dePamphilis discusses Earth's first flowers at April 17 Research Unplugged

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Claude dePamphilis, professor of biology, will present "Ancient Flowers: The Search for Earth's First Flowering Plants" at 12:30 p.m. on April 17 at Schlow Centre Region Library as the fourth of six Research Unplugged events this semester. Research Unplugged brings together Penn State researchers and the State College community for lively public discussions.This week's talk will focus on the work of The Floral Genome Project, which dePamphilis leads. The project's goal is to unravel a mystery that has long puzzled plant biologists: why flowers suddenly appeared in the fossil record over 100 million years ago. Explains dePamphilis, "The Floral Genome Project is a collaborative research cooperation primarily between Penn State, University of Florida, and Cornell University. It was initiated to bridge the genomic gap between the most broadly studied plant model systems. We are investigating the origin, conservation, and diversification of the genetic architecture of the flower, and develop conceptual and real tools for evolutionary functional genomics in plants."As always, a question and answer session will be part of the program.A widely published and awarded plant evolutionary biologist, dePamphilis has broad interests in the processes and patterns of plant evolution. Multiple grants from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research program have supported his research. In addition, he is the recipient of the 2013 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Life and Health Sciences, which recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme.The Research Unplugged series is made possible with the support of Penn State and Schlow Centre Region Library. For additional information, contact series coordinator Melissa Beattie Moss at 814-865-2614 or

Last Updated April 17, 2014