Forrest Freund

Hello. I’m Forrest, senior PhD student in the Rothfels lab.

I’m a born and raised Californian, having been a resident of the state my entire life. Even as a child, I’ve had a fascination with plants and science, and  spent most of my time off in the woods exploring or with my face buried in a wildflower field-guide. These days I spend less time in the field and more time in the lab, I’ve never stopped loving the wilds. For me, a day alone in the wilderness, exploring and simply basking in the untainted beauty of the natural world is one of my greatest pleasues.

My research passion is the Isoëtalian lineage of lycophytes, a group that is not only one of the oldest continuous lineages of vascular plants on Earth, but also a unusual evolutionary history that is quite different from other vascular plants. I’m interested in examining the bio-geographic history, population structure, evolution, phylogenetic and systematic diversity of this clade through the use of molecular, morphological and fossil data. As for why I’ve chosen to work on such an obscure lineage, it really doesn’t go much deeper than I just really happen to like them.