The Donovan lab investigates plant evolutionary ecophysiology, with an emphasis on resource use and stress tolerance traits as they relate to plant performance. We examine ecological and evolutionary responses to growth limiting factors (e.g. water and nutrient limitations, drought, and salinity). Our current study system is primarily a suite of Helianthus species, due to their wide-ranging ecology and available genetic and genomic tools. In general, we want to know how individual plant traits affect plant fitness and distribution, and how these traits evolve. To address these questions, we use a combination of ecological, ecophysiological, evolutionary genetic and genomic approaches. Prospective students with an interest in functional ecology, evolution, and genomics of plant traits are encouraged to apply.