of American sea-rocket (Cakile edentula, Brassicaceae). Poster at Student Research Symposium in Plant Biology and Conservation, July 6, 2007, Chicago Botanic Garden.
*Misiewicz, T., **C. Storer, and N.J.C. Zerega. Investigating the Evolutionary History of the genus Dorstenia (Moraceae). Poster at Botany 2007, Chicago, IL.
Zerega, N.J.C. Inflorescence evolution and systematics of Artocarpus (Moraceae). International Botanical Congress July 22, 2005, Vienna, Austria.
Zerega, N.J.C., W.L. Clement, and G.D. Weiblen. Biogeography and divergence times in the mulberry (Moraceae) family based on plastid and nuclear DNA. Evolution 2004, Fort Collins, CO.
Clement, W.L., N.J.C. Zerega, and G.D. Weiblen. Phylogenetic utility of GBSSI in resolving relationships among closely related figs. Evolution 2004, Fort Collins, CO.
Weiblen, G.D., and N.J.C. Zerega. Pollination in the New Guinea endemic Antiaropsis decipiens (Moraceae) is mediated by thrips. Botany 2004, Snowbird, UT.
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. Breadfruit systematics and species delimitations. Poster at Botany 2003, Mobile, AL.
Swenson, S., W. Clement, N.J.C. Zerega, and G. Weiblen. Developing a phylogenetic framework for the Moraceae family based on plastid and nuclear sequence data. Poster at Botany 2003, Mobile, AL.
Zerega, N.J.C. and T.J. Motley. Generic limits of Artocarpus (Moraceae) as indicated by molecular data. Presented at Botany 2002, Madison, WI.
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. Breadfruit origins and human-mediated dispersal through the Pacific. Presented at the 2002 Society for Economic Botany annual meeting, NY, NY.
Zerega, N.J.C. and T.J. Motley. Artocarpus (Moraceae) molecular phylogeny and the systematics and origins of breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis. Presented at Botany 2001, Albuquerque, NM.
Zerega, N.J.C., D.R. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. Hybrid origin of breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis. Presented at the 2001 Society for Economic Botany annual meeting, Honolulu, HI.
Zerega, N.J.C. and T.J. Motley. Identification of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) using DNA fingerprinting (AFLP). Presented at the 2001 Society for Economic Botany annual meeting, Honolulu, HI.
Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2000. Artocarpus phylogenetics and AFLP fingerprinting of breadfruit cultivars (Artocarpus altilis). American Journal of Botany 87 (Suppl.): 498.
Zerega, N. 2006. Review of "Flora Malesiana (Moraceae - Ficus) v. 17, part 2" by C. C. Berg and E. J. H. 2006. Brittonia 58(2): 194-195.
Zerega, N. 2002. Review of "The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms" by Michael Hickey and Clive King. 2000. Systematic Botany 27(1): 200.
Zerega, N. 2001. Review of "Malesian Seed Plants: Portraits of Tree Families" by M.M.J. Van Balgooy. 1998. Economic Botany 55(4): 583-584.
"Beyond the fig: Pollination in the Moraceae family," Field Museum Research Seminar Series, Field Museum, March 14, 2007.
"Phylogenetic systematics and tropical plant research," Tropical Ecology Course at Lake Forest College, February 27, 2007.
"Reconstructing the evolutionary history of crop origins and pollination syndromes," Interdisciplinary Committee on Evolutionary Processes Seminar Series, Northwestern University, May 10, 2006.
"From crime to conservation: what can phylogenetic systematics do for you?" Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, Nov. 21, 2005.
"Plant cultivation and human settlement in the South Pacific." Torrey Botanical Society, Nov. 1, 2005, NY, NY.
"An integrative approach to plant evolutionary studies: stories of migrations, mutualisms, and molecules." Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, Dec. 7, 2004 and Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL, Dec. 8, 2004.
"Plant evolution and conservation: cases from New Guinea to North America." Department of Environmental Science and Policy Seminar, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, Dec. 1, 2004.
"An integrative approach to studying plant evolution: cases from the Moraceae (mulberry) family." Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Nov. 11, 2004.
"An overview of diversity in the mulberry family (Moraceae) based on field and molecular studies." Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 26, 2004.
"Artocarpus evolution and the identification of breadfruit's wild ancestors." Plant Biological Sciences Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Sep. 16, 2003.
"Migrations, mutinies, and molecular markers: The story of breadfruit." Bell Museum Seminar Series, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Apr. 2, 2003.
"Fieldwork and fingerprints: an integrative study of breadfruit diversity." Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, Feb. 17, 2003.
"Artocarpus field studies in Malaysia." Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Feb 24, 2002.
"Using DNA fingerprinting as a tool for quality control in the botanicals industry: a case study in black cohosh, Actaea racemosa." Plant Biology Graduate Program Seminar Series at Rutgers University, Feb 8, 2002.
"Molecules, human migration, and the story of breadfruit evolution." Ecology & Evolution Graduate Seminar Series at Rutgers University, Feb 7, 2002.
- First Annual Plant Biology and Conservation Student Symposium. Chicago Botanic Garden, July 6, 2007.
- The 48th Annual Meeting for the Society for Economic Botany. Co-organized with David Lentz and Charlotte Gyllenhaal. Chicago, June 4-7, 2007.
- Origins, Evolution, and Conservation of Crop Plants: A Molecular Approach. Co-organized with Timothy J. Motley and Hugh B. Cross. Sponsored symposium at the Society for Economic Botany annual meeting at NYBG, June 23, 2002.
Major advisor for Master's students:
- Tracy Misiewicz (Northwestern University, expected graduation June 2008), 'Investigating the Evolutionary History and Pollination Biology for the genus Dorstenia (Moraceae).' Awards received for this research: Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Award ($500), Society of Systematic Biologists Graduate Student Award ($1,700), Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Research Award ($1,500), Maryland Garden Club Award ($1,500). Fieldwork: Cameroon.
- Diane Huebner (Northwestern University, expected graduation June 2009), 'A Molecular, Morphological and Experimental Assessment of the conservation status of American Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula, Brassicaceae).'
NSF-REU student mentor (summer 2006):
- Master's students at Northwestern University, Glen Madeja, Joe Gawronski-Salerno, and Eva Dubey
BOTANICAL FIELD EXPERIENCE
- Caroline Storer (Eckerd College) - 'Phylogeny and Biogeography of Dorstenia (Moraceae).' Her work was presented at the national Botany 2007 meetings.
Singapore and Malaysia (Feb 22 - Mar 18, 2002), Papua New Guinea (July 3 - Aug 5, 2000, Nov 2003), Mariana Islands (Aug 6 - 16, 2000), Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (Aug 17 - 25, 2000), Hawaii (April 1999), Belize (May 1997), Ohio (Summer 1996), Missouri (Summer 1992).
Reviewer for Naturwissenschaften, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Botany, International Journal of Plant Sciences, Brittonia, and Economic Botany; Coordinator of Plant Biology and Conservation Seminar Series at Northwestern University (2006-present); Curriculum Committee for Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University (2005-present); Admissions Committee Chair for Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University (2006-2007); Search Committee Chair for Senior Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden (2007); Grant proposal review for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (2007), National Science Foundation (2005, 2006), Society of Systematic Biologists Graduate Awards (2006, 2007), Graduate Women in Science Awards (2006), and Minnesota and New Jersey Departments of Natural Resources (2004); Minnesota Academy of Science State Fair judge (2004), Coordinator of invited speakers for NYU Biology Seminar Series (2001)
- American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, Society of Systematic Biologists, Society of Conservation Biology, Society for Economic Botany
Updated: 27 July, 2007