Systematics Association Founders’ Lecture 2022

High-achiever low plants

A portrait photo of Rafael Medina, invited speaker to the Founders Lecture 2022

Dr Rafael Medina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Bryophytes (mosses and allies) are often referred to as “non-vascular plants”, “early land plants”, or even “lower plants”. These terms are, at the least, somewhat deceptive in the context of evolutionary biology and make little justice to fascinating organisms that challenge our understanding of complexity. The outcomes of the most recent research on bryophyte biology depict them not as intermediate steps towards flowering plants, but indeed as successful exemplars of an alternative plantness. This lecture will explore the value of this group of organisms, and in particular the family Funariaceae, as a model system to address overarching questions in evolutionary biology and the need to continue working on phylogenetics and taxonomy.

This event took place on 14th October 2022 at the Linnean Society of London. A recording of the talk is available in our YouTube channel.