From Lab to Lecturer: Postdoc Andrea Berardi Elevates to Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Plant Biology at James Madison University!

Andrea is starting this fall as a tenure-track assistant professor of plant biology at James Madison University. There she will continue her work on studying the evolution of red floral color and the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation in Silene.

Harvard’s Hopkins Lab: Decoding the Language of Flowers and Evolution in the World of Phlox

Discover the fascinating work of the scientists at Harvard University’s Hopkins Lab, as they investigate the formation of new species and delve into the secrets of Phlox flowers. Through a meticulous examination of the Phlox life cycle, they uncover the evolutionary mechanisms that maintain species separation and contribute to the incredible diversity of life on Earth. Check out the video above!

Unveiling Nature’s Secrets: Exploring Selfing in Phlox cuspidata

Prof. Robin Hopkins alongside graduate students Bushra M. Shahid and Grace A. Burgin discuss selfie in Phlox cuspidata through experimental and genetic analysis. Read more about it here.

Fluttering Pollinators: A Comprehensive Journey Through Each Stage of Phlox drummondii Pollination

Embarking on the intricate journey of pollination biology, this research unveils the hidden connections between the wildflower Phlox drummondii and its primary pollinator. Beyond the predictive power of floral syndrome traits, this empirical study offers a nuanced exploration, confirming the anticipated role of Lepidoptera in this floral dance.

By: Robin Hopkins, Grace A. Burgin, Olivia Bronzo-Munich, Austin G. Garner, Izzy A. Acevedo. You can read the research here

New publication on Phlox species is here!

Congrats to alumni Hopkins Lab members Ben, Matthew, Andrea, Charlie, Megan and Robin on their new publication titled “A multi-dimensional selective landscape drives adaptive divergence between and within closely related Phlox species.” Read it here.

The Hopkins Lab has gained a new Dr.! Congrats Dr. Austin Garner!

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Garner, who successfully defended his thesis on Friday. Congratulations Dr. Garner!  We’re all very proud of you, Austin!

Phlox Drummondii publication is here!

Congrats to Austin, Andrew, Andrea and Robin on their new publication titled “A cis-regulatory point mutation at a R2R3-Myb transcription factor contributes to speciation by reinforcement in Phlox drummondii” Read it here

Cheers to Andrea and Robin! Check out their paper on floral morphology published in Frontiers in Plant Science journal.

Cheers to Andrea and Robin for their new paper out in Frontiers in Plant Science journal. The paper discusses the North American red-flowering Silene. Check it out here!

Christina joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Christina Steinecke to the lab! Christina will be working in the lab as a graduate student and concentrating on speciation, major transitions and selfing. We are excited to have her become part of the our lab family!

Anna completes her fieldwork in the Midwest!

Anna completes three weeks of fieldwork on perennial Phlox in the Midwest

Andrew joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Andrew Cameron to the lab! Andrew will be working in the lab as a lab technician. We are excited to have her become part of the our lab family!

Felix joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Felix Wu to the lab! Felix will be joining the lab as a postdoc student. We are excited to have her become part of the our lab family!

Bridget fieldwork successes

Bridget collects Phlox nivalis (SC), P. buckleyi (VA), and P. longifolia (WA) to study the developmental basis of ovule number variation in the Phlox genus

Welcome Darin Butz Interns!

The lab hosts two amazing Darin Butz summer interns, Olivia and Josh! Olivia is exploring plant-pollinator interactions with Grace and Josh is working on phenotypic variation of hybrids

Bridget studies the developmental basis of ovule number variation in Phlox genus

Bridget collects Phlox nivalis (SC), P. buckleyi (VA), and P. longifolia (WA) to study the developmental basis of ovule number variation in the Phlox genus

Bridget received the Putnam Grant for fieldwork

Bridget is awarded a Putnam Grant from the Harvard University Herbaria for Phlox summer fieldwork

A successful field season in Texas!

A successful field season spent in Texas quantifying pollination of phlox drummondii. Congrats Grace, Austin, Izzy & Robin!

Congrats Robin! Check out her paper on pollinator behavior published in Ecology and Evolution.

Cheers to Robin on her new paper published in Ecology and Evolution, which discusses her predictions on pollinator behavior causing reproductive isolation. Check it out here!

Cheers to Meghan and Robin! Check out their paper on plant carbohydrate storage published in New Phytologist.

