My wider interests include studying the forces that drive evolution in tropical plants and insects. More specifically, the rare transition of tropical woody plants into the temperate zone. These types of transitions shape the diversity and structure of forests around the world. I am particularly interested in the genera Cephalanthus a group of woody angiosperms with distributions from boreal to tropical zones. My research focuses on how functional plant traits associated with frost tolerance are lost and or gained, and how these traits facilitate species range expansion from their tropical origin into temperate zones.