Evolution and ecology of wildflowers

How do new species form, and what keeps closely related lineages separate? For my PhD research with Robin Hopkins at Harvard University, I studied the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. I investigated these phenomena in several species of the wildflower genus Phlox that are native to the southeastern US. My research combined the latest genomic analyses with classic greenhouse and field experiments to learn about evolution in natural populations. The Hopkins lab is based at the Arnold Arboretum, a plant biologist's paradise.

Biodiversity of city trees

How can we design urban green spaces that bring about environmental equity for human communities and sustainable ecological opportunity for non-human communities? In collaboration with Cody McCoy, I am studying the composition of street tree communities in the large cities across the US. We are interested in measuring the biodiversity, proportion of native species, and spatial organization of street trees to understand how their ecosystem services are distributed among human and non-human inhabitants. In the summer of 2020, we applied for and received funding to support two undergraduate researchers to work with us on this project.


Goulet‐Scott, B. E., Garner, A. G., & Hopkins, R. (2021). Genomic analyses overturn two long‐standing homoploid hybrid speciation hypotheses. Evolution 75 (7): 1699-1710.

Davis, C., Goulet-Scott, B., & Beckfield, J. (2020). Climate change: how to pack a punch at meetings. Nature 577 (7791): 472.

Garner, A. G., Goulet, B. E., Farnitano, M. C., Molina-Henao, Y. F., Hopkins, R. (2018). Genomic signatures of reinforcement. Genes 9 (4): 191.

Goulet, B. E., Roda, F., Hopkins, R. (2017). Hybridization in plants: old ideas, new techniques. Plant Physiology 173 (1): 65-78.

Geiler-Samerotte, K. A., Zhu, Y. O., Goulet, B. E., Hall, D. W., Siegal, M. L. (2016). Selection transforms the landscape of genetic variation interacting with Hsp90. PLoS Biology 14 (10): e2000465.