Congrats to Megan and Robin for their new paper out in New Phytologist, which discusses plant carbohydrate storage and how intra- and inter-specific trade-offs of reveal a major life history trait. Check it out here!

Congrats Robin! Check out her paper on Hybridization and Introgression published in Annals of Botany.

Cheers to Robin and her collaborators for their new paper out in Annals of Botany, which discusses how hybridization and introgression are prevalent in Southern European Erysimum (Brassicaceae) species. Check it out here!

Cheers to Grace and Robin! Find out the missing link between plants and their pollinators.

Congrats to Grace and Robin on their new paper published in American Journal of Botany, which discusses connecting the structure of plant and pollinator population. Check it out here!

Anna joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Anna Feller to the lab! Anna will be working in the lab as a post-doctoral student. We are excited to have her become part of the our lab family!

Bridget passes her Qualifying Exam!

Congrats to Bridget on passing her Qualifying Exam!

From Ben to Dr. Ben Goulet-Scott Goulet!

Dr. Ben Goulet-Scott defends his dissertation. Congrats, Ben!

Izzy joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Isabel Acevedo to the lab! Isabel will be working in the lab as a lab technician. We are excited to have her become part of the our lab family!

Silene collection trip completed!

Silene collection trip completed (VA, CA, NM, TX) – all red Silene species are now in residence at the Arboretum greenhouse. Congrats Dr. Berardi!

We got a new NIH grant!

The lab receives a NIH R35 MIRA Grant to study the genetic and genomic basis of reinforcement !!

Ben’s hybrid speciation paper out in Evolution

Cheers to Ben Goulet-Scott and co-author Austin Garner for their new paper out in Evolution, a cautionary tale of how morphological intermediacy isn’t always a reliable indicator of hybrid origin. Check it out here!

Robin wins Roslyn Abramson Award!

Congrats to Robin on wining the Roslyn Abramson Award for Excellence in teaching undergraduates

Grace passes quals!

Congratulations to Grace Burgin for rocking her qualifying exam and becoming a PhD candidate!

Congrats to Austin for his new SICB award!

Austin receives the SICB Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid of Research Award!

Meghan’s paper out in Plant, Cell & Environment

Congrats to Hopkins lab alum Meghan Blumstein on her new paper in Plant, Cell & Environment, which looks at plasticity and variation of carbohydrate stores in Populus. Check it out here!

Meghan defends!

Congratulations to Meghan Blumstein for her successful thesis defense on August 6th, 2020, entitled “The plastic and adaptive potential of sugar storage in temperate trees under climate change”. Meghan has been awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship (Plant Genome Initiative) and will be heading to MIT to work with David Des Marais on her project, “Untangling the environmental and genetic drivers of phenological timing in red oak (Quercus rubra) to improve climate predictions”. Great work, Meghan, and congratulations!

Robin Receives Graduate Mentoring Award

Robin has received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award! Recognizing only a small number of Harvard professors each year, the award honors faculty members who offer outstanding support and encouragement while promoting the career and personal development of their mentees. Awards are based solely upon the nominations of graduate students. Congrats, Robin!

Samridhi publishes in Nature Communications

Congrats to postdoc Samridhi Chaturvedi for her new publication in Nature Communications! The paper, “Recent hybrids recapitulate ancient hybrid outcomes” is based on work with Lycaeides butterflies that Samridhi completed as part of her PhD in Zachariah Gompert’s lab at Utah State University.

Meghan publishes in Current Biology

Congratulations to Meghan Blumstein for a very cool new paper characterizing adaptive potential in Populus, out now in Current Biology. Read it here.

Bridget earns an NSF GFRP Honorable Mention

Congrats to Bridget Bickner for being recognized with an honorable mention from the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program!

Sevan’s paper out in American Journal of Botany

Congratulations to former post-doc Sevan Suni on her new paper, which looks at how water limitation affects plant-pollinator interactions. Read it here!

Robin gets promoted

A big congratulations to Robin, who has been promoted to Associate Professor!

Charlie Hale joins the lab

The lab keeps on expanding! Charlie, our newest member, joins as a research assistant.

Another new postdoc, Antonio!

We’re thrilled to welcome another new postdoc to the lab, Dr. Antonio Serrato-Capuchina. Antonio joins the Hopkins Lab after completing his PhD in Prof. Daniel Matute’s lab at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he studied the role of transposable elements in speciation.

Welcome back, Bridget!

