Alejandra Vasco, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Event Date

September 5, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Research Lecture Series

Program Information

Brown Bag Lectures
Dates: First Tuesday of each month
Time: 12 - 1pm
Location: BRIT Commons
Cost: Free, Open to the Public

BRIT Research Seminars
Date: Various dates throughout year
Time: 12 - 1pm 
Location: BRIT Commons
Cost: Free, Open to the Public
Visit the event page for specific date and time information.

Point of Contact

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Research Programs

When did leaves appear in our planet? How did that happen? What did plants look like before they had leaves? Or did plants exist at all before leaves? The evolution and development of leaves is a question that has intrigued botanists for over two centuries. In this talk Dr. Alejandra Vasco will discuss the history of this long debate and will show the new tools that she and other researchers around the world are using to try to unravel the mystery of the origin of leaves in plants. Evolutionary developmental studies are providing crucial data that is allowing researchers to revise theories of how leaves evolved and developed. Ferns constitute an interesting lineage of plants to study leaf development, not only because of its phylogenetic crucial position as the sister group of seed plants, but also because within the ferns there might be several origins and different mechanisms for leaf development. Studies of ferns with diverse leaf morphologies and studies of model organisms, will be instrumental to build better models to understand the intricate relationships of ferns and the evolution and development of their leaves, which might involve more than a single story.

About Research Lecture Series

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars.