Department of Botany & Plant Sciences


EllstrandNorman C. Ellstrand

Professor of Genetics(Ph.D., 1978, University of Texas, Austin)
Office: 4158 Batchelor Hall
Phone: (951) 827-4194
Fax: (951) 827-4437
Email: norman.ellstrand@ucr.edu


Norm Ellstrand has two interlocking research interests:

(1) The Significance of Gene Flow as an Evolutionary Force: Gene flow is a largely neglected, but potentially important, factor in evolution. His research group has demonstrated that plant interpopulation gene flow rates were much higher than previously anticipated and that these rates vary substantially from population to population.

(2) Applied Plant Population Genetics. Presently, the following issues are under scrutiny in his lab: (a) gene flow and hybridization as factors in the evolution of increased invasiveness, (b) consequences of unintentional gene flow from domesticated plants to their relatives, and (c) positive and negative impacts of genetically engineered crops, especially with regard to unintentional transgene flow.

Most Recent Publications:

Ellstrand NC. 2009. Evolution of invasiveness in plants following hybridization. Biological Invasions 11:1089-1091.

Schierenbeck KA, Ellstrand NC. 2009. Hybridization and the evolution of invasiveness in plants and other organisms.  Biological Invasions 11: 1093-1105

 Ridley CE, Ellstarnd NC 2009.  Evolution of enhanced reproduction in the hybrid-derived invasive, California wild radish (Raphanus sativus).  Biological Invasions 11:2251-2264.

 Ellstrand NC. 2009.  Crop transgenes in natural populations.  In Conservation Genetics in the Age of Genomics ed G Amato, R DeSalle, OA Ryder, HC Rosenbaum, pp. 187-198.  New York: Columbia University Press

 Ridley CE, Ellstrand NC 2009.  Rapid evolution of morphology and adaptive life history in the invasive California wild radish (Raphanus sativus) and the implications for management.  Evolutionary Applications 3:64-76.

 May MR, Provance MC, Sanders AC, Ellstrand NC, Ross-Ibarra J., 2009.  A Pleistocene clone of Palmer’s Oak persisting in Southern California.  PLos One 4(12): e8346.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008346

 Snow AA, Culley TM, Campbell LG, Sweeney PM, Hedge SG, Ellstrand NC. 2010.  Long-persistence of crop alleles in weedy populations of wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum).  New Phytologist. 186:537-548.

 Ellstrand NC, Biggs D, Kaus A, Lubinsky P, McDade LA, Preston K, Prince LM, Regan HM, Rorive V, Ryder OA, Schierenbeck KA. 2010.  Got hybridization? A multidisciplinary approach for informing science policy.  BioScience 60:384-388.

 Ellstrand NC, Heredia SM, Leak-Garcia JA, Heraty JM, Burger JC, Yao L, Nohzadeh-Malakshah S, Ridley CE. 2010 Crops gone wild: Evolution of weeds and invasives from domesticated ancestors.  Evolutionary Applications


 “Greatest Hits”, Best-cited Publications:

Ellstrand NC, Roose ML. 1987. Patterns of genotypic diversity in clonal plant species.  American Journal of Botany 74:123-131.

 Ellstrand NC. 1992. Gene flow by pollen:implications for plant conservation genetics.  Oikos 63:77-86

 Ellstrand NC, Elam DR. 1993.  Population genetic consequences of small population size: implications for plant conservation.  Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 24:217-242

 Rieseberg LH, Ellstrand NC. 1993. What can molecular and morphological markers tell us about plant hybridization? Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 12:213-241

 Ellstrand NC, Prentice HC, Hancock JF. 1999.  Gene flow and introgression from domesticated plants into their wild relatives.  Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics 30:539-536

 Ellstrand NC, Schierenbeck K. 2000.  Hybridization as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in plants?  Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences 97:7043-7050

 Sakai AK, Allendorf FW, Holt JS, Lodge DM, Molofsky J, With KA, Baughmann S, Cabin RJ, Cohen JE, Ellstrand NC, McCauley DE, O’Neil P, Parker IM, Thompson JN, Weller SC. 2001.  The population biology of invasive species.  Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32:305-332. 

Postdoctoral Researcher:

Katia Silvera

Graduate Students:

Sylvia Heredia

Shana Welles

Undergraduate Students:

Nancy Chavez

Jose Flores

Joseph Martin


Team Ellstrand Alumni:

Paul Arriola

Paul Arriola - Ph.D. in Botany (Plant Genetics) – 1995
Professor of Biology, Elmhurst College


Karen Goodell

Karen Goodell - M.S. in Botany – 1994
Assistant Professor, Ohio State University, Newark



Timothy Holtsford – Ph.D. in Botany (Plant Genetics) – 1989
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri


John Nason

John Nason - Ph.D. in Botany – 1991
Associate Professor, Iowa State University


Maile Neel

Maile Neel – Ph.D. in Botany - 2000
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department & Program Information

Department of Botany & Plant Sciences
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-4619
Fax: (951) 827-4437
E-mail: bpschair@ucr.edu

Plant Biology Graduate Program
CNAS Grad Student Affairs Office
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Tel: (800) 735-0717
Fax: (951) 827-5688
E-mail: jammy.yang@ucr.edu