Bridget Bickner joins the lab as an OEB graduate student. Bridget previously worked in the Hopkins Lab as a DaRin Butz Foundation research intern in the summer of 2018, and we’re very excited to have her back!

Matt is off to grad school!

Congratulations to (former) lab tech Matt Farnitano, who is starting a PhD at University of Georgia with Dr. Andrea Sweigart. The lab has not imploded in his absence… yet.

Welcome new postdoc, Sam!

Dr. Samridhi Chaturvedi joins the lab as a postdoc. She just completed her PhD with Dr. Zach Gompert at Utah State University, where she studied the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation in Lycaeides butterflies. She will be sequencing the first Phlox genome!

Emma joins as DaRin Butz summer intern

Emma O’Donnell joins the lab this summer through the DaRin Butz Foundation program at the Arnold Arboretum. She will be working with Austin on characterizing reproductive barriers between sympatric Phlox species.

Robin receives NSF grant!

Robin is awarded a grant to study pollen-pistil interaction in Phlox through the NSF Plant Biotic Interactions program.

G4 symposium

The 4th year graduate students in OEB presented their research to the department. Ben talked about his reciprocal transplant experiment testing the potential role of local adaptation in Phlox speciation.

Gordon Conference on Speciation

Robin, Austin, and Ben attend the Gordon Conference on Speciation in sunny Ventura, CA. Great meeting and great community!

Austin passed quals!

Congratulations new PhD candidate, Austin Garner

Franchesco publishes in American Journal of Botany!

Congratulations to Franchesco for his publication on climatic niche expansion in an autopolyploid! Read it here

Robin receives NSF CAREER grant

Robin is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award for early career faculty! Read more from the Harvard Gazette.

Reproductive isolation and reinforcement paper is out!

Congratulations to Sevan, whose paper on reproductive isolation and reinforcement in Phlox is out in Evolution! You can find her paper here (and you can find her in a faculty position at the University of San Francisco!)

Heather’s paper on pollinator behavior is published in Ecology and Evolution.

Congratulations to Heather (and co.)  on the publishing of “Variation in context-dependent foraging behavior across pollinators.” Read the paper here.

Self- and Interspecific- Incompatibilities paper is online

Federico’s paper on the correlation between self- and interspecific- incompatibilities in Phlox drummondii is online for early view in New Phytologist! Read the paper here!

Dr. Robin Hopkins wins science teaching award

Dr. Robin Hopkins received the 2018 Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching! This award is given to teachers of introductory courses who “inspire students, instill in them a passion for science, and effectively communicate complex ideas.” Congratulations Robin!

2018 Field work season!

Graduate students Ben Goulet and Austin Garner, along with research technician Matt Farnitano, have been hard at work planting and collecting Phlox species in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Midwest.

Field team poses with their gardens

Common garden experiment at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Cuttings transplanted to the field

Phlox amoena (Hairy phlox) field site

Robin gets her hands dirty planting cuttings

Phlox subulata (moss phlox) found in the field by Austin

View from the field station in Livingston, Illinois.

Purple and white flowers in a population of Phlox bifida (cleft phlox).

DaRin Butz Interns

Welcome to Bridget Bickner and Derek Schneider, who will be working in the Hopkins lab this summer as part of the Arnold Arboretum’s DaRin Butz Foundation Research Internship Program. Bridget is an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Derek is an undergraduate at Amherst College. Bridget will be studying the source of flower color differences in Phlox, while Derek is working on mechanisms of Phlox self- and interspecific-incompatibility.

Ben Goulet receives Rosemary Grant Award

Congratulations to Ben Goulet, who has received a 2018 Graduate Research Excellence Grant, the Rosemary Grant Advanced Award, from the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE). This award is meant to help Ph.D. candidates expand the scope of their research projects. You can read more about the award here.

Review paper on genomics of reinforcement

Congratulations to Austin on the publication of his review, Genomic signatures of reinforcement, in the journal Genes. Find the paper here.

Explosive Pollen paper is published!

Congratulations to Dr. Callin Switzer on the publication in The American Naturalist of his paper on explosive pollen dispersal in mountain laurels! You can read about the study in the Harvard Gazette here, or find the original publication here.

Tatiana joins the lab!

We are excited to welcome Tatiana Ruiz Bedoya to the lab! Tatiana is here for six months as part of the Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME), an institutional partnership between Uppsala University in Sweden, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich, and Harvard. She will be studying the mutational source of flower color differences in Phlox drummondii.

