Dorset W. Trapnell
Associate Professor
Undergraduate Coordinator
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 3508
Phone Number:  706-542-6506
Office/Lab:  Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 3503
Phone Number: 

Ph.D Plant Evolutionary Biology, University of Georgia 2003

Research Projects: 

The unifying theme of my research is investigation of the evolutionary factors that shape patterns of genetic variation in natural plant populations and the manner in which species-wide diversity is partitioned and maintained at various spatial and temporal scales. More specifically, my lab studies: i) contemporary gene flow using direct approaches, ii) historical patterns of gene movement over shallow and deeper temporal scales, and iii) long-distance seed dispersal and the tail of the dispersal kernel empirically. We often explore the role of both pollen-mediated and seed-mediated gene dispersal to address these questions. This research is particularly pertinent in the context of nearly ubiquitous, anthropogenic habitat disturbance and accelerating climate change. I am especially interested in studying epiphytes which account for approximately 10% of all vascular plant species, and orchids because of their varied evolutionary strategies and somewhat unique biology.  Our lab employs a variety of population genetic tools to address these questions.

Grant Support: 
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Geographic patterns in the population genetic structure of Oxypolis canbyi (Canby’s dropwort) and its common congener Oxypolis filiformis. 
  • Australian Orchid Foundation (Co-PIs: Kingsley Dixon & Ryan Phillips). The role of colonization in establishment of self-sustaining populations of rare terrestrial orchids – a template study for establishing principles to guide translocation and conservation programs.
Of Note: 
  • Organization for Tropical Studies, Assembly of Delegates representative for the University of Georgia, 2009 – present; Chair of audit committee, 2015 – present.
  • Member of International Working Group for the Friends of Nakanai, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.2013 - present.
Recent Publications: