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. Chee Successfully Defends Thesis

    Nov 15, 2023

    Chee Gang Ngui defended his Masters Thesis on November 14th, 2023. His thesis focused on using rhizoboxes to phenotype chile pepper root systems under water deficit conditions. Chee will be continuing with his education and embarking on a doctoral degree with Leah McHale's lab. Congratulations Chee! 

  2. Congratulations Katie!

    Nov 15, 2023

    Katie Fulcher successfully defended her undergraduate honors thesis and presented her work at the 2023 Autumn Undergraduate Research Festival. Congratulations Katie! She will be graduating in December 2023 with Honors Research Distinction. Katie's hard work has contributed greatly to our knowledge of chile seed and seedling characteristics across domestication a gradient. 

  3. Congratulations, Dr. McCoy!

    Jul 11, 2023

    Graduate student Jack McCoy passed his Ph.D. defense last week. Congratulations, Dr. McCoy!