The Plant Evolutionary Ecology Lab in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at the Ohio State University is directed by Dr. Kristin Mercer. In general, we study plant evolutionary ecology within agricultural systems. Of primary focus is the way that dynamics of ecological processes and evolutionary forces influence important issues in agricultural sustainability, such as conservation of crop genetic resources in centers of origin and biosafety of genetically modified crops.

Please check out the website for more information on specific projects, the resulting publications, and the people that make it happen.


  1. Jack McCoy, our new PhD student, has joined the lab!

    Jul 26, 2018

    Jack comes to us from New Mexico State University where he received his MS in breeding.  He will be working on genetics of drought tolerance in chile peppers, drawing heavily on germplasm from Mexico.  Welcome, Jack!

  2. Vivian Bernau gets a SEEDS grant!

    May 18, 2015

    Vivian (co-advised with Leah McHale), in collaboration with Nathan Taitano (van der Knaap lab), received a grant to support their proposal entitled, "Finding the genetic basis of use traits and climate adaptations in chile peppers (Capsicum spp.) of southern Mexico."  Congratulations, Vivian and Nathan!

  3. Brian Pace becomes a PhD candidate!

    May 18, 2015

    Congratuations to Brian for passing his candidacy exams!  Now he is off for a year in Chiapas, Mexico with his Borlaug grant to study environmental adaptation and genetic resource management in highland maize landraces.  Safe travels!