Alumni 2020

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Ghadeer Bukhari

Ph.D. in Integrative Life Sciences



  • Ph.D Integrative Life Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University 
  • M.S. Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • B.S. Department of Science and Education, King Abdulaziz University

Research Interests

I am interested in the evolution of floral symmetry in pentapetalous angiosperms, and the role of developmental mechanism and pollinators in shaping the floral morphology. I am also interested in using next generation sequencing methods to discover candidate genes for control dorsal and ventral identity of zygomorphic flowers of Schizanthus (Solanaceae).


[View Image]Angela Nguyen B.S.2018-2020 Virus Induced Gene Silencing 
 Nicholas Waldrop, B.S.2019 Virus Induced Gene Silencing 
[View Image]Jercy Merza, B.S.2020Flower color evolution of Solanaceae 
 Logan Miller, B.S2020-2021Flower color evolution 


Formal Post-doctoral Fellow

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Jingbo Zhang



  • Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University 2015-2019
  • Visiting Student, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University 2013-2015
  • Ph.D., Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences 2010-2015
  • M.S., Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences 2007-2010
  • B.S., College of Life and Environmental Science, Minzu University of China 2003-2007

Research Interests

My current research focuses on evolutionary developmental genetics of flowers, specifically the floral symmetry evolution in Solanaceae and Malpighiaceae families. I am also interested in systematic and evolutionary botany, involving investigation of phylogenetic relationships using a range of experimental approaches, including evidences from molecular data and paleobotany.

Alumni 2018

[View Image]Farahnoz Khojayori, M.S.2016-2018Floral symmetry genes elucidate the development and evolution of oil-bee pollinated flowers of Malpighiaceae and Krameriaceae
[View Image]Kevin Pucci, B.S.2017-2018Who's the mother and father of Schizanthus wisetonensis?
[View Image]Brigitte Gallagher, B.S.2018Cloning of Krameriaceae and Zygophyllaceae CYC2

Alumni 2017

[View Image]Ao Gao, M.S. 2015-2017 Evolution of antagonistic relationships in proteins: a case study of RADIALIS- AND DIVARICATA-like genes.
[View Image]Kenji Mizoguchi2016-2017 CYC2-like gene evolution in Solanaceae 
[View Image] Noha Mudhaffar 

Fall 2015

Fall 2016

Standardization of sequence names using Python-Directed Project (BNFO 692)

Differential gene expression analysises fo teh RNA-seq data-Directed Project (BNFO 692)

Alumni 2016

[View Image] Switu Patel, B.S.    Spring 2016 Cloning of CYC2-like genes from Solanceous plants    
[View Image] Farahnoz Khojayori, B.S.

Summer 2015


Construction of CYC2 vectors for VIGS in tomato and tobacco

Genetic mechanism underlying the reversal to radial floral symmetry in Brachylophon from zygomorphic flowered ancestor in Malpighiaceae

Alumni 2014

[View Image]Sarah McClanahan, B.S.2014

Morphological innovation and niche opportunity explain the diversification of Solanaceae and Reconstruction of floral symmetry evolution and viral induced gene silencing (VIGS) in Solanaceous plants  

[View Image] Cameron Winn, B.S. 2014 Comparing the efficiency of different inoculation methods using Viral Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) to study gene functions in desert tobacco
[View Image] Melissa Walker, B.S. 2014CYC2-like genes and their role in flroal symmetry    
[View Image] Matthew Hurd, B.S. 2014 Virus induced gene silencing(VIGS) in tobacco    

Alumni 2013

[View Image] Tiara Meredith, B.S.    2013 Morphological changes in the Solanaceae family as it realted to pollinators    
[View Image] Amanda Munden, B.S.     2013  DNA Extraction of species of Solanaceae     
[View Image] Susana Ayad, B.S.     2013 DNA Extraction of species of Solanaceae     
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