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Kelly Steele

Faculty Hd & Asc Prof (FSC)
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2780
Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2780
Associate Professor
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2780
Biography

Kelly P. Steele is an associate professor and faculty head of the sciences and mathematics faculty group in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. An evolutionary plant biologist with interests in molecular, chromosomal and genome size evolution, her current research involves elucidating the phylogenetic relationships and evolution of a variety of plant species within the flowering plant family, Fabaceae (legumes), primarily in the genus, Medicago, that includes agriculturally important forage species such as alfalfa and bur-clover. To study these species, she utilizes DNA sequences of a number of nuclear and plastid encoded genes and whole genome sequence data for phylogeny reconstruction, and flow cytometry to estimate genome size. A more recent interest is plastid and nuclear genome evolution in columnar cacti, focusing particularly on the saguaro in Arizona and Mexico. Species in this group of cacti including the saguaro have lost a number of genes coding for proteins used in photosynthesis. Understanding the phylogenetic pattern of this loss can be useful in our overall understanding of plastid and nuclear genome evolution and photosynthesis.

Education
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of California-Santa Barbara 1986
  • B.A. Zoology, University of California-Santa Barbara 1975
Publications

Sanderson, M. J., D. Copetti, A. Burquez, E. Bustamante, J. Charboneau, L. Eguiarte, S. Kumar, M. McMahon, K.P. Steele, R. Wing, T-J. Yang, D. Zwickl, and M. F. Wojciechowski. 2015. Exceptional reduction of the plastid genome of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea, Cactaceae): Loss of the inverted repeat and the ndh gene suite. American Journal of Botany 102:1115-1127.

Yoder, J, R. Briskine, J. Mudge, A. Farmer, T. Paape, K. Steele, G. Weiblen, A. Bharti, P. Zhou, G. May, N. Young, P. Tiffin. 2013. Phylogenetic signal variation in the genomes of genus Medicago (Fabaceae).  Systematic Biology 62:424-438. 

Borges, L., A. Bruneau, D. Cardoso, M. Crisp, A. Delgado-Salinas, J. J. Doyle, A. Egan, P. S. Herendeen, C. Hughes, G. Kenicer B. Klitgaard, E. Koenen, M. Lavin, G. Lewis, M. Luckow, B. Mackinder, V. Malécot, J. T. Miller, R. T. Pennington, L. P. de Queiroz, B. Schrire, M. F. Simon, K. Steele, B. Torke, J. J. Wieringa, & M. F. Wojciechowski (LPWG). 2013. Toward a new classification system for legumes: progress report from the ILC6.  South African Journal of Botany 89: 3-9. (authors in alphabetical order)

Bruneau, A., J. J. Doyle, P. Herendeen, C. Hughes, G. Kenicer, G. Lewis, B. MacKinder, R. T. Pennington, M. J. Sanderson, M. F. Wojciechowski, K. Steele, et al.  2013.  Legume phylogeny and classification in the 21st century: progress, prospects and lessons for other species –rich clades.  Taxon: 62:217-248.

Steele, K. P., S. M. Ickert-Bond, S. Zarre, and M. F. Wojciechowski. 2010. Phylogeny and character evolution Medicago (Leguminosae): evidence from analyses of plastid trnK/matK and nuclear GA30x1 sequences.  American Journal of Botany 97: 1142-1155.

Steele K. P. and M. F. Wojciechowski. 2003. Phylogenetic analyses of Trifolieae and Vicieae.  Invited contribution for Advances in Legume Systematics vol. 10:355-370.  Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.  A. Brunneau, B. Klitgaard. (eds.)

M Wojciechowski, Michael Sanderson, Kelly Steele, Aaron Liston, A Brunneau, P Herendeen. Molecular phylogeny of the "temperate herbaceous tribes" of papilionoid legumes: A supertree approach. Advances in Legume Systematics (2001).

Manos, P. M. and K. P. Steele.  1997. Phylogenetic analyses of “higher” Hamamelididae using plastid DNA sequences.  American Journal of Botany 84: 1407-1419.

Steele, K. P. and R. A. Vilgalys. 1994.  Phylogenetic analyses of Polemoniaceae using nucleotide sequences of the plastid gene matK.  Systematic Botany 19: 126-142.

Steele, K. P., K. E. Holsinger, R. K. Jansen, and D. W. Taylor. 1991.  Phylogenetic analyses of green plants using 5S ribosomal RNA sequences. Mol. Biol. and Evol. 8: 240-248.

Steele, K. P., K. E. Holsinger, R. K. Jansen, and D. W. Taylor. 1988.  Phylogenetic relationships in green plants- A comment on the use of 5S ribosomal RNA sequences by Bremer et al. Taxon 37: 135-138.

Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 340General Genetics
ABS 489Undergraduate Research
ABS 492Honors Directed Study
ABS 493Honors Thesis
ABS 499Individualized Instruction
ABS 592Research
ABS 593Applied Project
ABS 595Continuing Registration
ABS 599Thesis
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 207Applied Plant Taxonomy
BIO 340General Genetics
ABS 492Honors Directed Study
ABS 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 340General Genetics
ABS 492Honors Directed Study
ABS 493Honors Thesis
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 207Applied Plant Taxonomy
BIO 340General Genetics
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 340General Genetics
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 207Applied Plant Taxonomy
BIO 340General Genetics
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 340General Genetics
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 207Applied Plant Taxonomy
BIO 340General Genetics
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 340General Genetics
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 207Applied Plant Taxonomy
BIO 340General Genetics
Service
  • Iran: a Botanical Exploration, Visit in 2004 ; collaboration to present
  • Society for Range Management, Range Plant Identification Test Coach (2004-2005)