This event has been cancelled. The Los Altos Library informed us that all public programs in March have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. We will try to reschedule this talk later in the year.
Join us for the latest Chapter announcements and student presentations, meet fellow members and guests and enjoy a program together! Dr. Justen Whittall will discuss the role of flower color in determining taxonomic boundaries, conservation status and restoration priorities for jewelflowers (Streptanthus sp.) on Coyote Ridge in south San Jose. He will provide updates on the “good news” of the reintroduced populations of the white-flowered Metcalf Canyon jewelflower (S. albidus ssp. albidus) atop Tulare Hill nearby.
More recently, his team has turned their attention to the closely related, and comparably rare, pink-flowered most beautiful jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. peramoenus). They have been investigating the evolutionary and ecological distinctiveness of this controversial taxon. The consistent differences in sepal color and geography between the Metcalf Canyon and most beautiful jewelflowers support continued recognition of these rarities as distinct taxa. Developing a field-ready tool for reliable taxon identification based on sepal color is his team’s next challenge.
Justen B. Whittall was born in Santa Clara; he grew up running trails in the south County and surfing Santa Cruz beaches. He received a BS from Santa Clara University, an MS from Oregon State and a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in Plant Evolution (focusing on North America columbines). Justen has been an Associate Professor at Santa Clara University in Biology since 2007. He has expanded his research to include flower color evolution in arctic mustards (Parrya) and Mediterranean campions (Silene), plus conservation genetics restoration ecology of Strepthanhus and wallflowers (Erysimum). Justen is also the Editor-in- chief of Madroño, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal from the California Botanical Society.