1. Evolution and phylogeny of lichenized and nonlichenized in-operculate euascomycetes focussing on the subclass Arthoniomycetidae.
2. Relationships within Arthoniales, Roccellaceae focussing on the genus Roccella as a model for character evolution.
3. Speciation processes, reproduction strategies and infra-specific variation in sexual and asexual lichen fungi.
The research use techniques of molecular systematics to infer phylogenetic relationships and will produce a multiple gene phylogeny of the Arthoniales and Roccellaceae. Morphological, anatomical, chemical, and life history traits are studied and reassessed. A phylogenetic context for understanding evolution of morphological characters, ecological strategies, and biogeography of the lineage in the Euascomycetes will be achieved. Phylogenetic trees will be generated by methods for phylogenetic reconstruction. Speciation and dispersal strategies in sexual and asexual lichen fungi will be analysed to examine how dual reproductive modes are associated with haplotype evolution.