My research is focused on the evolution of reproductive systems in flowering plants. I am particularly interested in understanding sexual diversity – for example, why some groups of organisms are hermaphrodites while others are predominantly composed of males and females. Most flowering plant species exhibit some form of hermaphroditism, where individuals function as both male and female, while only about 6% of flowering plants consist of separate females and males. These strategies are completely reversed in animals, where majority of species have separate sexes. I'm interested in finding genetic, life history, and ecological factors that contribute to the evolutionary dynamics of sexual systems. My main approach is to study evolution in a "transitional" sexual system, known as gynodioecy, where females and hermaphrodites co-exist within populations. Gynodioecy is thought to be the most common pathway through which completely separate sexes has evolved from hermaphroditism. Intermediate stages provide us with important clues as to how and why sexual systems change over time. For more information see lab website.
Biological Diversity (intro bio for majors)
Life on Planet Earth (non-majors)
General Plant Biology
Advance Topics in Plant Biology
Career Pathways in Biology
Writing in Biology
Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Population and Community Ecology
Hovatter, S.R., C.B. Blackwood & A.L. Case. 2013. Conspecific plant-soil feedback scales with population size in Lobelia siphilitica (Lobeliaceae). Oecologia, doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2710-z.
Caruso, C.M. & A.L. Case. 2013. Testing models of sex-ratio evolution in a gynodioecious plant: female frequency co-varies with the cost of male fertility restoration. Evolution 67:561-566.
Caruso, C.M., A.L. Case, & M.F. Bailey. 2012. The evolutionary ecology of cytonuclear interactions in angiosperms. Trends in Plant Science 17: 638-643.
Mower, J.P., A.L. Case, E.R. Floro, & J.H. Willis. 2012 Evidence against equimolarity of large repeat arrangements and a predominant master circle structure of the mitochondrial genome from a monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus) lineage with cryptic CMS. Genome Biology & Evolution 4: 670-686.
Karron, J.D., C.T. Ivey, R.J. Mitchell, M. Whitehead, R. Peakall, & A.L. Case. 2012. New perspectives on the evolution of plant mating systems. Annals of Botany 109(3): 493-503.
Hovatter, S.R., C. Dejelo, A.L. Case, & C.B. Blackwood. 2011. Metacommunity organization of soil microorganisms depends on habitat type defined by presence of Lobelia siphilitica plants. Ecology 92:57-65.
Case, A.L. & C.M. Caruso. 2010. A novel approach to estimating the cost of male fertility restoration in gynodioecious plants. New Phytologist 186:549-557.
Case, A.L. & T-L. Ashman. 2009. Resources and pollinators contribute to population sex-ratio bias and pollen limitation in Fragaria virginiana (Rosaceae). Oikos 118: 1250-1260.
Case, A.L. & J.H. Willis. 2008. Hybrid male sterility in Mimulus (Phrymaceae) is associated with a geographically-restricted mitochondrial rearrangement. Evolution 65:1026-1039.
Case, A.L., S.W. Graham, T.D. Macfarlane, & S.C.H. Barrett. 2008. A phylogenetic study of evolutionary transitions in sexual systems in Australasian Wurmbea (Colchicaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 169:141-156.
Case, A.L. & T-L. Ashman. 2007. An experimental test of the effects of resources and sex ratio on maternal fitness and phenotypic selection in gynodioecious Fragaria virginiana. Evolution 61:1900-1911.
Caruso, C.M. & A.L. Case. 2007. Sex ratio variation in gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica: effects of population size and geographic location. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20:1396-1405.
Barrett, S.C.H. & A.L. Case. 2006. The Ecology and Evolution of Gender Strategies in Plants: The Example of Australian Wurmbea (Colchicaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 54:417-433.
B.A. Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1994, Ph.D, University of Toronto, 2000