Diana Jolles

Diana Jolles

Assistant Professor of Plant Biology Director, Plymouth State University Herbarium (PSH)
Phone: (603) 535-3320
Office: Exploration & Discovery, Boyd Science Center, MSC 48, Plymouth, NH 03264


BA, Reed College; MS, The Ohio State University; PhD, Claremont Graduate University

Diana Jolles is an evolutionary botanist who joined PSU’s Biological Sciences department in 2016. Her research focuses on how different aspects of natural history such as reproductive biology, biogeography, and ecological associations influence both plant population demographics and phylogeny. She uses this information to discover new lineages/species and to refine our understanding of plant taxonomy.

Jolles is an expert on the western North American Pyrola picta species complex (Ericaceae), a group of closely related, mycoheterotrophic plants. These Pyrola species represent just a few of the many Angiosperm species adapted for ‘buzz-pollination’, a form of vibratile anther dehiscence. Jolles’ current research is focused on population genomics and biogeographic patterns in plant lineages growing in New England, including Cypripedium acaule (Orchidaceae), the pink lady slipper orchid, and Chimaphila maculata (Ericaceae), an eastern North American species with close relatives in Mexico.

Methods that Jolles employs for data collection and hypothesis testing include: molecular systematics, morphometry, GIS, experimental cross-fertilization, anatomical and micromorphological analyses using serial sectioning and microscopy, and phenological observations. A critical element of Jolles’ research is the collection and permanent preservation of plant specimens, which are stored in an herbarium – these specimens are curated by Jolles and her botanist colleagues so that they can be studied by scientists world-wide.

Selected Publications
Stoughton TR, Jolles DD, O’Quinn RL. 2017. The western spring beauties, Claytonia lanceolata (Montiaceae): a review and revised taxonomy for California. Systematic Botany 42(2): 283-300.

Burge DO, Stoughton TR, Jolles DD. 2017. Soil chemistry patterns in an edaphic endemism hotspot: the pebble plains of the San Bernardino Mountains, California. Madroño 64(1): 9-21.

Jolles, DD. 2015. Morphometric analysis of floral variation in the Pyrola picta species complex (Ericaceae): interpretation and implications for ecological and phylogenetic differentiation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 177: 462–480.

Liu, Z-W, DD Jolles, J Zhou, H Peng and RI Milne. 2014. Multiple origins of circumboreal taxa in Pyrola (Ericaceae), a group of plants with a Tertiary relict distribution. Annals of Botany 114(8): 1701–1709.

Jolles, DD and CA Wilson. 2014. Pyrola crypta: a Pacific Northwest species belonging to the Pyrola picta species complex. Taxon 63(4): 789–800.

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 lanceolata var. peirsonii in the San Bernardino Mountains perpetuates a history of taxonomic uncertainty. Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany 31(1): 35–42.

Hynson, NA, D Jolles and TP Madsen. 2012. A case of Pyrola plantlets with picky palates leads to new insights on mycoheterotrophic seedlings and the fungi that feed them. New Phytologist 195: 503–506.

Jolles, DD and AD Wolfe. 2012. Genetic differentiation and crypsis among members of the mycoheterotrophic Pyrola picta species complex (Pyroleae: Monotropoideae: Ericaceae). Systematic Botany 37(2): 468–477.

Courses Taught at PSU
Biological Sciences 1 (BI 1110)
Plants and Society (BIDI 2050)
Botany (BI 2070)
Plant Diversity and Evolution (BI 4750)
Biology Seminar (BI 4970)

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