Associate Curator and Head of Section Cynthia Morton

MortonC@carnegiemnh.org
MolecularLabSection of Botany
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080
412.578.2639

Click here for full bio
  

Academic Training

New York Botanical Garden/CUNY, PhD, June 1994
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, MS, June 1989
Trinity College, BS, June 1986

Professional Experience

Carnegie Museum of Natural History Associate Curator 2002-present
AU Dept. Botany and Microbiology Asst. Professor 1998-2002
Reading University, U.K. Advanced NERC Research Fellow 1995-1998
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K. NATO Postdoctoral Fellow 1994-1995
New York Botanical Garden Herbarium Assistant 1990-1994
New York Botanical Garden Teaching, Department of Education 1990-1994
City University of New York Graduate Teaching Assistant 1989-1990
University of North Carolina Research Assistant  
  (Molecular Biology Lab) 1989
University of North Carolina Graduate Teaching Assistant 1987-1989

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, Fellow of the Linnean Society, Systematics Association, UK, and Society of Systematic Biologist.

Teaching Experience

Auburn University, Auburn, AL-- Systematic Botany, Special Prob. In Molecular Biology, Current Topics, Plant Biology, General Biology.

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA -- Evolution and Plant Biology.

Reading University, Reading, U.K.--Undergraduate tutorial group for molecular biology, Plant taxonomy and systematics, Floral Ontogeny, Plant molecular systematics, in practice and analysis.

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA -- Plant Biology.

Research Interests

Plant phylogenetics, a multidisciplinary approach specializing in the use of morphological and molecular features to assess taxonomic relationships and biogeographical patterns.

Click here for detailed information on Cynthia Morton's research projects  

Field Experience

Fall 2006—Fairchild, Florida
Spring 2006—Berkley, California
Fall 2005—Crawford and Washington Counties, Pensylvania
Fall 2004—Western and Eastern Australia
Fall 2003—Green County, Pennsylvania
Spring 1998—Brazil, Malaysia, and South Africa.
Fall 1996—South Africa, Eastern and Western Australia and Java

Complete List of Publications

1. Books
Pollen and Spores: Morphology and Biology. 2000. Edited by Madeline Harley, Cynthia Morton and Steve Blackmore. Pp 300.

