What’s cylindrical, succulent, with spines all over? Chollas! In this upcoming Speaker Series presentation, botanist Dr. Marc Baker will be sharing some fascinating insights into the evolutionary strategies of cacti in the genus Cylindropuntia, commonly known as chollas. Dr. Baker will delve into the various evolutionary processes – such as apogamy, hybridization, polyploidy, and dioecy – that make chollas unique in their reproductive strategies.
Marc Baker earned his M.A. in Biology from Humboldt State University and his Ph.D. in Botany from Arizona State University. He has worked as a professional botanist for almost fifty years, with most of his professional work centered on the autoecology, taxonomy, and distribution of rare plant species, vegetation analysis and mapping, range analyses, and biological assessments. Dr. Baker maintains an academic career that focuses on the evolution and taxonomy of the Cactaceae, primarily Cylindropuntia, and has published numerous journal articles. Dr. Baker has created and maintained two research gardens to study native flora and promote the use of native plants in landscaping.