Staff Profile

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Matthew Nelsen

Research Scientist

Negaunee Integrative Research Center
Biogeography
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Geochemistry
Paleontology
Systematics/Phylogeny

Matt's research began in botany, ecology and environmental science and has more recently gravitated towards: (i) the evolution of symbiotic associations; and (ii) the evolution of eukaryotic microbes (fungi and algae), and the roles they have played in shaping terrestrial ecosystems and nutrient-cycling during the Neoproterozoic-Phanerozoic. Both avenues of his research attempt to link diverse fields and organismal groups. His current postdoctoral work addresses the timing and evolutionary consequences of ant-plant interactions. For more information, please see: https://mpnelsen.com/

Additional Information

Education

Ph.D. University of Chicago. Committee on Evolutionary Biology. Thesis: The origins and diversification of lichen symbioses.

M.S. University of Wisconin-Madison. Botany. Thesis: Symbiont-switching, species concepts and systematics in the lichen genera Thamnolia and Lepraria.

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Double-major in Botany and Biological Aspects of Conservation. Thesis: Lichens as bioindicators of air quality in Madison, WI.

Publications

Selected publications (for full list, please see: https://mpnelsen.com/publications-2/):

Nelsen, M.P., Lücking, R., Boyce, C.K., Lumbsch, H.T. and R.H. Ree. 2020. The macroevolutionary dynamics of symbiotic and phenotypic diversification in lichens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 117: 21495-21503.

Nelsen, M.P., Lücking, R., Boyce, C.K., Lumbsch, H.T. and R.H. Ree. 2020. No support for the emergence of lichens prior to the evolution of vascular plants. Geobiology 18: 3-13.

Nelsen, M.P., Ree, R. and C.S. Moreau. 2018. Ant-plant interactions evolved through increasing interdependence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 115: 12253-12258.

Nelsen, M.P., DiMichele, W.A., Peters, S.E. and C.K. Boyce. 2016. Delayed fungal evolution did not cause the Paleozoic peak in coal production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 113: 2442-2447.