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Andrew Davies

PhD Student


Major advisor: Dr. Jeremie Fant

  • Research topic: Conservation Genetics of Rare Plant Species
  • Research interests: Population genetics, threatened and endangered species, plant responses to climate change, ecological restoration, GISAwards



  • Northwestern Plant Biology and Conservation Award for MS Students $1,500
  • Alumnae of Northwestern University Research Grant $2,000
  • Francis Y. Kwong Award $2,500
  • Illinois Native Plant Society Grant $2,500
  • Friends of Nachusa Grasslands Science Award $8,000


I am researching the consequences of small population size on the population genetics and fitness of a rare plant species. The goal of this work is to parse out the impacts of population size and population genetics on reproductive fitness, and to determine which life history stage is most impacted. If we can determine if seed production, seed germination, or another trait is most impacted by either reductions in population size or changes in genetic diversity or inbreeding, we can focus restoration efforts more effectively to increase a population size or to introduce novel genetic material. This research is being conducted on Synthyris bullii, a midwestern endemic plant that is threatened at the state level across its range.