2. a. Publications  

  • C.M. Morton, and C.A. Telmer. New subfamily classification of the Rutaceae (citrus family). Submitted.
  • C.M. Morton, and L. Speedy. Checklist of the vascular plants of Indiana County, Pennsylvania. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas Submitted.
  • C.M. Morton. New nuclear gene for angiosperm based phylogeny. Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden (In Press).
  • C.M. Morton, and L. Speedy. 2010. Checklist of the vascular plants of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas (In Press).
  • Dissanayake, D., C.M. Morton and G.T. Prance. 2010. Morphological phylogenetic analysis of the Chrysobalanaceae inferred from chloroplast, nuclear and morphological data. Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden 97(2): 259-281.
  • Bayer, R.J., D.J. Mabberley, C.M. Morton, C.H. Miller, I.K. Sharma, B.E. Pfeil, S. Rich, R. Hitchcock and S. Sykes. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the orange subfamily (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae) using nine cpDNA sequences. American Journal of Botany 96:668-685.
  • J.R. Paul, C.M. Morton and S. Tonsor. 2009 Evolutionary time for dispersal limits the extent, but not the occupancy of species ranges in a neotropical plant genus. American Naturalist 173:188-199.
  • Morton, C.M. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of the Aurantioideae based on nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS region, and three noncoding chloroplast DNA regions, atpB-rbcL spacer, rps16 and trnL-trnF. Organisms Diversity and Evolution (1-17).
  • C.M. Morton, and L. Speedy. 2008. Checklist of the vascular plants of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 2:1449-1479.
  • C.M. Morton, and P. Gruszka. 2008. AFLP assessment of genetic variability among London planetree (Platanus X acerfolia) old vs. new tree. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 83:532-537.
  • C.M. Morton, and L. Speedy. 2007. Checklist of the vascular plants of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Sida.
  • C.M. Morton, L. Speedy and J.K. Bissell. 2007. Checklist of the vascular plants of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Sida.
  • Torres, G., A.M. and C.M. Morton. 2005. Molecular and morphological phylogenetic analysis of Brachiaria and Urochloa Poaceae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
  • Coxe, R., C.M. Morton, M.J. Haywood, and B.L and J.A. Isaac. 2005. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Greene County, Pennsylvania. Sida 
  • Morton, C.M., J. Kartesz, B. Isaac and R. Coxe. 2004. Additions to and noteworthy records Sida 21(1): 481-485.
  • Morton, C.M. 2004. Dipterocarpaceae. Flowering Plants of the Neotropics. Pp. 130-131. New York, NY.
  • Isaac, B, C.M. Morton, J. Kartesz and J. Isaac. 2004. Additions to and noteworthy records for the vascular flora of Pennsylvania. Castanea.
  • Capo-chichi, L.J.A., C.M. Morton and D.B. Weaver. 2004. An intraspecific genetic map of velvetbean (Mucuna sp) based on AFLP markers. Theoretical and Applied
    Genetic
    108:814-821.
  • Penny, E.A., M-K. Lee and C.M. Morton. 2003. Groundwater and microbial processes of Alabama coastal plain aquifers. Water Resources Research 39(11) 1-17.
  • Barker, N.P., H.P. Linder, C.M. Morton, and M. Lyle. 2003. The Paraphyly of Cortaderia (Danthonioideae; Poaceae): Evidence from morphology, chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 90(1):1-24.
  • Morton, C.M., M. Grant and S. Blackmore. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of the Aurantioideae inferred from chloroplast DNA sequence data . American Journal of Botany 90:1463-1470.
  • Capo-chichi, L.J.A., C. M. Morton and D.B. Weaver. 2003. The use of molecular markers to study genetic diversity in Mucuna. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems 1:309-318.
  • Morton, C.M. C.J. Hansen and G. Gil. 2002. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Alabama from the John. D. Freeman Herbarium and the University of Alabama Herbarium. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 21: 1-64.
  • Morton, C.M. and C.J. Hansen. 2002. Inula britannica L. An Aggressive Weed Alert. Alabama Cooperative Extension System ANR-1227
  • Yakandawala, D., C.M. Morton, and G.T. Prance. 2001. A phylogenetic study of the Chrysobalanaceae using morphological data. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Science) 28: 1-17.
