Current Projects

Rate variation and phylogenetic networks

With Cécile Ané, we are currently working on investigating how ignoring mutation rate variation impacts inference of phylogenetic networks. This work is currently in progress, stay tuned for more.

Past Projects

Calceolaria evolution

Calceolaria cana

As the data analyst for the Espíndola Lab at the University of Maryland from 2019-2020, I resolved the backbone phylogeny of the genus Calceolaria, which is notable for its oil-bee pollination and assembled 14 species’ plastomes. Check out our recent publication and/or my poster from the 2020 Society of Systematic Biologists Meeting to learn more about resolving this group’s backbone and implications for diversification related to pollination, Andean uplift, and climate.

Efficacy of herbarium vs. fresh tissue samples in sequence capture phylogenomics

Floral diversity of the Centropogonid clade, pictures taken by L. Lagomarsino and published in Lagomarsino et al. 2014.

I spent summer 2018 at Louisiana State University under Dr. Laura Lagomarsino with support from a Grinnell College summer research grant. I estimated species trees and implemented data quality standards for the Centropogonid clade of Neotropical bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae) to analyze the efficacy of herbarium vs. fresh tissue samples in phylogenomics. Check out my poster I presented at Evolution 2019 on this topic! This work is currently on bioRxiv.

Palmer amaranth population genetics

During summer 2017, I participated in the Next-Gen Evolutionary Biology REU at Ohio State led by Dr. Marymegan Daly and Dr. Bryan Carstens. I worked with Dr. Michael Reagon, producing and analyzing ddRAD data for Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmerii), an invasive agricultural weed. We determined there were likely multiple source populations to those introduced to Ohio in 2012.


  1. Frankel, L., Murúa, M., & Espíndola, A. (2022). Biogeography and ecological drivers of evolution in the Andes: resolving the phylogenetic backbone for Calceolaria (Calceolariaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.
  2. Lagomarsino, L. P., Frankel, L., Uribe-Convers, S., Antonelli, A., & Muchhala, N. (2022). Increased resolution in the face of conflict: phylogenomics of the Neotropical bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae), a rapid plant radiation. bioRxiv. Pdf