Biological Sciences

Scot A. Kelchner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kelchner joined the Department of Biological Sciences in the fall of 2004. After completing an undergraduate degree in Animal Ecology at Iowa State University, he entered the field of plant systematics and worked on Andean and Brazilian alpine bamboos for his Masters degree. He later moved to Australia and completed a Ph.D. at the Australian National University on phylogenetic methods and the evolution of the emu bushes, an endemic group of Australian plants. His postdoctoral experience included the study of ribozyme evolution and a computer simulation experiment on the effectiveness of partitioned models in phylogenetics.

Dr. Kelchner specializes in applied phylogenetics; reconstructing the evolutionary history of organisms and genes is the basis of most of his research. His projects include coordinating an international effort to resolve evolutionary relationships among bamboos (NSF Grant 0515828), a genomic-level analysis of grass evolution and phylogeny (NSF Grant 1120856), biogeography and evolution of Australian emu bushes (Scrophulariaceae: Myoporeae), evolution of group II introns, and fungal endophyte communities in plant leaves. His work in theoretical phylogenetics includes the development of DNA sequence alignment protocols, improvement of phylogenetic models, and the enhancement of network analyses for evolutionary biology.


Selected Publications (of 25 peer reviewed articles)

Bapteste E, van Iersel L, Janke A, Kelchner S, Kelk S, McInerney JO, Morrison DA, Nakhleh L, Steel M, Stougie L, Whitfield J (2013) Networks: expanding evolutionary thinking. Trends in Genetics 29:439-441.

Kelchner SA, Bamboo Phylogeny Group (2013) Higher level phylogenetic relationships within the bamboos (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) based on five plastid markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 67:404-413.

Bamboo Phylogeny Group (2012) An updated tribal and subtribal classification for the Bambusoideae (Poaceae). Pp. 3-27 in Gielis, J. and G. Potters (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th World Bamboo Congress, 10-12 April 2012, Antwerp, Belgium.

Morgan MJ, Kelchner SA (2010) Inference of molecular homology and sequence alignment by direct optimization. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56:305-311.

Fisher AE, Triplett J, Ho C-S, Schiller AD, Oltrogge KA, Schroeder ES, Kelchner SA, Clark LG (2009) Paraphyly in the bamboo subtribe Chusqueinae (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) and a revised infrageneric classification for Chusquea. Systematic Botany 34:673-683.

Simon DM, Kelchner SA, Zimmerly S (2009) A broad-scale phylogenetic analysis of group II intron RNAs and intron-encoded reverse transcriptases. Molecular Biology and Evolution 26:2795-2808.

Duffy AM, Kelchner SA, Wolf PG (2009) Conservation of selection on matK in ferns following an ancient loss of the trnK intron by genome inversion. Gene 438:17-25.

Kelchner SA (2009) Phylogenetic models and model selection for noncoding DNA. Plant Systematics and Evolution 282:109-126.

Kelchner SA, Thomas MA (2007) Model use in phylogenetics: nine key questions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22:87-94.

Tank DC, Beardsley PM, Kelchner SA, Olmstead RG (2006) Review of the systematics of Scrophulariaceae s.l. and its current disposition. L.A.S. Johnson Review No. 7, Australian Systematic Botany 19:289-307.

Trueman JWH, Pfeil BE, Kelchner SA, Yeates DK (2004) Did stick insects really regain their wings? Systematic Entomology 29:138-139.

Kelchner SA (2002) Group II introns as phylogenetic tools: structure, function, and evolutionary constraints. American Journal of Botany 89:1651-1669.

Kelchner SA (2000) The evolution of non-coding chloroplast DNA and its application in plant systematics. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 87:482-498.

Kelchner SA, Clark LG (1997) Molecular evolution and phylogenetic utility of the rpl16 intron in Chusquea and the Bambusoideae (Poaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 8:385-397.

Kelchner SA, Wendel JF (1996) Hairpins create minute inversions in non-coding regions of chloroplast DNA. Current Genetics 30:259-262.


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