David C. Tank
Associate Professor; Director, Stillinger Herbarium
Research: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Ph.D., University of Washington, Botany/Molecular Plant Systematics, 2006
- M.S., Michigan State University, Botany & Plant Pathology/ Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior, 2000
- B.S., Michigan State University, Botany & Plant Pathology, 1998
I am a plant systematist and am broadly interested in the investigation of the patterns and processes that shape plant biodiversity. In general, my research is focused on the use of molecular methods to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships in plants and the application of phylogenetic methods to understand plant evolution. The evolutionary causes and consequences of processes such as hybridization, polyploidy, pollination biology, biogeography, rapid diversification, and niche evolution can only be understood in light of a robust phylogenetic hypothesis, and these hypotheses are a necessary component of modern taxonomic treatments and classification systems. Research in my lab is directed at multiple levels of plant phylogeny and current projects range from comparative phylogeography of the Pacific Northwest inland rainforest communities, to the study of species boundaries and diversification among very closely related species, to patterns of diversification among some of the major lineages comprising the plant tree of life.
After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2006, David moved to a postdoctoral position in the Peabody Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University before joining the faculty at the University of Idaho in 2008. David's research is focused on the use of molecular methods to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships in plants and the application of these methods to the investigation of the patterns and processes that shape plant biodiversity, as well as our modern taxonomic treatments and classification systems. Research in Dr. Tank's lab is directed at multiple levels of plant phylogeny and current projects range from comparative phylogeography of the Pacific Northwest inland rainforest communities, to the study of species boundaries and diversification among very closely related species, to patterns of diversification among some of the major lineages comprising the plant tree of life.
In addition to Dr. Tank's phylogenetic research program, he is also the Director of the University of Idaho Stillinger Herbarium – a collection of over 200,000 specimens that represents an archive of the diversity of Idaho's vascular plants, nonvascular plants, lichens, and fungi through space and time. The collection supports research in floristics, systematics, evolution, ecology, and conservation, providing valuable documentation of the changes to our flora as we are faced with human environmental impacts, land use changes, and a changing global climate.
- Goldberg, CS, DC Tank, S Uribe-Convers†, WR Bosworth, HE Marx†, and LP Waits. in press. Species designation of the Bruneau tiger beetle (Cicindela waynei) is supported by phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Conservation Genetics.
- Soltis, DE, SA Smith, N Cellinese, KJ Wurdack, DC Tank, SF Brockington, NF Refulio-Rodriguez, JB Walker, MJ Moore, BS Carlsward, CD Bell, M Latvis, S Crawley, C Black, D Diouf, Z Xi, MA Gitzendanner, KJ Sytsma, Y-L Qiu, KW Hilu, CC Davis, MJ Sanderson, RG Olmstead, WS Judd, MJ Donoghue, PS Soltis. 2011. Angiosperm phylogeny: 17 genes, 640 taxa. American Journal of Botany 98: 704-730.
- Marx, HE†, N O’Leary, Y-W Yuan, P Lu-Irving, DC Tank, ME Mulgura and RG Olmstead. 2010. A molecular phylogeny and classification of Verbenaceae. American Journal of Botany 97:1647-1663.
- Tank, DC and MJ Donoghue. 2010. Phylogeny and phylogenetic nomenclature of the Campanulidae based on an expanded sample of genes and taxa. Systematic Botany 35: 425-441.
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (B Bremer, K Bremer, MW Chase, MF Fay, JL Reveal, DE Soltis, PS Soltis, and PF Stevens, who were equally responsible and listed here in alphabetical order only, with contributions from AA Anderberg, MJ Moore, RG Olmstead, PJ Rudall, KJ Sytsma, DC Tank, K Wurdack, Q-Y Xiang, and S Zmarzty, in alphabetical order). 2009. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 105-121.
- Tank, DC and RG Olmstead. 2009. The evolutionary origin of a second radiation of annual Castilleja species in South America: the role of long-distance dispersal and allopolyploidy. American Journal of Botany 96: 1907-1921.
- Tank, DC, JM Egger, and RG Olmstead. 2009. Phylogenetic classification of subtribe Castillejinae (Orobanchaceae). Systematic Botany 34: 182-197.
- Tank, DC and RG Olmstead. 2008. From annuals to perennials: phylogeny of subtribe Castillejinae (Orobanchaceae). American Journal of Botany 95: 608-625.
- Tank, DC, PM Beardsley, SA Kelchner, and RG Olmstead. 2006. L.A.S. Johnson Review No. 7. Review of the systematics of Scrophulariaceae s.l. and its current disposition. Australian Systematic Botany 19: 289-307.
† indicates student co-author