About Me

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RESEARCH INTERESTS
Alpine plant biogeography, biodiversity estimates, Boechera Á. Löve & D. Löve, Boletales, (ethno)botany, Caryophyllales, Claytonia L., edaphic endemism, floristics, geophytes, hybridization, introgression, Leccinum Gray, Montiaceae, morphometrics, mycology, NGS, phylogenetics, polyploidy, RADSeq, Silene L.

Contact info:

Tommy Stoughton, Ph.D.
Center for the Environment

Plymouth State University
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264

trstoughton@plymouth.edu
thomas.stoughton@gmail.com

Calphotos: Plant Photography!
See a list of all photos

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FUNDING SOURCES
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Cactus and Succulent Society of America
California Native Plant Society
Dean Wm. Taylor
Danea T. and James S. Riley
Experiment.com backers
Graduate Student Council, Claremont Graduate University
National Science Foundation
Northern California Botanists
Pam MacKay (on behalf of Jackie Gore)
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Southern California Botanists

TRS north of Juneau

EDUCATION
Claremont Graduate University
, 2011 to 2016; Ph.D. in Botany
University of Redlands, 2004 to 2008; B.A. in Environment Studies, Emphasis in Botany

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
Conservation Program Assistant, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) 1/2016 to 5/2016
Curatorial Assistant, RSABG 9/2015 to 12/2015
Molecular Laboratory Assistant, RSABG 9/2013 to 12/2013
Molecular phylogenetics of Chloridoid grasses, RSABG 1/2013 to 5/2013
Genetic studies of Sneed Pincushion Cactus, RSABG 9/2012 to 12/2012
Seeds of Success Coordinator, RSABG 3/2010 to 12/2011
Biological Science Technician, San Bernardino National Forest 7/2007 to 3/2010

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Guest Instructor (BIOL44, Intro. Bio.), Keck Science Department (serving Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges) 3/2015 to 4/2015 and 3/2016 to 4/2016
Teaching Assistantship (EA55L, Phys. Geo. & Geomorph. ), Keck Science Department 1/2014 to 5/2014
Teaching Assistantship (BIOL44, Intro. Bio.), Keck Science Department 1/2012 to 5/2012

SERVICE
Cal Photos image contributor and taxon ID reviewer
School of Botany Representative to the Graduate Student Council (GSC)
Pomona College Internship Program: Mentor
Southern California Botanists: Vice President, Field Trip Leader, and Member
SBNFA, Non-Profit Association: Volunteer Naturalist Training Leader and Field Trip Leader
American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, Cactus and Succulent Society of America, California Botanical Society, California Native Plant Society, Northern California Botanists, and Torrey Botanical Society: Member

GRANTS
2015 – National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant ($18,510): Evolution and Systematics of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae).
Northern California Botanists Graduate Student Research Scholarship ($1000)
2014 – Cactus and Succulent Society of America Research Grant ($1500)
California Native Plant Society Award for Conservation Management Plan ($800)
Experiment.com ($8146): Alpine plant biodiversity: why is it so high?
2013 – NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship (Honorable Mention): Evolution and Systematics of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae).
American Society of Plant Taxonomists Graduate Student Research Award ($800)
California Native Plant Society Educational Grants ($400)
2012 – Southern California Botanists Annual Research Grant Recipient ($500)

HONORS & AWARDS
2016 – American Society of Plant Taxonomists Cooley Award ($500)
2015 – California Native Plant Society Best Student Speaker Award ($100)
2013 – California Botanical Society 24th Graduate Student Meeting Top Speaker Award ($100)
2012 – CGU Graduate Student Council Fall Travel Award Recipient ($200)
2004–08 – University of Redlands: Presidential Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, Dean’s List (7 semesters), and Scholar Athlete Award

