Matthew Keirle

Matthew Keirle received his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology in 2010

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences, State College of Florida

Matthew Keirle’s dissertation research examines the population biology of Rhodocollybia laulaha—an important, narrowly-endemic mushroom species that drives nutrient recycling and litter decomposition in endangered Hawaiian rainforests. He is developing genetic, ecological, morphological, and intersterility data sets for populations with varying degrees of spatial isolation. Combined analysis of those data sets will address questions about the earliest events in population level divergence and associated patterns of isolating barrier development. Improved understanding of early isolating barriers coupled with patterns of divergence will enhance species recognition capability. Ecological studies rely on the unambiguous recognition of species boundaries and often the way in which those boundaries are defined significantly affects interpretation and discernment of ecological processes and patterns. This in turn has profound consequences for global biodiversity assessment and conservation biology decision making.