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Dr. Anna Monfils 

About Dr. Anna Monfils

Job Title: Associate Professor of Biology    

Dr. Monfils is a plant systematist who conducts research on the pattern, and maintenance of diversity in flowering plants. Her lab investigates biodiversity and evolution at different hierarchical scales, from the micro- to macroscopic level, and uses a range of analytical and molecular techniques.

Currently the Monfils lab is investigating diversity in a genus of plants, Schoenoplectus (commonly known as the bulrushes), that is central to the well being of many wetland habitats. Schoenoplectus species are notoriously difficult to describe; species are defined based on few cryptic characters and hybridization is rampant. This ongoing research project aims to use modern molecular methodology combined with advanced microscopy techniques to describe biodiversity, quantify variation, and clarify species descriptions in the North American members of the genus Schoenoplectus.

Undergraduates in Monfils’ lab have carried out scanning electron microscopy studies of flower and fruit diversity and a molecular phylogenetic analysis in this group. The continued and combined efforts of the students and mentor will ultimately result in a comprehensive systematic review of this group, which is essential to identify key species important for the protection, conservation, and maintenance of functioning wetland ecosystems.

Contact Dr. Monfils at, or stop by Brooks 180.

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