Skip to main content

About Barbara S. Carlsward

Dr. Carlsward’s research interests incorporate techniques of plant anatomy and molecular phylogenetics to study plant evolution. The primary goal of her research is to generate reliable hypotheses of evolution and then use these phylogenies as a foundation for studying character evolution of plant structure. Most of Dr. Carlsward’s research focuses on the orchid family (Orchidaceae). During her graduate research career, she worked extensively with the economically important Vanda tribe, which includes species like the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii). Currently, she is working on collaborative projects examining the vegetative and floral anatomy of Aeridinae, Dichaea, Lockhartia, Oncidiinae, Scaphosepalum, and Sobralieae.
In addition to her work with orchids, Dr. Carlsward has experience with many other flowering plant families. During her post-doctoral work with the Angiosperm Tree of Life Project, she examined pollen and androecium morphology of Saxifragales, Caryophyllales, Ericales, Malpighiales, Campanulids, and several other large flowering plant groups. Currently, she is collaborating with researchers at the University of Florida on publishing these findings. With the help of students at EIU, Dr. Carlsward is also involved in examining the structural evolution of Polygalaceae and Kosteletzkya (Malvaceae).
Students interested in gaining hands-on experience with plant structure and evolutionary questions should contact Dr. Carlsward about current research opportunities.


Present Associate Professor, Eastern Illinois University Biological Sciences

Curriculum Vitae


Articles (14)