Alexander, Jason A.
Title:
Curator - Herbarium
Office:
PS108
Phone:
(801) 863-6806
Fax:
(801) 863-8064
Mail Code:
179
Last Updated: 9/2/15 -

PRIMARY EMPLOYMENT
June 2008 -Current:  Herbarium Curator, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah
September 1998 – September 2006: Graduate Research and Curatorial Assistant, Oregon State University Herbarium, Corvallis, Oregon
February 1994 - May 1998: Database Manager and Curatorial Assistant, UNLV Herbarium, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

RESEARCH EMPHASIS

            The main focus of my research is the taxonomy and phylogeographic in the genus Astragalus (Fabaceae). North America, a region with over 400 species of Astragalus, is one of three major centers of diversity, all of which comprise the majority of the nearly 1750 species of Astragalus worldwide. One of the most diverse species, Astragalus lentiginosus of Section Diphysi, is a polymorphic complex of over 40 varieties, ranging from the West Coast to Texas and the Rocky Mountains. Many of the rare varieties of A. lentiginosus have evolved on geologic substrates and in plant communities that were not present during the last glacial maximum. Recently, I started investigating this complex using phylogeographic methods, instead of population genetic and cladistic methods.  Spatially testing for genetic discontinuities between populations (SAMOVA software; Barrier software; spatial clustering analysis) have shown to be powerful tools for the inference of phylogeographic barriers between peripheral populations of closely-related, neoendemic taxa.

       I have several floristic projects in progress. I was selected in 2013 by the Oregon Flora Project to write a treatment for all species of Lomatium in Oregon. In the process of writing this treatment, I have collaborated with Wayne Whaley in the description of two new endemic varieties of Lomatium grayi from the Great Basin and Pacific Northwest. I am also developing a online checklist of the Flora of the Mojave Desert through a grant funded by the BLM. This grant currently employs two undergraduate students for a 3-year time period.             

            In addition to serving on the board of the Utah Native Plant Society, I am currently the primary editor and manager of the Rare Plant List for Utah Native Plant Society (http://www.unps.org/PAGES/rare.html).


EDUCATION

B.S.  Environmental Studies, Biology minor, area of specialization: Botany University of Nevada, Las Vegas, May 1998.
    Undergraduate Thesis:  The UNLV Herbarium Database Operations Manual.

M.S.  Botany, Rangeland Resources minor, Oregon State University, 2001.
    Thesis: Genetic Diversity of Populations of Astragalus oniciformis using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Markers.

Pd.D.  Botany, Oregon State University, 2008.
    Thesis: A taxonomic revision of Astragalus mokiacensis and allied taxa within the Astragalus lentiginosus complex of Section Diphysi.

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS AND MANUSCRIPTS

Alexander, J.A., A. Liston, S. Popovich. 2004. Genetic Diversity of the narrow endemic Astragalus oniciformis (Fabaceae).  American Journal of Botany 91: 2004-2012.

Alexander, J.A. 2005.  The taxonomic status of Astragalus mokiacensis (Fabaceae), a species endemic to the  southwestern United States.  Brittonia. 57: 320-333.

Fertig, W., and J. Alexander. 2008. Annotated checklist of vascular flora: Pipe Spring National Monument. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR–2008/131. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Alexander J.A.  2009. The Types of Astragalus Section Diphysi (Fabaceae), a complex endemic to Western North America, Part I: Lectotypifications, Epitypifications, and new     combinations of  several taxa.  Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3: 211-218.

Fertig, W., and J. Alexander. 2009. Annotated checklist of vascular flora: Zion National Park. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR–2009/157. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado

Alexander, J.A. 2012. A Taxonomic Revision of Astragalus lentiginosus var. maricopae and Astragalus lentiginosus var. ursinus: two taxa endemic to the Southwestern United States. Calochortiana 1: 134-156.

Alexander J.A.  (in prep). The 1877 collections of Dr. Edward Palmer from the western United States, Part I: type revisions and noteworthy specimens in Fabaceae.

Alexander J.A.  (in prep). The nomenclatural status of five taxa within the Trifolium longipes complex of western North America.
    
Alexander J.A. (in prep).  Comparative phylogeography of neoendemic varieties of Astragalus lentiginosus (Fabaceae): divergent responses to Quaternary climate change in the southwestern United States.