Shayla wins E. Arthur Bell Prize

Congratulations to Shayla for winning the E. Arthur Bell Prize for significant achievement as a student in the study of the nonprotein amino acid BMAA for her poster “Assessing the potential for bacterial degradation of BMAA in the guts of cycad-feeding insects” at the 2017 International BMAA Conference in Salt Lake City.


Matt Farnitano joins the lab

Welcome to Matt Farnitano, who joins the lab as a research technician.

A new baby in the lab!

Adrian Hopkins Desmarais is the lab’s newest member!

Congratulations, Dr. Callin Switzer!

Callin Switzer successfully defended his thesis, “Bee pollination biology: buzzing,

behavior, and biomechanics”! He is the Arboretum’s first PhD candidate to defend his dissertation.

Sevan will be assistant professor at University of San Francisco!

Sevan Suni accepted a position at the University of San Francisco, in San Francisco CA.  She will join the biology department as a tenure track assistant professor in January 2018. She is looking forward to teaching courses in field ecology and evolution, and to continuing research on the evolutionary ecology of plants and their pollinators.

Ben gets honorable mention for NSF GRFP

Ben received honorable mention for his NSF GRFP proposal to study hybrid speciation in Phlox

Ben passed his qualifying exam!

Ben successfully defended his dissertation proposal on a putative case of homoploid hybrid speciation in the Phlox pilosa complex.

Federico and Robin’s paper out in Molecular Ecology

Transcriptome sequences reveal the history of introgression between sympatric Phlox drummondii and P. cuspidata. [Roda et al. 2017]

Ben, Federico, and Robin’s review in Plant Physiology is out

As part of Plant Physiology‘s focus issue on flowering and reproduction, we review what is known about hybridization and its consequences in plants, from before Darwin to future directions. [Goulet et al. 2017]

Hopkins lab featured on Science IRL

Heather and Robin’s work on pollinator behavior is the focus of the latest episode of Science IRL. Science IRL is a YouTube series hosted by Molly Edwards, a graduate student in Harvard OEB, that shows what life as a researcher is really like by featuring the work of scientists from around the country. Check it out!

One more lab baby!

Shayla’s baby, Laurel, is born! The lab is full of children!

Another baby in the lab!

Heather’s baby, Larrea, is born on New Year’s Eve!

Shayla passed her Qualifying Exam!

Shayla did a great job defending her thesis proposal on cycads and their weevil pollinators. This will be an awesome dissertation.

Ben Goulet will join the lab

We are so thrilled that Ben will be joining the lab this fall as a graduate student in OEB.

Field season begins in Texas

Stuart drove lots of little Phlox to Texas! It was quite an operation but the plants were happy for their long road trip.


Stuart had a bit of an adventure along the way – he saw a BEAR!



Congratulations Chris Chen on being accepted into PRISE

Chris Chen has been awarded a PRISE fellowship to work in the lab this summer. He will be studying the strength of reproductive isolating barriers in the Texas Phlox.

Stuart Graham visits the lab

Stuart Graham is getting his masters through the Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Evolutionary Biology. He is visiting our lab for six months to conduct research on pollinator behavior. He’ll be leading the field expedition to Texas this year.

Hopkins Lab awarded a Milton Fund Grant

The Hopkins Lab was awarded a Milton Fund grant. This award will support our work investigating how and why butterflies are behaving the way they do while foraging on Phlox. We will be investigating if pollinators learn and how this learning influences pollen movement and speciation in Phlox.

Graduate student Shayla Salzman joins the lab

Shayla will be studying interactions between Cycads and their pollinators.

Sevan Suni joins the lab

Sevan Suni joins the lab. Sevan joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow and will be investigating the genetics of reinforcement and the role of hybridization in adaptive introgression.

Current Biology paper is out.

Current Biology paper, Hopkins&Rausher_2014. Fun write up in the Harvard Gazette and thanks Daniel Matute and Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos for the great Dispatch in Current Biology.

Lab baby is born.

Welcome to the world Riley Hopkins Desmarais!

Federico Roda joins the lab

As a postdoc in the lab, Federico will be investigating the genomic signatures of reinforcement and the evolution of self-incompatibility.

Robin’s paper in The American Naturalist is out

We used common garden field experiments and pollinator observation experiments to measure selection on flower color variation. [Hopkins & Rausher 2014]

The Hopkins lab is formed at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

We are excited be the newest lab in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard and to join a wonderful community in the gorgeous Weld Hill Research Building at the Arboretum.