Paul S. Manos

Jack H. Neely Professor of Biology

330 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7358
My research emphasizes woody plants, especially the systematics of Fagaceae (the oak family), Juglandaceae (the walnut family), and related wind-pollinated families of flowering plants. I generally use DNA sequences to generate hypotheses of phylogenetic relationship for inferring morphological character evolution, analyzing patterns of biogeography, and revising classification. Students in my lab have studied the systematics and diversification of the following angiosperm families: Acanthaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Zingiberaceae, Rhamnaceae, Montiaceae, Humiriaceae, Solanaceae, Convolvulaceae, Piperaceae, and Dilleniaceae. Current research interests involve a range of evolutionary and ecological questions within the Fagaceae, especially the genus Quercus. In collaboration with Chuck Cannon and Sang-Hun Oh, we have reinterpreted cupule evolution in the Fagaceae and calibrated the phylogeny for the entire family. Another collaboration with Andrew Hipp, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, and Jeanne Romero-Severson seeks to integrate phylogenetic data with phenotypic traits and functional genes to explain species distributions in the oaks. Secondary research interests include genetic structure of tree species, phylogeny of neotropical tree communities, and the phylogeography of eastern North American species.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1992

  • M.S., Rutgers University 1986

  • B.A., Drew University 1982

Hipp, AL, Manos, PS, González-Rodríguez, A, Hahn, M, Kaproth, M, McVay, JD, Avalos, SV, and Cavender-Bares, J. "Sympatric parallel diversification of major oak clades in the Americas and the origins of Mexican species diversity." The New phytologist (September 18, 2017). Full Text Open Access Copy

Pham, KK, Hipp, AL, Manos, PS, and Cronn, RC. "A time and a place for everything: phylogenetic history and geography as joint predictors of oak plastome phylogeny." Genome 60, no. 9 (September 2017): 720-732. Full Text

McVay, JD, Hauser, D, Hipp, AL, and Manos, PS. "Phylogenomics reveals a complex evolutionary history of lobed-leaf white oaks in western North America." Genome 60, no. 9 (September 2017): 733-742. Full Text

McVay, JD, Hipp, AL, and Manos, PS. "A genetic legacy of introgression confounds phylogeny and biogeography in oaks." Proceedings. Biological sciences 284, no. 1854 (May 2017). Full Text

Yu, Y, Xiang, Q, Manos, PS, Soltis, DE, Soltis, PS, Song, B-H, Cheng, S, Liu, X, and Wong, G. "Whole-genome duplication and molecular evolution in Cornus L. (Cornaceae) - Insights from transcriptome sequences." PLoS ONE 12, no. 2 (January 2017): e0171361-. Full Text

Johnson, MG, Lang, K, Manos, P, Golet, GH, and Schierenbeck, KA. "Evidence for genetic erosion of a California native tree, Platanus racemosa, via recent, ongoing introgressive hybridization with an introduced ornamental species." Conservation Genetics 17, no. 3 (June 2016): 593-602. Full Text

Cavender-Bares, J, González-Rodríguez, A, Eaton, DAR, Hipp, AAL, Beulke, A, and Manos, PS. "Phylogeny and biogeography of the American live oaks (Quercus subsection Virentes): a genomic and population genetics approach." Molecular ecology 24, no. 14 (July 14, 2015): 3668-3687. Full Text

Hipp, AL, Eaton, DAR, Cavender-Bares, J, Fitzek, E, Nipper, R, and Manos, PS. "A framework phylogeny of the American oak clade based on sequenced RAD data." PloS one 9, no. 4 (January 2014): e93975-. Full Text


Collaborative Research: Automated and Community-driven Synthesis of the Tree of Life awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2018

Collaborative Research: Phylogeny of the New World Oaks: Diversification of an Ecologically awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Edaphic factors in the diversification of Ceanothus L., subgenus Cerastes (Rhamnaceae) awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2010

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Invasion dynamics of the parasitic plant, Epifagus virginiana awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2010

Macroevolutionary analysis of Fagaceae: A study of the pattern and process of woody plant diversification awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2005 to 2010

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Systematics and Pollinator Transitions in the Species-rich Genus Ruellia (Acanthaceae) awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2008

REU Site: Bioinformatic and Phylogenetic approaches to the study of plant and fungal biodiversity awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2004 to 2007

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Mating System Diversity in Boerhavia (Nyctaginaceae) awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2003 to 2006

The phylogenetic biology of the paleotropical tree genus Lithocarpus (Fagaceae) awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2005

Rates of range expansion in eastern trees based on molecular and fossil records. awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2005