Alexander, J.A., Wayne Whaley. (in prep).  A revision of the widespread species Lomatium grayi using morphometrics and the description of two new varieties from the Great Basin and Pacific Northwest.

Alexander J.A. (in prep). A taxonomic treatment and key to the genus Lomatium in Oregon.  Oregon Flora Project. Oregon State University.

SOCIETY NEWSLETTER ARTICLES
Alexander, J.A. 2010. On the False Report of an Edward Palmer Collection as a New Record for the Genus Oligomeris (Resedaceae) for Utah. Sego Lily: Newsletter of the Utah Native Plant Society 33: 8-9

Alexander, J.A. 2013.  A Survey of Species in Euphorbia Section Myrsiniteae: How Many Species Could Have Contributed to the Invasiveness of Euphorbia myrsinites in the Intermountain West? Sego Lily: Newsletter of the Utah Native Plant Society 36: 8-11

Alexander, J.A. 2014. Climate Change and Land Use History Enflame a New Range War Over Public Lands.  Sego Lily: Newsletter of the Utah Native Plant Society 37:6-15

RECENT PRESENTATIONS
2014. Using the UNPS ranking system for developing priority lists for rare plants: revision of the NHP Marginal List. Nevada Rare Plant Conference, Reno, NV
2014. Comparative phylogeography of Astragalus lentiginosus var. mokiacensis and related varieties: divergent responses to Quaternary climate change in the southwestern United States. Nevada Rare Plant Conference, Reno, NV
2013. Can digital image vouchers increase the participation of citizen scientists in herbarium research?  Annual Meeting, Utah Native Plant Society, Orem, UT
2013. The Block Checklist Project: documenting Utah plants in space and time.  Salt Lake Chapter Meeting, Utah Native Plant Society
2013. Utah Valley University Herbarium Projects Update: The Flora of the Mojave Desert Ecoregion: an online checklist and flora. Utah Rare Plant Conference, Salt Lake City, UT
2012. The Role of Herbaria as a Tool for Monitoring the Long-Term Effects of Climate Change. Utah Rare Plant Conference, Salt Lake City, UT
2012. The status of the montane varieties of Astragalus lentiginosus in Nevada: An update.  Nevada Rare Plant Conference, Las Vegas, NV
2012. An alternative ranking system for developing priority lists for rare plants: an example using the varieties of Astragalus lentiginosus in Nevada. Nevada Rare Plant Conference, Las Vegas, NV
2011. Intermountain Region Block Checklist Project. Nevada Rare Plant Conference, Reno, NV
2009. A Taxonomic Revision of Astragalus lentiginosus var. maricopae and Astragalus lentiginosus var. ursinus: two taxa endemic to the Southwestern United States. 5th Southwestern Rare Plant Conference, Salt Lake City, UT
2009. The genetic distinctiveness of Astragalus lentiginosus var. maricopae and A. lentiginosus var. ursinus (Fabaceae)- two restricted endemics in the southwestern United States. Botanical Society of America Conference, Snowbird, UT
2004. Astragalus mokiacensis Gray and the Astragalus lentiginosus Douglas ex Hook. complex (Fabaceae): Is the scarcely-inflated pod a result of multiple independent parallelisms?  Botanical Society of America Conference, Snowbird, UT
2000. Genetic Diversity of Populations of Astragalus oniciformis using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Markers. Botanical Society of America Conference, Portland, OR.

GRANTS AND AWARDS
2014  Oregon Native Plant Society Field Research Grant: provided funds for collecting type specimens in Oregon of one of two new proposed varieties of Lomatium grayi, with Wayne Whaley
2014  Utah Native Plant Society Grants-in-Aid: provided funds for collecting type specimens of two new proposed varieties of Lomatium grayi, with Wayne Whaley
2012  BLM Grant: The Flora of the Mojave Desert Ecoregion: an online checklist developed for the UVU Virtual Herbarium Website
2003  Rupert Barneby Fund for Research in Legume Systematics: provided funds for travel to New York Botanical Garden Herbarium for two months to study Astragalus taxonomy and Edward Palmer's 1877 collections.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

2013-current  Chair of the Utah Native Plant Society Rare Plant Committee
2013-current  President of the State Board of the Utah Native Plant Society
2012-current  Co-President of the Utah County Chapter of the Utah Native Plant Society
2011-2013 Vice President of the State Board of the Utah Native Plant Society