Paul S. Manos

Professor in the Department 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 (Fagales). Our lab uses DNA sequences to generate hypotheses of phylogenetic relationship for inferring morphological character evolution, analyzing patterns of biogeography, and testing species concepts. Students and postdocs have studied the systematics and diversification of the following angiosperm families: Acanthaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Zingiberaceae, Rhamnaceae, Montiaceae, Humiriaceae, Solanaceae, Convolvulaceae, Piperaceae, Ericaceae, and Dilleniaceae. Current research interests involve a range of evolutionary and ecological questions within the Fagaceae. For example, we have reinterpreted cupule evolution in the Fagaceae and calibrated the phylogeny for the American clades of Quercus. Ongoing collaborations with Andrew Hipp, John McVay, Andy Crowl, Antonio González-Rodríguez, and Jeannine Cavender-Bares seek to integrate phylogenetic data with phenotypic traits and functional genes to explain species distributions and to better understand the adaptive nature of introgression in the oaks. Other research interests include the phylogeography of eastern North American woody plants, and patterns of speciation via polyploidy in the true blueberries, Vaccinium section Cyanococcus (with Andy Crowl, Hamid Ashrafi, and Peter Fritsch).


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1992

  • M.S., Rutgers University 1986

  • B.A., Drew University 1982

Crowl, Andrew A., Paul S. Manos, John D. McVay, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, and Andrew L. Hipp. “Uncovering the genomic signature of ancient introgression between white oak lineages (Quercus).The New Phytologist 226, no. 4 (May 2020): 1158–70. Full Text

Hipp, Andrew L., Paul S. Manos, Marlene Hahn, Michael Avishai, Cathérine Bodénès, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Andrew A. Crowl, et al. “Genomic landscape of the global oak phylogeny.The New Phytologist 226, no. 4 (May 2020): 1198–1212. Full Text

Denk, Thomas, Robert S. Hill, Marco C. Simeone, Chuck Cannon, Mary E. Dettmann, and Paul S. Manos. “Comment on "Eocene Fagaceae from Patagonia and Gondwanan legacy in Asian rainforests".Science (New York, N.Y.) 366, no. 6467 (November 2019). Full Text

One Thousand Plant Transcriptomes Initiative, M. J. “One thousand plant transcriptomes and the phylogenomics of green plants.Nature 574, no. 7780 (October 23, 2019): 679–85. Full Text Open Access Copy

Hipp, A. L., A. T. Whittemore, M. Garner, M. Hahn, E. Fitzek, E. Guichoux, J. Cavender-Bares, et al. “Genomic Identity of White Oak Species in an Eastern North American Syngameon.” Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 104, no. 3 (October 1, 2019): 455–77. Full Text

Harnik, Paul G., Hafiz Maherali, Joshua H. Miller, and Paul S. Manos. “Geographic range velocity and its association with phylogeny and life history traits in North American woody plants.Ecology and Evolution 8, no. 5 (March 2018): 2632–44. Full Text

Cavender-Bares, Jeannine, Shan Kothari, José Eduardo Meireles, Matthew A. Kaproth, Paul S. Manos, and Andrew L. Hipp. “The role of diversification in community assembly of the oaks (Quercus L.) across the continental U.S.American Journal of Botany 105, no. 3 (March 2018): 565–86. Full Text

Hipp, Andrew L., Paul S. Manos, Antonio González-Rodríguez, Marlene Hahn, Matthew Kaproth, John D. McVay, Susana Valencia Avalos, and Jeannine Cavender-Bares. “Sympatric parallel diversification of major oak clades in the Americas and the origins of Mexican species diversity.The New Phytologist 217, no. 1 (January 2018): 439–52. Full Text Open Access Copy


Selected Grants

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

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