Thomas R. Stoughton

Research Faculty

Center for the Environment, MSC 63
Plymouth State University
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595

Boyd Hall, Room 211

Fall Office Hours

Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 pm or by appointment

Research Blog:


BA, University of Redlands
PhD, Claremont Graduate University

About Dr. Stoughton:

Thomas Stoughton joined the Biological Sciences Department at PSU in 2016. He is an evolutionary biologist focused on assessing biodiversity of sessile organisms (principally, plants and fungi) using a broad spectrum of biogeographic, cytological, ecological, genetic (including genomic), and morphological data. The main objective of Stoughton’s research efforts is to provide useful information to land managers and practitioners of biology so that they can, in turn, make informed decisions regarding conservation of biological diversity.

Dr. Stoughton is an authority on North American tuberous Claytonia (Montiaceae), called spring beauties, a group of plants named by Linnaeus that are succulent and not all that distantly related to cacti. Claytonia are spring ephemerals, which are a type of plant that blooms very early in the spring, often near melting patches of snow (and Morchella… yum!). Because of this interesting natural history strategy (extreme early-season flowering phenology), the distributions of many of the alpine and subalpine Claytonia species that Stoughton studies are poorly understood. In addition to an early blooming period, genetically distinct Claytonia species have a propensity to grow together and therefore are prone to hybridization, introgression, and polyploidy–they simply don’t take their chromosomes seriously! This has made sorting out Claytonia species boundaries a priority for Stoughton thus far. Dr. Stoughton’s current research is focused on phylogenomics of polyploid plant lineages growing in and around the Great Basin, and biogeographic patterns of bolete species complexes growing in New England, including Harrya chromapes (Boletaceae), the yellowfoot bolete, a primarily eastern North American species that also occurs in Costa Rica and China.

Selected Publications:

  • Stoughton, TR, DD Jolles and HA Bartosh. 2014. Recognizing a new species of Silene (Caryophyllaceae) from California: a splitter’s game? California Fish and Game 100(1): 138–1524.
  • Stoughton, TR and DD Jolles. 2013. Discovery of Claytonia lanceolatavar. peirsonii in the San Bernardino Mountains perpetuates a history of taxonomic uncertainty. Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany 31(1): 35–42.
  • Fraga, N.S., L.J. Gross, D.S. Bell, O.J. Mistretta, J.M. Wood and T.R. Stoughton. 2013.  The Vascular Flora of the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed, San Bernardino Mountains, California. Crossosoma 37: 9-111.