  • Fritsch, P.W., C.M. Morton, T. Chen and Candice Meldrum. 2001. Phylogeny of the Styracaceae based on morphology and molecular data. Int. J. Plant Sci. 162:95-116.
  • Barker, N.P., H. P. Linder, C.M. Morton and M. Lyle. 2001. The monophyly of Cortaderia (Danthonioideae: Poaceae): Evidence from morphology, chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data. Annals of Missouri Bot. Gard.  
  • Capo-chichi, L, D.B. Weaver and C.M. Morton. 2001. Assessment of genetic diversity within a collection of velvet bean (Mucuna spp.) germplasms. TAQ 103:1180-1188.
  • Grant, M., S. Blackmore and C.M. Morton. 2000. Pollen morphology of the subfamily Aurantioideae (Rutaceae). Grana. 39(1): 8-20.
  • Savolainen, V., M.C. Chase, S.B. Hoot and C.M. Morton. 2000. Phylogenetics of Flowering Plants Based Upon A Combined Analysis of Plastid atpB and rbcL Gene Sequences. Systematic Botany 49(2):306-362.
  • Barker, N. P., H. P. Linder and C. M. Morton. 2000. The Danthonieae: Composition and Relationships. Systematic and Evolution: 221-231.
  • Vargas, P, H. McAllister, C. M. Morton, S. L. Jury and M. J. Wilkinson . 1999. Polyploid speciation in Hedera L.: phylogenetic and biogeographic insights based on chromosome counts, ITS sequences, and SSR-PCR data. Plant Systematics and Evolution.
  • Chase, M.W., C.M. Morton, and J.A. Kallunki. 1999. Evaluation of the six subfamilies of Rutaceae using evidence from rbcL and atpB sequence variation. American Journal of Botany (86):1191-1199.
  • Vargas, P., C. M. Morton, and S. L. Jury. 1999. Biogeographic patterns in Mediterranean and Macaronesian species of Saxifraga (Saxifragaceae) based on phylogenetic analyses using ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer). American Journal of Botany 86:724-734.
  • Bayer, C., M. F. Fay, M. C. Chase, A. Y. de Bruijn, V. Savolainen, C. M. Morton and K. Kubitzki. 1999. Support for an expanded family concept of Malvaceae within a recircumscribed order Malvales: a combined analysis of plastid atpB and rbcL DNA sequences. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 129:267-303.
  • Morton, C. M., D.M. D.M. Dissanayake and S. Dayanandan. 1999. Phylogeny and biogeography of Pseudomonotes using morphological and molecular data. Plant Systematics and Evolution 216:197-205.
  • Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 1998. An Ordinal Classification for the Families of Flowering Plants. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 85:531-553
  • Morton, C. M., G. T. Prance, S. M Mori and L.G. Thorburn. 1998. Recircumscription of the Lecythidaceae. Taxon 47:817-827.
  • Bakker, F. T., D. D. Vassiliades, C. M. Morton and V. Savolainen. 1998. Phylogenetic position of Biebersteinia orphanidis Boiss. (Geraniaceae) inferred from rbcL and atpB sequence comparisons. Botanical Journal Linnaean Society 127(2):149-158.
  • Soltis, D.E., P.S. Soltis, M. Mort, M.W. Chase, V. Savoainen, S.B. Hoot, and C. M. Morton . 1998. Inferring Complex Phylogenies: An empirical approach using three large DNA data sets for angiosperms. Systematic Biology 47(1):32-42.
  • Morton, C.M., K. G. Karol and M. C. Chase. 1997. Taxonomic affinities of Physena (Physenaceae) and Asteropeia (Theaceae). Botanical Review 63(3):231-239.
  • Morton, C. M., S. A. Mori, G.T. Prance, K.G. Karol and M. W. Chase. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of the Lecythidaceae: A cladistic analysis using rbcL sequence and morphological data. American Journal of Botany 84(4):530-541.
  • Morton, C.M, M.W. Chase, K. A. Kron and S.M. Swensen. 1996. A molecular evaluation of the monophyly of the order Ebenales based upon rbcL sequence data. Systematic Botany 21(4):567-587.
  • Londono, A. C., E. Alvarez, E. Forero and C. M. Morton. 1995. A new genus and species of Dipterocarpaceae from the Neotropics. I. Introduction, Taxonomy, Ecology, and Distribution. Brittonia 47(3):225-236.
  • Morton, C.M. 1995. Wood anatomy of a new genus and species of Dipterocarpaceae from the Neotropics. II. Stem Anatomy. Brittonia 47(3):237-247.
  • Morton, C.M and D.W. Kincaid. 1995. A model for quantitative analysis of pollen morphology in reference to phylogeny with examples from the Ebenaceae. American Journal of Botany 82(9): 1173-1178.
  • Morton, C.M. and J. Kallunki. 1993. Pollen morphology and systematics of the subtribe Cuspariinae (Rutaceae). Brittonia 45(4):286-314.
  • Morton, C.M. and W.C. Dickison. 1992. Comparative pollen morphology of the Styracaceae. Grana 31(1):1-16.
  • Morton, C.M., D.L. Lawson and P. Bedinger. 1989. Morphological study of the maize male sterile mutant ms7. Maydica 34:239-245.

