Dr. Randall G. Terry


Dr. Randall G. Terry

Assistant Professor of Biology

Phone: 409-880-7975

Office: 205-8 Hayes Biology Building

Email: rgterry@lamar.edu

Courses Taught: Introductory Biology (Biol 1406, 1407), Botany (Biol 3450), Immunology (Biol 4450), Biological Literature (Biol 4170)

Dr. Terry received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wyoming in 1996. His dissertation research examined the phylogenetic relationships in Bromeliaceae (pineapple family). This was followed by postdoctoral research with Drs. Robert Nowak and Robin Tausch at the University of Nevada Reno, where he studied hybridization in Juniperus (Cupressaceae). Dr. Terry joined the Biology Department at Lamar University in 2000 following three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Montana

Research Interests: Research in my lab examines evolutionary processes and phylogenetic relationships in plants. Our efforts typically involve the assessment of character variations in the plants under study and the subsequent use of this variation to make inferences about evolutionary process or to build a phylogenetic "tree" (i.e., a graphic depiction of ancestor-descendant relationships that represents a hypothesis about the evolutionary history of the group). Once obtained, these trees can be used to effect taxonomic revisions or to study character evolution.  Variation in both morphological and genetic features is used in this effort.

Current Research Projects:

  1. We are studying hybridization between two species of juniper (Juniperus osteosperma and J. occidentalis) from the western United States. About 220 individuals were collected from 35 populations in Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon during the summer of 2001. We are scoring this material for variation in growth habitat (e.g. branch number, branch angle, and plant height), reproductive (cone and seed), vegetative (leaf), and genetic (nuclear and cytoplasmic genes) characteristics. These data are being used to more clearly delimit the parental lineages and their putative hybrids from western Nevada and adjacent California.
  2. We are studying the phylogenetic relationships among the subfamilies of Bromeliaceae using DNA sequences. Sequence variation from both coding and noncoding regions of the chloroplast genome is being combined in an effort to build well-supported relationships. These data define four primary lineages in the family and provide insight into the origin of epiphytic forms of the group.

Laboratory Techniques Used in Our Research

Isolation and Purification of DNA
Amplification of Chloroplast and Nuclear Genes using Polymerase Chain Reaction
Restriction Endonuclease Digestion and Southern Blotting
DNA Sequencing
Phylogenetic and Statistical Analysis f Character Variation

Research Support (Current and Past):

Department of Biology, Lamar University

Terry, R.G. Genetic and morphological variation in Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma, Cupressaceae): Testing the hypothesis of hybridization in Juniperus from the western Great Basin. College of Arts and Sciences, Lamar University. ($5000)

Terry, R.G. Examination of Phylogenetic Relationships in Subfamily Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae) Using DNA Sequences: Implications for the Origin of Epiphytism. University Grants Program, University of Montana ($2100)

Terry, R.G. and G.K. Brown. Reassessment of Subfamily Relationships in Bromeliaceae Using DNA Sequences from Noncoding Regions of the Chloroplast Genome. The Bromeliad Society Inc. ($1100).

Nowak, R.S., R.J. Tausch, and R.G. Terry. Environmental, Genetic, and Ecophysiological Variation of Western and Utah Juniper and their Hybrids: A Model System for Vegetation Response to Climate Change. U.S. Department of Energy, Program for Ecosystem Research. ($147,255)

Terry, R.G., and G.K. Brown. Chloroplast DNA Variation in Vriesea and Tillandsia (Tillandsioideae: Bromeliaceae): A Preliminary Survey.  The Bromeliad Society Inc. ($1000)


Terry, R. G, J. M. Bartel, and R. P. Adams. (In Press) Phylogenetic relationships among the New World Cypresses (Hesperocyparis; Cupressaceae): Evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences. Plant Systematics and Evolution.

Terry, R. G. (2012) A Manual for the General Botany Laboratory. Fountainhead Press, Austin. (121 pp.).

Terry, R. G. 2010. Re-evaluation of Morphological and Chloroplast DNA Variation in Juniperus osteosperma Hook and Juniperus occidentalis Torr. Little (Cupressaceae) and their Putative Hybrids. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 38:349-360.

Crayn, D. M., R. G. Terry, J. A. C. Smith, K. Winter. 2000. Molecular systematic investigations in Pitcairnioideae (Bromeliaceae) as a basis for understanding the evolution of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). In: K. L. Wilson and D. A. Morrison (eds) Monocots: systematics and evolution. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 569-579.

Benzing, D.H., G.K. Brown, and R.G. Terry. 2000. History and evolution (pp. 463-541) in D.H. Benzing's Bromeliaceae: Profile of an Adaptive Radiation. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Terry, R.G., R.J. Tausch, and R.S. Nowak. 2000. Genetic variation in chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA in Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma, Cupressaceae):  evidence for interspecific gene flow. American Journal of Botany 87:250-258.

Terry, R.G., G.K. Brown, and R.G. Olmstead. 1997. Examination of the phylogentic relationships of the subfamily Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae) using nucleotide sequences of the plastid ndhF. Systematic Botany 22: 333-345.

Terry, R.G., G.K. Brown, and R.G. Olmstead. 1996. Examination of a subfamilial phylogeny in Bromeliaceae using comparative sequencing of the plastid locus ndhF. American Journal of Botany 84: 664-667.

Terry, R.G., and G.K. Brown. 1996. A study in the evolutionary relationships in Bromeliaceae based on comparison of DNA sequences from the chloroplast gene ndhF. Journal of the Bromeliad Society 46: 107-112.

Brown, G.K., and R.G. Terry. 1992. Petal appendages in Bromeliaceae. American Journal of Botany 79(9): 1051-1071.

Brown, G.K., and R.G. Terry. 1991. Chromosome numbers in Cryptanthus. The Cryptanthus Society Journal 6(4): 14-15.