Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants

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Master thesis

Evolution of Australian capers

The genus of caper bushes, Capparis (Brassicaceae), comprises approximately 250 species that are distributed widely across tropical and subtropical regions. Australia has around 20 of these species, including members of the Capparis spinosa complex – the taxon famous for its edible caper buds. In this project, you will use target capture data to reconstruct the relationships of Australian Capparis, and determine whether members of C. spinosa from northern Australia and offshore islands (C. nummularia and C. cordata) are one or multiple species. There may also be scope to explore various morphological trait and biogeographic questions, or investigate patterns of hybridisation within the genus.


Capparis nummularia DC.


Dr. Elizabeth Joyce
Systematik, Biodiversität & Evolution der Pflanzen
Menzinger Str. 67
80638 München
Phone: +49 89 17861-251