I welcome inquiries from prospective M.S. students. Please contact me directly, or for more information about graduate studies in Biology at WCU, contact our Graduate Director.
Kathy Mathews, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Associate Professor, Plant Systematics
Director, WCU Herbarium
Office Address: Natural Science Building 128
Research:I specialize in flowering plant systematics, which seeks to explain patterns of diversity among the flowering plants. I mainly study problems in the taxonomy, biogeography and evolutionary relationships of southeastern and southern Appalachian plant groups. Recent work with collaborators includes the phylogenetic systematics of Sabatia (swamp pink) and Bartonia (screwstem), both of the gentian family, as well as population genetics and phytochemistry of Actaea racemosa (black cohosh). My graduate students have studied the systematics of Southern Appalachian saxifrages (Micranthes), hybridization in the Trillium erectum complex, and growth characteristics of rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea). Our research tools include field work, herbarium studies, molecular phylogenetics of DNA sequences, and DNA fragment analysis.