Kathleen M. Pryer

Professor of Biology

358 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7380
My research focuses on understanding the evolutionary relationships of ancient land plants, especially ferns and horsetails, by integrating evidence from morphology, molecules (DNA sequence data from multiple genes), and the fossil record. I use an explicit phylogenetic framework to examine the morphological evolution of various sporophytic and gametophytic characters within vascular plants, and to gain insight into the evolution of various life history traits and the body plans that typify vascular plants. A phylogenetic perspective also informs my molecular evolutionary studies that attempt to elucidate why we observe remarkable rate heterogeneity in chloroplast genes in land plant phylogeny.


  • Ph.D., Duke University 1995

  • M.S., University of Guelph (Canada) 1981

  • B.S., McGill University (Canada) 1976

McNeill, J., and Kathleen M. Pryer. “THE STATUS AND TYPIFICATION OF PHEGOPTERIS AND GYMNOCARPIUM.” Taxon 34, no. 1 (February 1985): 136–43. https://doi.org/10.2307/1221578. Full Text

Pryer, Kathleen M., Donald M. Britton, and John McNeill. “A numerical analysis of chromatographic profiles in North American taxa of the fern genus Gymnocarpium.” Canadian Journal of Botany 61, no. 10 (October 1, 1983): 2592–2602. https://doi.org/10.1139/b83-285. Full Text

Pryer, Kathleen M., and D. M. Britton. “Spore studies in the genus Gymnocarpium.” Canadian Journal of Botany 61, no. 2 (February 1, 1983): 377–88. https://doi.org/10.1139/b83-045. Full Text

Sarvela, J., D. M. Britton, and K. M. Pryer. “Studies on the Gymnocarpium robertianum complex in North America.” Rhodora 83 (1981): 421–31.

Chase, R., K. Pryer, R. Baker, and D. Madison. “Responses to conspecific chemical stimuli in the treatment snail Achatina fulica (Pulmonata: Sigmurethra).Behavioral Biology 22, no. 3 (March 1978): 302–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-6773(78)92366-0. Full Text