Peer-reviewed papers

*undergraduate    ^high school student   †equal contribution

22. Roddy AB, Théroux-Rancourt G, Abbo T*, Benedetti J^, Brodersen CR, Castro M, Castro S, Gilbride A^, Jensen B*, Jiang G-F, Perkins JA, Perkins SD, Loureiro J, Syed Z^, Thompson RA*, Kuebbing SE, Simonin KA. In press. The scaling of genome size and cell size limits maximum rates of photosynthesis with implications for ecological strategies. International Journal of Plant Sciences. [pre-print doi: 10.1101/619585]

21. Roddy AB. In press. Energy balance implications of floral traits involved in pollinator attraction and water balance. International Journal of Plant Sciences. [pre-print doi: 10.1101/539668]

20. North GB, Brinton EK, Browne MG, Gillman MG, Kho T, Wang E, Roddy AB, Brodersen CR. 2019. Hydraulic conductance, resistance, and resilience: how leaves of a tropical epiphyte respond to drought. American Journal of Botany 106:943-957. [doi: 10.1002/ajb2.1323] [pdf]

19. Roddy AB. 2019. Testing the benefits of early vessel evolution. Journal of Experimental Botany 70:3024-3027. [doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz187] [pdf]

18. Roddy AB, Jiang G-F, Cao KF, Simonin KA, Brodersen CR. 2019. Hydraulic traits are more diverse in flowers than in leaves. New Phytologist 223:193-203. [biorxiv preprint] [doi: 10.1111/nph.15749] [pdf]

Commentary by Olson ME and Pittermann J. 2019. Cheap and attractive: water relations and floral adaptation. New Phytologist 223:8-10. [doi: 10.1111/nph.15839]

17. Roddy AB, van Blerk JJ, Midgley JJ, West AG. 2019. Ramification has little impact on shoot hydraulic efficiency in the sexually dimorphic genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae). PeerJ 7:e6835. [doi: 10.7717/peerj.6835] [pdf]

16. Brodersen CR, Roddy AB, Wason JW, McElrone AJ. 2019. Functional status of xylem through time. Annual Review of Plant Biology 70:407-433. [doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-050718-100455] [pdf]

15. Roddy AB, Simonin KA, McCulloh KA, Brodersen CR, Dawson TE. 2018. Water relations of Calycanthus flowers: hydraulic conductance, capacitance, and embolism resistance. Plant, Cell & Environment 41:2250-2262.  [biorxiv preprint] [doi: 10.1111/pce.13205] [pdf]

Commentary by Gleason SM. 2018. A blooming interest in the hydraulic traits of flowers. Plant, Cell & Environment 41:2247-2249. [doi: 10.1111/pce.13345]

14. Earles JM, Théroux-Rancourt G, Roddy AB, Gilbert ME, McElrone AJ, Brodersen CR. 2018. Beyond porosity: 3D leaf intercellular airspace traits that impact mesophyll conductance. Plant Physiology 178:148-162. [doi: 10.1104/pp.18.00550] [pdf]

13. Simonin KA and Roddy AB. 2018.  Genome downsizing, physiological novelty, and the global dominance of flowering plants.  PLoS Biology 16:e2003706. [doi:10.1101/174615] [pdf]

Popular press coverage: BBC; Quanta Magazine; Huffington Post (France); GenomeWeb; ScienceDaily; Science X; TechTimes; The American Gardener; The Breakfast Show (minute 40) on the Voice of Islam (UK) radio network

12. Kramer DB, Stevens KJS, Williams NE, Sistla SA, Roddy AB, Urquhart GR. 2017.  Coastal livelihood transitions under globalization with implications for trans-ecosystem interactions.  PLoS One 12:e0186683. [doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186683]

11. Roddy AB, Brodersen CR, Dawson TE.  2016.  Hydraulic conductance and the maintenance of water balance in flowers.  Plant, Cell & Environment 39:2123-2132. [doi: 10.1111/pce.12761][pdf] [biorxiv preprint]

