Claire Levy
Graduate Student


I am entering my fourth year as a graduate student in the Kramer lab! My projects revolve around the novel staminodia found in Aquilegia flowers. There are 10 individual staminodia organs comprising a sterile whorl in between several whorls of stamens and a whorl of carpels. They resemble stamen filaments but have a few key differences: in addition to lacking an anther, late in floral development the staminodia fuse together to form a ruffled sheath that surrounds the carpels. Unlike some staminodia found in the angiosperms that are simply vestigial stamens, the ones in Aquilegia have evolved a new morphology and are expanded in size relative to the stamen filaments. I hypothesize that they are serving a functional purpose. My current projects involve investigating the genetics behind the elaboration of staminodia, and the potential functions of this novel organ.