Flowering time variation can be shaped by, and be a resource for, adaptation to different environmental conditions. We use Linum bienne Mill., an herbaceous species with a wide geographical distribution, to study how adaptation has shaped flowering time variation and, more generally, the species' life-history across its native range. To achieve this we have to: 1) understand the underlying genetic structure of the species; 2) describe the intra-specific variation in flowering time and in genes that control it; 3) expose L. bienne populations representative of the species distribution to different environmental conditions. Surprisingly, this species has been poorly described across its range, despite it is the direct ancestor and wild relative of a crop (Linum usitatissimum, flax). Thus, by working with L. bienne, we also produce an important resources for crop improvement.
I am a PhD student at the University of Portsmouth doing research on the flowering phenology of Linum bienne across its distribution. I am trying to understand how variation in flowering is shaped by evolutionary processes. I have an agronomy background, but I love learning about the ecology and evolution of plants!