Plant Evolution and DNA Metabarcoding (PET)
The PET group addresses cutting-edge research questions in plant speciation, phylogenomics, and biogeography using genomic and DNA metabarcoding data from modern and ancient samples, and contributes to the development of metabarcoding as a next-generation biodiversity assessment tool for society.
Research in the PET group revolves around fundamental questions such as:
- What are the drivers and mechanisms responsible for the elevated speciation rates observed in northern plants?
- What are the ecological and climatic correlations for biodiversity generation in arctic and alpine areas as inferred from dated, fossil-calibrated phylogenies and metabarcoding data?
- What is the potential of new genomic approaches to improve extraction and use of the vast information stored in ancient permafrost DNA archives and modern sediments?
Furthermore, the PET group strives to strengthen the position of the Natural History Museum as one of the world's leading centers for development of DNA metabarcoding for research as well as for meeting the society's need for high-quality automated biodiversity assessment. To support this role, the group curates and develops plant metabarcoding taxonomic reference libraries, such as the NHM DNAbank, as an infrastructure for collaborative research efforts, natural resource management, and monitoring of international plant trade.