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Jessica Budke

Assistant Professor & Herbarium Director

Research Interest

Evolutionary developmental biology, maternal effects, structure-function relationships, systematics, botany, bryology (mosses), natural history collections.


2011, Ph.D. University of Connecticut


Research in my lab focuses on the development, evolution, and function of plant structures. We study morphological features that are used to distinguish species taxonomically and those that are important for reproduction and fitness. Our research also focuses on the relationship between maternal gametophytes and their sporophyte offspring. We use electron microscopy, molecular techniques, and manipulation experiments to address our research questions.

  • How do we resolve relationships between morphologically austere taxa? 
  • What morphological and transcriptomic changes do plant species undergo transitioning from terrestrial to aquatic habitats? 
  • What are the functional roles of maternal structures for offspring survival, development, and fitness? 


Visit Google Scholar for more publications.

  • Budke JM2019. The moss calyptra: A maternal structure influencing offspring development. The Bryologist 122: 471-491. (Featured on the cover: Volume 122, Issue 3.) Link
  • Bainard JD, Newmaster SG, Budke JM. 2020. Genome size and endopolyploidy evolution across the moss phylogeny. Annals of Botany XX: 1-13 Link
  • Patel N, Fawcett S, Sundue M, Budke JM. 2019. Evolution of perine morphology in the Thelypteridaceae. International Journal of Plant Sciences 180: 1016-1035. Link
  • Miller CN, Brabazon H, Ware IM, Kingsley NH, Budke JM. 2018. Bringing a historic collection into the modern era: curating the J.K. Underwood seed collection at the University of Tennessee Herbarium (TENN). Collection Forum 32: 14-30. Link
  • Budke JM, Goffinet B. 2016. Comparative cuticle development reveals taller sporophytes are covered by thicker calyptra cuticles in mosses. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 832. Link
  • Busta L, Budke JM, Jetter R. 2016. Identification of β-hydroxy fatty acid esters and primary, secondary-alkanediol esters in cuticular waxes of the moss Funaria hygrometrica. Phytochemistry 121:38-49. Link
  • Budke JM, Goffinet B, Jones CS. 2013. Dehydration protection provided by a maternal cuticle improves offspring fitness in the moss Funaria hygrometrica.Annals of Botany 111: 781-789. Link
  • Wynne MA*, Budke JM. 2012. Examining the ability of calyptrae to produce protonema in Funaria hygrometricaEvansia 29: 61-64. (* undergraduate student collaborator) Link 
  • Liu Y, Budke JM, Goffinet B. 2012. Phylogenetic inference rejects sporophyte based classification of the Funariaceae (Bryophyta): rapid radiation suggests rampant homoplasy in sporophyte evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 130-145. Link
  • Goffinet B, Budke JM, Newman LC*. 2011. Micromitriaceae: A new family of highly reduced mosses. Taxon 60: 1245-1254. (* undergraduate student mentee) Link
  • Larraín J, Herrera F, Budke JM, Goffinet B. 2009. Phylogenetic affinities and conservation status of the Chilean endemic Costesia spongiosa (Bryophyta: Gigaspermaceae). The Bryologist 112: 279-286. Link
  • Budke JM, Jones CS, Goffinet B. 2007. Development of the enigmatic peristome ofTimmia megapolitanaAmerican Journal of Botany 94: 460-467. Link
  • Budke JM, Goffinet B. 2006. Phylogenetic analysis of Timmiaceae based on nuclear and chloroplast sequence data. Systematic Botany 31: 633-641. Link
  • Luebke NT, Budke JM. 2003. Isoëtes tennesseensis (Isoëtaceae), an Octoploid Quillwort from Tennessee. American Fern Journal 93: 184-190. Link

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