Our research is focused on understanding evolutionary factors that shape patterns of genetic variation in natural plant populations and the manner in which species-wide diversity is partitioned and maintained. Genetic variation and its spatial distribution provide the template on which evolution acts, shaping and altering species’ variation over space and time, and ultimately their evolutionary trajectory. These questions are of particular interest in the context of an increasingly fragmented landscape and the ubiquitous nature of human induced habitat disturbance during a period of rapid global climate change. Insights into the long-term survival potential of plant species occupying remnant habitat fragments require an understanding of the processes responsible for the distribution of genetic variation within species both in disturbed and undisturbed habitats. Such insights regarding the genetic implications of habitat disturbance can inform decisions regarding design of effective governmental policies to preserve forest fragments and corridors. Our lab employs population genetic tools and molecular markers to explore these questions.