Biostats Seminar “Morphometric analysis of leaves” by Dan Chitwood


Biostatistics Seminar at Preventive Medicine, Division of Biostatistics:

Morphometric analysis of leaves

Monday, 07/11/16, 2pm, Doctors’ Office Building, Room 400  (Find this building: 66 N. Pauline, Memphis, TN, 38105; GPS coordinates 35°08’30.0″”N 90°01’38.4″”W)

Presenter: Dan Chitwood

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO USA


Natural variation in leaf shape is spectacularly diverse. Leaf shape is genetically specified within a complex developmental and environmental context. Leaf shape varies between species, changes between successive nodes on the same shoot, is altered between seasons in response to climate in long lived perennials, and even correlates with the paleoclimate in the fossil record. In this seminar I will talk about applying a variety of morphometric techniques—from Procrustes-adjusted landmarks to Elliptical Fourier Descriptors—to the genetic, developmental, and environmental analysis of leaf shape. I will end with a discussion of the caveats of each of these approaches and the application of a promising new technique, Persistent Homology, to more universally characterize the plant form.