10. Sistla SA, Roddy AB, Williams NE, Kramer DB, Stevens KJS, Allison SD.  2016.  Agroforestry practices promote biodiversity and ecosystem services in Atlantic Nicaragua.  PLoS One 11(9):e0162529. [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162529] [pdf]

9. Brodersen CR and Roddy AB.  2016.  New frontiers in the three-dimensional visualization of plant structure and function.  American Journal of Botany 103:184-188. [html] [pdf]

8. Crutsinger GM, Rodriguez-Cabal MA, Roddy AB, Peay KG, Bastow JL, Kidder AG, Dawson TE, Fine PVA, Rudgers JA. 2014.  Genetic variation within a dominant shrub structures green and brown community assemblages. Ecology 95:387-398. [pdf]

7. Simonin KA†, Roddy AB†, Link P, Apodaca R, Tu KP, Hu J, Dawson TE, Barbour MM.  2013. Isotopic composition of transpiration and rates of change in leaf water isotopologue storage in response to environmental variables. Plant, Cell & Environment 36:2190-2206. [html] [pdf]

6. Roddy AB, Guilliams CM, Lilittham T*, Farmer J*, Wormser V*, Pham T*, Fine PVA, Feild TS, Dawson TE. 2013. Uncorrelated evolution of leaf and petal venation patterns across the angiosperm phylogeny. Journal of Experimental Botany 64:4081-4088. [html] [pdf]

5. Roddy AB & Dawson TE. 2013. Novel patterns of hysteresis in the response of leaf-level sap flow to vapor pressure deficit. Acta Horticulturae 991:261-267. [html] [pdf]

4. Brenes-Arguedas T, Roddy AB, Kursar TA. 2013. Plant traits in relation to the performance and distribution of woody species in wet and dry tropical forests. Functional Ecology 27:392-402. [html] [pdf]

3. Roddy AB & Dawson TE.  2012. Determining the water dynamics of flowering using miniature sap flow sensors. Acta Horticulturae 951:47-54.-54. [html] [pdf]

2. Brenes-Arguedas T, Roddy AB, Coley PD, Kursar TA.  2011.  Do differences in understory light contribute to tree species turnover along a tropical rainfall gradient?  Oecologia 166:443-456. [html] [pdf]

1. West TO, Marland G, Sing N, Bhaduri BL, Roddy AB.  2009. The human carbon budget: an estimate of the spatial distribution of metabolic carbon consumption and release in the United States.  Biogeochemistry 94:29-41. [html] [pdf]

Recent news and coverage in the popular press

My collaborators Kevin Simonin, Scott Roy, Rori Rohlfs at San Francisco State University and Craig Brodersen at Yale and I were recently funded through the National Science Foundation’s Rules of Life program to continue our work on genome size evolution by testing whether genome size predicts maximum metabolic rates in C4 and CAM species, building off of our work on C3 species.  As part of this, we will also be collaborating with Erika Edwards at Yale to work on the portullugo clade, which displays frequent transitions between the three photosynthetic pathways.


Our recent paper on genome size evolution in PLoS Biology has received press coverage around the world in a variety of media outlets. Quanta Magazine, the French edition of the Huffington Post, and Seeker, all had excellent coverage and discussion of our paper.  The paper was also picked up by the BBC and by news outlets in China and Indonesia.  I also spoke as part of an excellent discussion about plant evolution and their value to humanity on the The Breakfast Show in the UK, which is broadcast by the Voice of Islam network (minute 40:45).


pexels-photo-128862Our three-year program on the Evolution of Floral Form and Function has been recently funded by the Yale Institute for Biospheric studies.  This represents a collaboration between the labs of Craig Brodersen (School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale) and Madhusudhan Venkadesan (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Yale) and will address tradeoffs in the structure and physiological function of flowers over macroevolutionary times scales.


IMG_0435The charismatic desert genus Encelia in Baja Mexico is a classical case of adaptive radiation. While there in March 2015, we rediscovered a rare species in the genus, Encelia densifolia. We measured and mapped every known individual of the species, which occurs in a single population in the Sierra de Santa Clara mountains of Baja California Sur.  This short piece introduces the system and its unique potential for studying the processes of speciation and extinction.