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Welcome to AcaciaBlog

​May 2, 2013


Our Acacia species distribution paper is the most read paper in Australian Journal of Botany over the last three years!  This high interest is good news as we have many more paper on the biogeography of the Australian flora in review or in progress.

Published 23 November 2011
Spatial distribution of species richness and endemism of the genus Acacia in Australia
Australian Journal of Botany 59(7)
Carlos E. González-Orozco, Shawn W. Laffan and Joseph T. Miller

April 23, 2013

We just had a paper accepted in Journal of Biogeography. This is the first in a series of papers examining phytogeographic regionalization in Australia.  This paper identifies Acacia bioregions based on species turnover and then correlates this with environmental attributes. 

​April 15, 2013

After six months in Canberra Vanessa Terra dos Santos is on her way back to Brazil. Vanessa spent the last half year sequencing Brazilian Senegalia specimens for her PhD thesis.  I was fortunate  to collect some of these specimens with her last June.  She generated a lot of good sequence data for Senegalias form Brazil, Mexico and Africa.  We have also sequence our single Senegalia from Australia   She is in the process of making some phylogenies and we will  write up the results soon.

March 3, 2013

I have made many updates to PhyloJIVE including how to pages and demo datasets.  Phylojive is also now available on this website.  Click here

February 16, 2013

I will be visiting Sydney and UNSW the first week of March.  I will give a BEES seminar, see attached.

February 16, 2013​ ​

I am hosting Vanessa Terra dos Santos for six months here in Canberra.  She is a PhD student with my collaborators Flavia Garcia (Universidade Federal de Viçosa) and Luciano , Luciano Paganucci de Queiroz (Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana) and our mutual collaborators Dave Seigler and John Ebinger in Illinois.  She has been busy sequencing Brazilain Senegalia samples and we produced our first phylogenetic tree on Friday.  The tree  looks excellent and now we need to fill sequence gaps and add more Mexican and African Senegalia samples  which are on my desk and in my database.  

Senegalia is one of the segregate lineages of Acacia.  It is probably the most interesting Acacia lineage from both a biogeographic and a phylogenetic perspective.  The center of diversity is

in Brazil but  distribution goes from Texas to Brazil, African, Asia and even a species in

Australia.  Until we saw the tree yesterday we were unsure about the major evolutionary relationships but now we have a good idea.

If you have ever introduced to a recurved prickle  on a Senegalia stem, you will surely remember this genus.

More Senegalia info at AcaciaID





February 15, 2013​  

I completely redid my seminar for Thursday's occasion. I thought it went well and I got some good constructive criticism.  It was recorded, I will try to get the link.  I think they recorded me at the lectern and don't have a feed of my slides.

I went to Coopers and Cladistics at ANU Uni House on Thursday.  This is a long running systematic an evolution literature discussion group.  We discussed Holt et al. Science 339:74-78.  Test of Wallace's Zoogeographic regions with phylogentic turnover.  This is an area where we are working on Australian plant bioregions, see my research page.  On Tuesday of next week I am hosting our research crew here at the herbarium to plan our next project. Collaborators  from UNSW, ANU, UC and of course Brent on Skype for Berkeley.

February 8, 2013​ 

​Back in Canberra.  I am giving a seminar next week at CSIRO Discovery Theatre at Black Mountain.  This will be the inaugural seminar in a new revamped CSIRO Plant Industry seminar series that will run each Thursday afternoon at 3:00.

The Natural History of Acacia

Thursday, Feb 14, 3:00
CSIRO Discovery Theatre

January 30, 2013

I a​m in the DC area on vacation.  I spent the day at NatureServe in Arlington.  I gave a noontime webinar about our phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism work.  Even had an attendee from Costa Rica.   I got some good feedback. The discussion emphasized the need to more quickly generate detailed phylogenies and to collate the spatial data.  With these data, systematists can add to the conservation decision-making process; reserve design can be guided by assessment of phylogeny rather than species counts alone and can identify complementary areas of biodiversity that have unique evolutionary histories and traits in need of conservation.

December 12, 2012

The symposium has ended successfully.   We had an enthusiastic core group of 30  people who attended all the sessions and many people who filtered in and out.  Big thanks to Mark Handcock from UCLA for Monday's keynote. Also thanks to the postdocs who chaired the breakout sessions. As I said in my closing comments, I think the statisticians and the collection scientists have a better understanding of each others' discipline.  I am pleased to hear about various collaborations that have started based on the symposium, and I hope they continue.  For my part I am excited to work with Mike McLeisch, Cang Hui, Anton Westveld and Grace Chiu to develop a causal model of evolution for the Acacia - Thrips interaction.

December 4, 2012

The program is finalized for the symposium.

The fancy flyer is at the printers.

November 28, 2012


OCE Cutting Edge Symposium: Integrating Systems Biology and Network Science with the Rich Data of the CSIRO National Biological Collections.  

Three days of data analysis ideas:  a big room half full of statistician and the other half collection biologists, mix them up and see  what happens.

The program is final and will be distributed soon. People start arrive next Tuesday.


November 25, 2012

I have the habit of naming everything after Acacia so I have done it again with this webpage: AcaciaBlog on my new domain acaciamulga!

I have set up this webpage to make my ideas and research more accessible.  Please let me know what you think of it and my research.


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