Annabelle Kleist

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UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences
Plant Biology Graduate Group
University of California
Davis, California 95616

Phone: (530) 752-8284

Email: ackleist [at]


Graduate Student


2002-2006: B.A. Biology, Carroll College

Research Interest:

I am interested in the genetic, evolutionary, and demographic processes contributing to the success of invasive plants of horticultural origin. Determining the sources and genetic structure of invasive plant populations can help identify general features of the invasion process and assist in developing management practices. Detailed comparative studies of introductions among regions with similar climates may elucidate more accurate patterns of invasiveness and inform invasion theories.

My project examines the genetic variation, population structure, and taxonomic relationships among invasive broom species in the Mediterranean climatic areas of California and Chile. The noxious weed Genista monspessulana (French broom) and the popular ornamental Genista racemosa (sweet broom) are my primary focus because G. monspessulana is the most invasive broom in California. Naturalized G. monspessulana populations have been reported in 23 counties in California and it now covers more than 10,000 acres in some counties.