photo: clarkVinson Doyle

Assistant Professor

302 Life Sciences Bldg.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: (225) 578-4052
Fax: (225) 578-1415


City University of New York/ New York Botanical Garden, Ph.D., 2012   
City University of New York/ New York Botanical Garden, M. Phil., 2009
The Evergreen State College, B.S., 2004               

Areas of Specialization/Research:

Fungal systematics and population genetics; fungal taxonomy; plant-associated fungi; bioinformatics; statistical phylogenomics; phylogenetic methods

The pace at which fungal systematics has changed in recent years is directly related to the deluge of molecular sequence data and the methodological advances for analyzing these data. These advancements have led to the development of new tools to address a broad swath of interesting, fundamental, and previously intractable biological questions. As a more stable classification system for fungi emerges and the advancement in data collection and analysis continue, we are able to address fundamental questions related to the ecological and genetic factors that influence variation in life history traits among plant-associated fungi.  My principal interest is leveraging these technical and methodological advances to illuminate the processes that have shaped plant-associated fungal diversity. In this context, my research is both empirical and methodological.

The empirical side of my research is focused on developing a better understanding of fungal diversity, particularly understanding the diversity and species divergence of endophytic, epiphytic, and plant pathogenic fungi. Molecular systematics, population genetics, and classical taxonomy are essential parts of my research in fungal evolution. Fundamental to understanding how various biotic and abiotic factors influence the evolutionary trajectory of plant-associated fungi is a robust understanding of their evolutionary history (phylogeny). This side of my research relies heavily on fieldwork to collect the vast fungal diversity that can be found associated with agricultural and wild host plant species as well as lab and computational work to gain insight into their evolutionary history.

My interest in methodological phylogenetics research has emerged from a reliance on accurate phylogenetic inferences in order to address questions relating to fungal evolution. While expanding the size of molecular datasets has generally produced stronger confidence in phylogenetic hypotheses, there are many instances where systematic bias can mislead our analysis despite strong support for a given hypothesis. I am interested in understanding what assumptions made during phylogenetic analysis can produce biased results, how we can identify when we are being misled, and how we can avoid these pitfalls.

Selected Publications:

Albu, S., R.W. Schneider, P.P. Price, V.P. Doyle. Cercospora cf. flagellaris and C. cf. sigesbeckiae are associated with Cercospora leaf blight and purple seed stain on soybean in North America. In Review. Phytopathology.

Vieira, W.A.S., W. Lima, E. Nascimento, S.J. Michereff, A. Reis, M.P.S. Câmara, V.P. Doyle. First report of anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum tropicale on Musa sp. in Brazil. In Review. Plant Disease.

Doyle, V.P., Young R.E., Naylor G.J.P., Brown J.M. 2015. Can We Identify Genes with Increased Phylogenetic Reliability? Systematic Biology, 64: 824-837.

Doyle, V.P., J. J. Andersen, B. J. Nelson, M. L. Metzker, J. M. Brown. (2014) Untangling the influences of unmodeled evolutionary processes on phylogenetic signal in a forensically important HIV-1 transmission cluster. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 75:126-137.

Doyle, V.P., P.V. Oudemans, S.A. Rehner, A. Litt. (2013) Habitat and Host Indicate Lineage Identity in Colletotrichum gloeosporioides s.l. from Wild and Agricultural Landscapes in North AmericaPLoS ONE 8(5): e62394. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062394.

Wheeler, Q.D., S. Knapp, D. W. Stevenson, J. Stevenson, S. D. Blum, B. M. Boom, G. G. Borisy, J. L. Buizer, M. R. De Carvalho, A. Cibrian, M. J. Donoghue, V.P. Doyle, E. M. Gerson, C. H. Graham, P. Graves, S. J. Graves, R. P. Guralnick, A. L. Hamilton, J. Hanken, W. Law,D. L. Lipscomb, T. E. Lovejoy, H. Miller, J. S. Miller, S. Naeem, M. J. Novacek, L. M. Page, N. I. Platnick, H. Porter-Morgan, P. H. Raven, M. A. Solis, A. G. Valdecasas, S. Van Der Leeuw, A. Vasco, N. Vermeulen, J. Vogel, R. L. Walls, E. O. Wilson, and J. B. Woolley. (2012) Mapping the biosphere: exploring species to understand the origin, organization and sustainability of biodiversity. Systematics and Biodiversity, 10(1):1-20.

Constantelos, C.*,  V.P. Doyle*, A. Litt, P.V. Oudemans. (2011) First Report of Gliocephalotrichum bulbilium causing cranberry fruit rot in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Plant Disease, 95(5):618. [*co-first authors].