[Ann Sakai] [Stephen Weller] [Research-Dioecy] [Research-Heterostyly] [Research-Conservation]

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Sakai/Weller Lab


Still smiling after all those pollinations!

Top: Tam Dang, Jessica Poulin (grad student), Evelyn Lee, Cathryn Lucas, Paul Ngo, Phuc Dang; Bottom: Julia Kutaka, Tiffany Ng, Paula Sosenski (visiting grad student from UNAM), Tan Nguyen; missing: Flynn Boonstra (grad student), Laura Vary (grad student), Quoc-Phong Tran, Anne King.

Undergraduate Research. Undergraduates in the Sakai/Weller lab are active participants in research projects on the evolution of plant breeding systems (e.g., heterostyly and dioecy) and on invasive species.  Most undergraduates start in the lab by taking Bio 199 (research) at the beginning of their second or third year and stay in the lab at least two years, learning greenhouse and laboratory techniques, working on original research, and enjoying the company of lab colleagues.  The majority of undergraduates in the Sakai-Weller lab participate in the Excellence in Research (EIR) program of the School of Biological Sciences .  The EIR program requires a written paper, an oral presentation, and a poster on the student’s research project. Graduating seniors from the lab have entered professional school (medical, dental, pharmacy) and graduate school for studies in public health, evolution, conservation, microbiology, physiology, and secondary education.  Several students in the Sakai-Weller lab have co-authored publications in professional journals. 

Undergraduates interested in Bio 199 in the Sakai/Weller lab:

We prefer new students to the lab who are at the beginning of their second or third year of college with at least a 3.0 GPA.  Students must have a strong interest in ecology and evolution and enjoy working in a cooperative setting.  For further information, please email Ann Sakai (aksakai@uci.edu) or Stephen Weller (sgweller@uci.edu), stating why you are interested in the lab, your current GPA, the bio courses that you have taken, and any previous work or research experience.

Recent Undergraduate Excellence in Research Projects



Excellence in Research


Julia Kutaka

Mechanism for the breakdown of incompatibility of Oxalis alpina


Cathryn Lucas

Genetic basis of style morph expression in a tetraploid, heterostylous species


Tan Ngyuen

Maternal effects on seed quality and growth in fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum, Poaceae), an invasive species


Quoc-Phong Tran

Changes in inflorescence architecture following artificial selection for sex allocation in Schiedea salicaria


Linda Chau

Changes in sex allocation patterns with artificial selection in Schiedea salicaria (Caryophyllaceae)


Phuc Dang

Heritabilities and genetic correlations of biomass allocation in gynodioecious Schiedea adamantis  (Caryophyllaceae)


Tam Dang

The extent of inbreeding depression in Oxalis alpina


Paul Ngo

Heritabilities and sexual dimorphism in inflorescence traits of two dimorphic species, Schiedea adamantis  and Schiedea salicaria


Tiffany Ng

Response to artificial selection for female and male floral biomass allocation in gynodioecious Schiedea salicaria (Caryophyllaceae)


Athena Vuong

The evolution of distyly in Oxalis alpina


MaryKay Herzenach

Heritability of physiological traits associated with resource allocation in the evolution of dioecy in Schiedea adamantis