Brent D. Mishler


Phone: (510) 642-6810
Lab Webpage:

Full Contact Information >

Research Description

Mishler's research interests are in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, as well as in the phylogeny of green plants.  He is also interested in more general topics involving the theoretical basis of systematic and evolutionary biology, such as phylogenetic methods and the nature of species.  He has been heavily involved in developing electronic resources to present plant taxonomic and distributional information to the public, and applications of these data to conservation concerns through the development of new "spatial phylogenetic" tools for studying biodiversity and endemism using large-scale phylogenies and collection data in a geographic and statistical framework.  Currently funded projects include: (1) spatial phylogenetic studies of the floras of Australia, Chile, and California; and (2) integrated systematic, evolutionary, and ecological studies of the diverse dryland moss genus Syntrichia, specifically focused on desiccation tolerance and reproductive biology.

Selected Publications

See long CV for full list:
Google Scholar Citation Page, with indices:

J.M. Allen, C.C. Germain-Aubrey, N. Barve, K.M. Neubig, L.C. Majure, S.W. Laffan, B.D. Mishler, H.L. Owens, S.A. Smith, W.M. Whitten, J.R. Abbott, D.E. Soltis, R. Guralnick, P.S. Soltis. 2019. Spatial phylogenetics of Florida vascular plants: the effects of calibration and uncertainty on diversity estimates.  iScience 11: 57–70. 

M.M. Kling, B.D. Mishler, A.H. Thornhill, B.G. Baldwin, and D.D. Ackerly.  Facets of phylodiversity: evolutionary diversification, divergence, and survival as conservation targets.  Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B.  374: 20170397.

J.T. Miller, G. Jolley-Rogers, B.D. Mishler  and A.H. Thornhill. 2018. Phylogenetic diversity is a better measure of biodiversity than taxon counting.  Journal of Systematics and Evolution  56: 663–667.

B.D. Mishler and J.S. Wilkins. 2018. The hunting of the SNaRC: a snarky solution to the species problem.  Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology. 10: 1-18.

A.H. Thornhill, B.G. Baldwin, W.A. Freyman, S. Nosratinia, M.M. Kling, N. Morueta-Holme, T.P Madsen, D.D. Ackerly, and B.D. Mishler. .2017 Spatial phylogenetics of the native California flora.  BMC Biology 15:96.

R.A. Scherson,  A.H. Thornhill, R. Urbina-Casanova, WA. Freyman, P.A. Pliscoff, and B.D. Mishler. 2017. Spatial phylogenetics of the vascular flora of Chile.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 112: 88-95.

B.G. Baldwin, A.H. Thornhill, W.A. Freyman, D.D. Ackerly, M.M. Kling, N. Morueta-Holme, & B.D. Mishler. 2017. Species richness and endemism in the native flora of California. American Journal of Botany. 104: 487–501.

S.W. Laffan, D.F. Rosauer, G. Di Virgilio, J.T. Miller, C.E. González-Orozco, N. Knerr, A.H. Thornhill, & B.D. Mishler. 2016. Range-weighted metrics of species and phylogenetic turnover can better resolve biogeographic transition zones. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 580-588.

A.H. Thornhill, B.D. Mishler, N. Knerr, C.E. Gonzalez-Orozco, C.M. Costion, D.M. Crayn, S.W. Laffan, & J.T. Miller. 2016. Continental-scale spatial phylogenetics of Australian angiosperms provides insights into ecology, evolution and conservation. Journal of Biogeography. 43: 2085–2098.

C.E. González-Orozco, L.J. Pollock, A.H. Thornhill, B.D. Mishler, N. Knerr, S.W. Laffan, J.T. Miller, D.F. Rosauer, D.P. Faith D.A. Nipperess, H.Kujala, S. Linke, N. Butt, C. Külheim, M.D. Crisp, & B. Gruber. 2016. Phylogenetic approaches reveal biodiversity threats under climate change. Nature Climate Change 6: 1110–1114.

