Jennifer R. Mandel, Ph.D.

Jennifer R. Mandel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

(901) 678-5130
(901) 678-4457
Ellington Hall 301, Memphis, TN 38152
Office Hours
By Appointment

About Dr. Mandel

Dr. Mandel joined the department in 2014. She received a B.A. from Carson Newman University with a focus in organismal biology, ecology, and natural history. Her Ph.D work involved plant conservation and evolutionary genetics both in rare, endangered species as well as weedy, invasive. Following this, her post-doctoral research at The University of Georgia was aimed at identifying the genetic basis of evolutionary and agronomically important traits in cultivated sunflower. Her research at the UofM includes plant population and quantitative genetics, evolutionary genetics, and phylogenetics. She employs field, laboratory, and greenhouse approaches to gain an understanding of the processes and mechanisms that lead to the genetic, phenotypic, and ecological diversity we see in the world. Courses taught include Ecological Genetics 7795/8705, Plant Ecology 4053/6053, and General Biology 1110.

Research Interests

  • Plant Biology
  • Ecological and evolutionary genomics
  • Phylogenetics, phylogenomics
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Evolutionary significance of heteroplasmy


B.A. Biology, Carson Newman University; Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University; Post-Doctoral Fellow Plant Biology, University of Georgia.

Recent Publications

  • Folk, R.A, J.R. Mandel, J.V. Freudenstein. (2016) Ancestral Gene Flow and Parallel Organellar Genome Capture Result in Extreme Phylogenomic Discord in a Lineage of Angiosperms. Systematic Biology, doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syw083.

  • Mandel, J.R., A.J. Ramsey, M. Iorizzo, P.W. Simon. (2016) Patterns of gene flow between crop and wild carrot, Daucus carota (Apiaceae) in the United States. PLoS ONE, e0161971. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161971.

  • Mandel, J.R., R.B. Dikow, V.A. Funk. (2015) Using phylogenomics to resolve mega-families: an example from Compositae. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, in press.

  • Mandel, J.R., D. E. McCauley. (2015) Pervasive mitochondrial sequence heteroplasmy in natural populations of wild carrot, Daucus carota spp. carota L. PLoS ONE, 10(8): e0136303. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136303.

  • Folk, R.A, J.R. Mandel, J.V. Freudenstein. (2015) A Protocol for Targeted Enrichment of Intron-Containing Sequence Markers for Recent Radiations: A Phylogenomic Example from Heuchera (Saxifragaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences, 3(8): 1500039. doi:10.3732/apps.1500039.

  • Mason, C.M., C.D.A. Ishibashi, A.M. Rea, J.R. Mandel, J.M. Burke, L.A Donovan. (2015) Environmental requirements trump genetic factors in explaining narrow endemism in two imperiled Florida sunflowers. Conservation Genetics, doi:10.1007/s10592-015-0739-8.

  • Nambeesan, S.U., J.R. Mandel, J.E. Bowers, L.F. Marek, D. Ebert, J. Corbi, L.H. Rieseberg, S.J. Knapp, and J.M. Burke. (2015) Association mapping in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) reveals independent control of apical vs. basal branching. BMC Plant Biology, in press.

  • Mandel, J. R., E. V McAssey, S. Nambeesan, E. Garcia-Navarro, J. M. Burke. (2014) Molecular evolution of candidate genes for crop-related traits in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). PLoS ONE, 10.1371/journal.pone.0099620.

  • Mandel, J. R., R. B. Dikow, V. A. Funk, R. R. Masalia, S. E. Staton, A. Kozik, R. W. Michelmore, L. H. Rieseberg, and J. M. Burke. (2014) A target enrichment method for gathering phylogenetic information from hundreds of loci: an example from the Compositae. Applications in Plant Sciences, 2(2): 1300085. doi:10.3732/apps.1300085.

  • Mandel, J. R., S. Nambeesan, J. E. Bowers, L. F. Marek, D. P. Ebert, L. H. Rieseberg, S. J. Knapp, J. M. Burke. (2013) Association mapping and the genomic consequences of selection in sunflower. PLoS Genetics, 9: e1003378.