INVITED SEMINARS
2016 – An update concerning the tuberous Claytonia of northern California: how many unique species are we calling Claytonia lanceolata? Northern California Botanists Symposium, Chico, CA.
2015 – Flora of Mt. San Gorgonio and Southern California discoveries. Southern California Botanists Annual Symposium, Claremont, CA.
Introduction to the alpine flora of Mt. San Gorgonio. Monthly Seminar Series of the Sierra Club San Gorgonio Chapter, San Bernardino, CA.
Plant-centric (botanical) career track: how did I get here? University of Redlands Senior Capstone Visiting Seminar Series, Redlands, CA.
2013 – Islands in the stream: significance of Pleistocene biogeography in the Basin and Range Province for the montane flora of southern California. Southern California Botanists Annual Symposium, Claremont, CA.
Is southern California still a black hole for botanists? Species problems from my ‘well-botanized’ backyard. Friends of the UC/Jeps Herbaria Seminar Series, Berkeley, CA.
Evolution of the rare, uncommon and unusual flora of the San Bernardino Mountains. RSABG Volunteer Enrichment Seminar, Claremont, CA.
2011 – Steps for making an appropriate seed collection – It’s more than just gathering seeds! Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District Symposium: Native Seed Production for Restoration, Hedgerows & Cover Crops within Southern California, Redlands, CA.
An introduction to the rare, uncommon and unusual flora of the San Bernardino Mountains. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Botany Seminar Series, Claremont, CA.

PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
2016 – Systematics and Evolution of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae). Botanical Society of America Annual Botany Meeting, Savannah, Georgia.
2015 – Next-gen data for a next-gen problem: Resolving relationships and taxonomy of the tuberous, perennial Claytonia (Montiaceae). Caryophyllales 2015 International Conference, Berlin, Germany. (with D.D. Jolles)
Dumpster diving for clade resolution: Next Generation Sequencing of Claytonia. Botanical Society of America Annual Botany Meeting, Edmonton, Alberta (CAN).
Next-gen data for a next-gen problem: Resolving relationships and taxonomy of the tuberous, perennial Claytonia L. California Botanical Society Graduate Student Symposium, Claremont, CA. (with D.D. Jolles & R.L. O’Quinn)
Edaphic endemism and Silene verecunda (Caryophyllaceae): one taxon, or twenty? California Botanical Society Graduate Student Symposium, Claremont, CA. (with H.A. Bartosh & D.D. Jolles)
Will the real Claytonia lanceolata please stand up? California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference, Sacramento, CA. (with D.D. Jolles & R.L. O’Quinn)
2014 – Systematics and biogeography of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae): a species complex riddled with species complexes. Botanical Society of America Annual Meeting, Boise, ID.
2013 – Past hybridization events in Boechera (Brassicaceae) provide intriguing insights into the biogeography of the Arcto-Tertiary Geoflora in southern California. California Botanical Society 24th Graduate Student Meeting, Claremont, CA.
Developing a species complex: systematics and biogeography of Claytonia lanceolata s.l. (Montiaceae). Botanical Society of America Annual Botany Meeting, New Orleans, LA. (with D.D. Jolles & R.L. O’Quinn)
2012 – Hitting the ground running: Seeds of Success efforts in the California deserts. CNPS Conservation Conference, San Diego, CA.

10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Tommy, This is Drew Monks. Looks like everything is going well with your project! I’m working for the forest service as a botanist up in the Modoc NF, where I’ll be for the next couple months. Should I be on the lookout for any interesting claytonias up here in the Modoc?

    • Drew — I will just say, major YES* — I was up on the Modoc in late April and they were on their way out. There are tuberous, perennial claytonias at the mid-upper elevations of the Warner Mtns in mesic, mixed conifer forest. We saw at least a few in flower… better luck next time, I suppose.

      I’m glad to hear you are still working in the botanical realm of life! I always feel happy to know I haven’t scared someone away from plants 😉 Enjoy the Modoc Plateau — from what I’ve seen, it is a very botanically rich place, ripe for more evolutionary study.

  2. Bogglingly beautiful Blog and the FOTOS! Wow. Seriously interesting info. THANK you. We have Clatonia siberica here in the Eastern Aleutians. Gorgeous flowers and their scent fills the house all summer. In the fall they have tasty little ‘roots’. Sure is hard work to harvest them from my rock garden tho – so have decided to transplant some and then reseed a special garden spot with them next spring. How many of this spp are edible anyway?

