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

Hasebe, Mitsuyasu, Paul G. Wolf, Kathleen M. Pryer, Kunihiko Ueda, Motomi Ito, Ryosuke Sano, Gerald J. Gastony, et al. “Fern Phylogeny Based on rbcL Nucleotide Sequences.” American Fern Journal 85, no. 4 (October 1995): 134–134. https://doi.org/10.2307/1547807. Full Text

Pryer, Kathleen M., Alan R. Smith, and Judith E. Skog. “Phylogenetic Relationships of Extant Ferns Based on Evidence from Morphology and rbcL Sequences.” American Fern Journal 85, no. 4 (October 1995): 205–205. https://doi.org/10.2307/1547810. Full Text

Pryer, Kathleen M., and Christopher H. Haufler. “Isozymic and Chromosomal Evidence for the Allotetraploid Origin of Gymnocarpium dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae).” Systematic Botany 18, no. 1 (January 1993): 150–150. https://doi.org/10.2307/2419795. Full Text

Pryer, Kathleen M. “The Status of Gymnocarpium heterosporum and G. robertianum in Pennsylvania.” American Fern Journal 82, no. 1 (January 1992): 34–34. https://doi.org/10.2307/1547760. Full Text

Pryer, K. “The limestone oak fern: new to Manitoba.” The Blue Jay 48, no. 4 (1990): 192–95.

Pryer, K. M., and L. R. Phillippe. “A synopsis of the genus Sanicula (Apiaceae) in eastern Canada.” Canadian Journal of Botany 67, no. 3 (January 1, 1989): 694–707. https://doi.org/10.1139/b89-093. Full Text

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 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 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.