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Candace Galen

Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, 1983 University of Texas at Austin

Email: galenc@missouri.edu
Office: 201a Tucker Hall
Phone: 573-882-4832
Headshot of Candace Galen

Research

Research summary

Ecology and evolution in natural plant populations

Research description

FIG. 4. (A) Percentage of seedlings emerging, (B) percentage of established seedlings surviving to flowering, and (C) lifetime fitness in experimental seed plantings of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes. Bars show means and brackets give standard errors. Seedling emergence for each genotype is shown under open and shaded canopy levels to illustrate the significant genotype-by-canopy interaction (from Galen, Huddle, and Liscum (2004)).

FIG. 4. (A) Percentage of seedlings emerging, (B) percentage of established seedlings surviving to flowering, and (C) lifetime fitness in experimental seed plantings of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes. Bars show means and brackets give standard errors. Seedling emergence for each genotype is shown under open and shaded canopy levels to illustrate the significant genotype-by-canopy interaction (from Galen, Huddle, and Liscum (2004)).

Work in my laboratory uses experimental approaches to understand ecological and evolutionary responses of plants to the environment. In current research on the alpine skypilot, Polemonium viscosum, I am examining interaction webs involving host plants, pollinators and cheaters (nectar thieves). Ants acting as cheaters in the pollination mutualism between skypilots and bumblebees reduce seed production and pollen quality. Nonetheless, natural selection for bumblebees services remains strong across a wide range of ant densities. This system provides an ideal opportunity to test whether variation in cheater abundance accounts for the rarity of specialists in plant-pollinator mutualisms and to explore mechanisms of tolerance to cheaters and to floral antagonists, more broadly.

I am also interested in how climate affects biotic interaction webs. For skypilots, pollination quality declines under drought, suggesting that plant-pollinator mutualisms are sensitive to abiotic sources of environmental stress. The sensitivity of ecological relationships to climate may make plants that depend on animal partners for seed dispersal or pollination especially vulnerable to global change.

In other research I am exploring the role of physiological tradeoffs in the evolution of photoreceptors, focusing on phototropins, blue light photoreceptors in plants. In this collaboration with Mannie Liscum (MU) and Thomas Juenger (UT Austin) we are applying a cost benefit analysis to plastic responses under the control of phototropins. Research has revealed an important role for phototropins in mediating the tradeoff between carbon gain and water loss. Current experiments explore the genetic basis and fitness consequences for variation in phototropin-driven plasticity among natural populations of the genetic model, Arabidopsis thaliana.
http://illumination.missouri.edu/f12/aromatic_attraction_presentation

Please view this video for more details on our research.

Select Publications

Select Publications

Heise, D., Miller-Struttmann, N., Galen, C., Schul, J. Acoustic detection of bees in the field using CASA with focal templates (2017) SAS 2017 - 2017 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium, Proceedings, art. no. 7894089,

Miller-Struttmann, N.E., Heise, D., Schul, J., Geib, J.C., Galen, C. Flight of the bumble bee: Buzzes predict pollination services (2017) PLoS ONE, 12 (6), art. no. e0179273,

Kettenbach, J.A., Miller-Struttmann, N., Moffett, Z., Galen, C. How shrub encroachment under climate change could threaten pollination services for alpine wildflowers: A case study using the alpine skypilot, Polemonium viscosum (2017) Ecology and Evolution, 7 (17), pp. 6963-6971.

Tipton, A.G., Miller-Struttmann, N.E., Galen, C. Finding partners in a habitat mosaic: Patch history and size mediate host colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (2016) Ecosphere, 7 (11), art. no. e01570,

Miller-Struttmann NE, Geib JC, Franklin JD, Kevan PG, Holdo RM, Ebert-May D, Lynn AM, Kettenbach JA, Hedrick E, Galen C: Functional mismatch in a bumble bee pollination mutualism under climate change. Science 2015, 349(6255):1541-1544.

Irwin RE, Howell P, Galen C: Quantifying direct vs. indirect effects of nectar robbers on male and female components of plant fitness. Journal of Ecology 2015, 103(6):1487-1497.

Geib JC, Strange JP, Galen C: Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation. Ecological Applications 2015, 25(3):768-778.

Miller-Struttmann NE, Galen C: High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 2014, 176(4):1033-1045.

Becklin KM, Pallo ML, Galen C: Willows indirectly reduce arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in understorey communities. Journal of Ecology 2012, 100(2):343-351.

Geib JC, Galen C: Tracing impacts of partner abundance in facultative pollination mutualisms: from individuals to populations. Ecology 2012, 93(7):1581-1592.

Galen, C., Kaczorowski, R., Todd, S. L., Geib, J. C. and R. A. Raguso. Dosage-Dependent Impacts of a Floral Volatile on Pollinators, Larcenists, and the Potential for Floral Evolution in the Alpine Skypilot, Polemonium viscosum American Naturalist 2011, 177:258-272.

McCaffrey, J., and C. Galen. Between a rock and a hard place: impact of nest selection behavior on the altitudinal range of an alpine ant, Formica neorufibarbis. Environmental Entomology 2011, 40: 534-540.

Becklin-Atkinson, K M., Gamez, G., Uelk, B., Raguso, R. A., and C. Galen. Soil fungal effects on floral signals, rewards and aboveground interactions in an alpine pollination web. American Journal of Botany 2011, 98:1299-1308.

Honors & Awards

Selected honors and awards

Alumnae Anniversary Fund for the Recognition of Faculty Women Award 2016

UM System President's Award for Faculty Engagement - Community Engagement 2016

Excellence in Education Award, American Society of Plant Biologists 2016

Excellence in Education Award, Division of Student Affairs 2015

Science Hero of the Year, Columbia Public Schools 2014