    • Thanks for the positive review, Abi — It is nice to know this blog has such a far reach! Feel free to let me know what aspects of Claytonia you enjoy hearing about and I will attempt to focus blog posts more toward those subjects. Feel free also to follow my blog for notifications on new posts!

      In answer question, all Claytonia are edible in terms of their foliage, and most are also palatable! In my opinion, those species with heavy betalain pigmentation tend to be a bit bitter, for whatever reason. Some Claytonia also have edible perennating structures, such as tubers, thickened caudices, or fleshy rhizomes, but one should be cautious when eating these in mass quantity: some new research suggests these plants might accumulate heavy metals where growing close to mine tailings.

  3. Tommy Stoughton, Ph.D., just stumbled across your fascinating web page! I’m a recently retired (computer engineer) who dabbles in native plants. I have discovered a plant in our woods I was sure was a Claytonia of some sort, but, after looking on-line and in my own Pac NW garden books for several weeks, asking other gardeners, Master Gardeners, a couple of biologist friends and college classmate, I am still without a definitive answer of WHAT I found. This evening I came across your web site. My goodness! After reading many of your postings, Claytonia seems to be a plant that can literally plastisize itself into multiple shapes, colors and sizes! Without DNA examination, how could one know what one is looking at? The patch I discovered occupies about 4’x8′ in a moist, dappled shady area underneath 100′ plus Douglas Firs (with understory of Vine Maple, Sword fern, etc.). I discovered it about 2 weeks ago after cutting down a dying 40+ year old rhododendron. Doesn’t look like the Claytonia perfoliata or Claytonia sibirica that grow in abundance in our woods elsewhere. Very short plants, 4″-6″ leaves, with 8″ max for the stems, with heart shaped leaves and asymetrical leaves along the flower stem. Would you be interested in me sharing pix with you of these plants or even a sample of them? The more I learn about Claytonia, the more it fascinates me and makes me wonder what the heck is growing in our woods! I realize you probably get this query often, but, I love solving mysteries and this one is truly mysterious! Perhaps this one would help you in your quest, too.

    • Thanks for the positive review, Barb — I love to hear that my blog is reaching curious readers like yourself! I’ve told this to others before, but please do feel free to let me know more specifically what aspects of Claytonia you enjoy hearing about most and I will attempt to focus blog posts more toward those subjects. Plasticity is certainly a theme I like to float around, but hybridization blurs the lines between simple variation and speciation.

      I’d LOVE to take a look at some pictures. I hope I can figure out what you’ve got! And yes, material from pretty much any member of the family Montiaceae is of great use for my studies, but especially Claytonia species. For future purposes, you can find a treatment of Claytonia in the Flora of North America online: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=107275. This dichotomous key will ask you a series of questions to help you figure out which species you’ve got.

      • The pictures you share are dazzling and the articles fascinating. Might be nice if you had a FAQ page that helps newbies (like me) get directly to your info, like the http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=107275 treatment website you recommended for aid with Claytonia family identification. Heck, I could see an entry in your FAQ titled “Why is Claytonia hard to identify?” 🙂 Since May (it is now Sep 2016), my yet-to-be-identified-by-me plants have developed runners w. tiny “babies” along the runners. I should get closer to identification as the seasons progress and I learn more about them. You can see the latest images posted in my Facebook posting to “Plant Identifcation and Discussion”, search for “Barb Rider” or “Claytonia” and you’ll see May and Sep photos of the same plants I transplanted to a different location on our property to isolate them from the big patch I found. (Am happy to send photos to your email – let me know!) Thanks again!

  4. Hi Tommy, Great to catch up with you in Savannah. Let’s plan to stay in touch. All the best, Paul Groff (and Barbara Whitlock), U of M.

    • It was great catching up with you as well! I appreciate your positive feedback and enthusiasm. Let’s definitely keep in touch. Come on up to Plymouth some time, if you can find the time to get away!

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