Reports
Submitted report for 2003 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2004 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2005 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2006 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2007 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2008 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2009 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

Submitted report for 2010 WRCF grant awarded to C. Morton, entitled Herbarium Studies of Pennsylvania Plants of Special Concern.

b. Book Chapters (reviewed)
Morton, C. M. 2001. Dipterocarpaceae. Chapter in: "Families of Neotropical Flowering Plants" NYBG and Princeton University Press (in press).

  • 3. a. Papers at Scientific Meetings
    Peery, R., Wilcox, K.R., Morton, C., and Raubeson, L.A. 2008. Exploring the utility of the nuclear XDH gene for gymnosperm phylogenetics. ASPT abstract
  • C.M. Morton. 2007 Angiosperm phylogeny based on nuclear sequence information. ASPT abstract.
  • Paul, J., Morton, C.M. and S. Tonsor. 2007. Explaining variation in geographic range size by species age: a text using two genera of neotropical plants. Evolution abstract.
  • Morton, C.M. 2006. Genetic diversity of the London Plane Trees in Schenley Plaza. Presented at the Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Building
  • Morton, C.M. and J. Rabbitt. 2006. Angiosperm phylogeny based on nuclear sequence information. ASPT abstract.
  • Morton, C.M. and P. Gruszka. 2006. Genetic diversity study of Platanus x acerfolia (London Plain Trees (LPT)). ASPT abstract.
  • Bayer, R., S. Rich, C.M. Morton, D. Mabberley, and S. Sykes. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the Australasian Citrus (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae). AIBS.
  • Thomson, I., C.M. Morton and J.A. Saunders. 2002. Molecular Studies of an Evolving Microbial population during the bioremediation of a heavy metal contaminated aquifer
    Auburn University Graduate Student Research Forum.
  • Capo-chichi, L.J.A., D.B. Weaver and C. M. Morton. 2002. Agronomic and genetic attributes of velvetbean (Mucucna sp.). 25th Annual Botany Tillage Conference for Sustainable Ag.
  • Hansen, C., Morton, C.M. and G. Gil. 2002. Checklist of the vascular plants of Alabama from the J.D. Freeman Herbarium at Auburn University. AIBS.
  • Morton, C.M. and C. Quinn. 2002. Evolution of the Rutaceae using evidence from three choroloplast genes. AIBS
  • Thomson, I., C.M. Morton and J.A. Saunders. 2001. In-situ bioremediation of an underground aquifer via sulfate-reducing bacteria. Gordon Research Conferences at the Proctor Academy in N.H.
  • Capo-chichi, L, D.B. Weaver and C.M. Morton. 2001. Construction of an AFLP genetic map in velvetbearn (Mucuna sp.). ASA Meeting.
  • Morton, C. M. and M. Grant. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of Aurantioideae, (Rutaceae): a cladistic analysis using the Nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer region. AIBS.
  • Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J.A., Morton, C.M., and Feng, Y. 2000. The biogeochemistry of heavy metals under artificially induced sulfate-reducing conditions, EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 81, p. 285.
  • Saunders, J.A., Lee, M,-K., Rutherford, C., and Morton, C. 2000 In situ bioremediation of lead- and cadimium-contaminated groundwater using sulfate reducing bacteria, GSA Annual Meeting, Reno, Nevada, A. 65.
  • Capo-chichi, L, C.M. Morton and D.B. Weaver. 2000. Assessment of genetic diversity within a collection of velvet bean (Mucuna spp.) germplasms. ASA Meetings.
  • Fritsch, P.W. and C. M. Morton. 2000. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Sytracaceae based on molecular and morphological characters. AIBS meeting, Portland.
  • Nash, J. and C.M. Morton. 1999. Relationships in the Citrus subfamily. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, Orlando.
  • Grant, M., S. Blackmore and C.M. Morton. 1999. Phylogenetic Reasearch on the subfamily Aurantioideae, (Rutaceae). Systematic Association, UK.
  • Fritsch, P.W. and C. M. Morton. 1999. Phylogeny of the Sytracaceae based on morphological characters. AIBS meeting, St. Louis.
  • Barker, N.P., H. P. Linder and C. M. Morton. 1998. The Danthonieae: Composition and Relationships. Monocot Conference, Sydney.
  • Morton, C. M. N. P. Barker and H. P. Linder. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of Cortaderia: cladistic analysis using the Nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer region. AIBS meeting, Maryland.
  • Grant, M. C., S. Blackmore and C. M. Morton. 1998. Pollen morphology of the subfamily Aurantioideae (Rutaceae). Pollen and Spores: Morphology and Biology, Kew.
  • Gomez-Martinez, R, A. Culham and C.M. Morton. 1998. Phylogenetic studies in Axonopus P. Beauv. (Poaceae, Paniceae): Utility of trnL-trnF Chloroplast region. Syst. Assoc., UK.
  • Ortiz-Diaz, J-J., A. Culham and C.M. Morton. 1998. A phylogenetic analysis of the Mexican Sporobolus (Poaceae; Eragrostideae) based upon sequences from nr DNA analysis. Syst. Assoc., UK.
  • Johnson, S.A., C.M. Morton and M.W. Chase. 1998. Molecular systematics of Sapindaceae based on rbcL sequence data. Syst. Asoc., UK.
  • Morton, C.M.,K.G. Karol and M.W. Chase. 1997. Taxonomic affinities of Physena (Physenaceae) and Asteropeia (Theaceae). American Journal of Botany.
  • Vargas, P., C.M. Morton and D. Soltis. 1997. Phylogenetic analysis within Saxifraga L. section Saxifraga subsection Saxifraga based on the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) sequence of nuclear ribosomal DNA. American Journal of Botany.
  • Savolainen, V, M.W. Chase, D.E. Soltis, A. Cox, S.B. Hoot, C.M. Morton, Y.-L. Qui and A De Bruijn. 1997. Dealing with large datasets to infer angiosperm phylogeny. Molecules and morphology, Paris.
  • Morton, C.M., J.A. Kallunki and M.W. Chase. 1996. An evaluation of Rutaceae using evidence from rbcL and atpB sequence variation. Commemorative Congerences, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Savolainen, V, C. M. Morton, S.B. Hoot and M.W. Chase. 1996. An examination of phylogenetic patterns of plastid atpB gene sequences among eudicots. American Journal of Botany.
  • Morton, C.M., S.A. Mori, G.T. Prance, and M.W. Chase. 1996. Phylogenetic relationships of Lecythidaceae: cladistic analysis using morphological data and DNA sequences from rbcL and the trnL intron. American Journal of Botany.
  • Morton, C.M., M.W. Chase and J.A. Kallunki. 1996. Evaluation of the six subfamilies of Rutaceae using evidence from rbcL sequence variation. American Journal of Botany.
  • Morton, C.M, M.W. Chase and K. A. Kron. 1995. A molecular evaluation of the monophyly of the order Ebenales. American Journal of Botany.
  • Morton, C. M., M. W. Chase and G. T. Prance. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of the Lecythidaceae: the initial results of the taxonomic alignments of the four subfamilies using evidence from rbcL sequence data. American Journal of Botany.
  • Morton, C.M. 1994. Wood anatomy of a new species of Dipterocarpaceae from Amazonian Colombia. American Journal of Botany 81(6):174.
  • Morton, C.M. and D.T. Kincaid. 1994. A model for quantitative analysis of pollen morphology in reference to phylogeny. American Journal of Botany 81(6):198.
  • Morton, C.M. 1993. Wood anatomy of a new species of Dipterocarpaceae from Amazonian Colombia. International Union of Biological Sciences. XV International Botanical Congress, Tokyo. pag. 3195.
  • Morton, C.M. and J. Kallunki. 1992. The pollen morphology of the Cuspariinae. Eighth International Palynological Congress. Aix-en-Provence. pag. 104.