N.S. Nagalingum, N. Knerr, S. Laffan, C.E. González-Orozco, A. Thornhill, J. Miller, & B.D. Mishler. 2015. Continental scale patterns and predictors of fern richness and phylogenetic diversity.  Frontiers in Genetics.  6:132.

A.N. Schmidt-Lebuhn, N.J. Knerr, J.T. Miller, & B.D. Mishler. 2015. Phylogenetic diversity and endemism of Australian daisies (Asteraceae). Journal of Biogeography 42: 1114–1122.

A.E. Paasch, B.D. Mishler, S. Nosratinia, L.R. Stark, & K.M. Fisher. 2015. Decoupling of sexual reproduction and genetic diversity in the female-biased Mojave Desert moss Syntrichia caninervis (Pottiaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 176: 751–761.

C.E. González-Orozco, B.D. Mishler, J.T. Miller, S.W. Laffan, N. Knerr, P. Unmack, Arthur Georges, A.H. Thornhill, D.F. Rosauer, & B. Gruber. 2015. Assessing biodiversity and endemism using phylogenetic methods across multiple taxonomic groups.  Ecology and Evolution  5: 5177–5192.

N.E Bell, J.L Boore, B.D. Mishler, & J. Hyvönen. 2014. Organellar genomes of the four-toothed moss, Tetraphis pellucida. 2014. BMC Genomics. 15: 383.

C.E. González-Orozco, M.C. Ebach, S. Laffan, A.H. Thornhill, N.J. Knerr, A.N. Schmidt-Lebuhn, C.C. Cargill, M. Clements, N.S. Nagalingum, B.D. Mishler, & J.T. Miller. 2014. Quantifying phytogeographical regions of Australia using geospatial turnover in species composition. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92558.

B.D. Mishler, N.J. Knerr, C.E. González-Orozco, A.H. Thornhill, S.W. Laffan, & J.T. Miller. 2014. Phylogenetic measures of biodiversity and neo- and paleo-endemism in Australian Acacia.   Nature Communications.  5: 4473.

Y. Fang, R.-L. Zhu & B.D. Mishler.  2014. Evolution of oleosin in land plants.  PLoS ONE 9(8): e103806.

B.D. Mishler. 2013. History and theory in the development of phylogenetics in botany.  In A. Hamilton (ed.), The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics, pp. 189-210.  University of California Press.

N. Cellinese, D.A. Baum, & B.D. Mishler. 2012. Species and phylogenetic nomenclature. Systematic Biology 61: 885-891.

S. Nosratinia, J.R. Shevock, & B.D. Mishler. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships of Yunnanobryon (Musci: Regmatodontaceae). The Bryologist 114: 547-555.

M. Benassi, L.R. Stark, J.C. Brinda, D.N. McLetchie, M. Bonine, & B.D. Mishler. 2011. Plant size, sex expression, and sexual reproduction along an elevation gradient in a desert moss. The Bryologist 114: 277-288.

B.D. Mishler. 2010. Species are not uniquely real biological entities. In F. Ayala and R. Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology, pp. 110-122. Wiley-Blackwell

M.J. Oliver, A.G. Murdock, B.D. Mishler, J.V. Kuehl, J.L. Boore, D.F. Mandoli, K.D.E. Everett, P.G. Wolf, A.M. Duffy, & K.G. Karol. 2010. Chloroplast genome sequence of the moss Tortula ruralis: gene content, polymorphism, and structural arrangement relative to other green plant chloroplast genomes. BMC Genomics 11: 143.

K.G. Karol, K. Arumuganathan, J.L. Boore, A.M. Duffy, K.D.E. Everett, J.D. Hall, S.K. Hansen, J.V. Kuehl, D.F. Mandoli, B.D. Mishler, R.G. Olmstead, K.S. Renzaglia, & P.G. Wolf. 2010. Complete plastome sequences of Equisetum arvense and Isoetes flaccida: implications for phylogeny and plastid genome evolution of early land plant lineages. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 321.