b. Invited Lectures
Morton 2008 invited to speak at the 2008 International Urban Parks Conference

Morton 2007 was interviewed by CMU Tartan for an article entitled “Where art meets science”

Morton 2006-2007 has been filmed for her research on the “Genetic Fingerprinting of the Trees in Schenley Plaza” by a cable television show called Pittsburgh Genius. It concentrates on research being conducted in the Pittsburgh region. A 30-minute mini-documentary was aired in the Spring 2007.

Morton, C.M. 2002. Phylogenetics of Rutaceae and the Aurantioideae. Seminar for faculty and graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.

Morton, C.M. 2002. Wide Uses of Phylogeny. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Tulane University.

Morton, C.M. 2002. Current knowledge of Rutaceae systematics. Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Morton, C.M. 2002. What is a Herbarium? Rhododendron Society.

Morton, C.M. 2001. The J.D. Freeman Herbarium and current molecular research. Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

Morton, C. M. 1998. Phylogenetics and floral development of the Lecythidaceae. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Geneva, Switzerland.

Morton, C. M. 1998. Phylogenetics of the Lecythidaceae. Dept. Botany and Microbiology, Auburn University.

Barker, N.P., H. P. Linder and C. M. Morton. 1998. The Danthonieae: Composition and Relationships. Monocot Conference, Sydney.

Baker, N.P., C. M. Morton and H. P. Linder. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of Cortaderia: cladistic analysis using the Nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer region. Monocot Conference, Sydney.