Carolyn J. Ferguson, Professor


Curator, K-State Herbarium

Contact information

313 Ackert Hall
(785) 532-3166

Lab website:


Ph.D. 1998, University of Texas-Austin. Botany.

Area(s) of Specialization

Plant systematics; Phylogeny and evolution of Phlox (Polemoniaceae).

Research Focus

My research program focuses on plant systematics, the evolutionary study of plant diversity. The phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Phlox (Polemoniaceae) are of particular ongoing interest, and current work focuses on polyploidy in Phlox species complexes and its effects on aspects of diversity. In my role as Curator of the K-State Herbarium, I also promote a broader diversity of collections-based research utilizing the museum's resources.

Selected Publications

Rabeler RK, Svoboda HT, Thiers B, Prather LA, Macklin JA, Lagomarsino LP, Majure LC, Ferguson CJ. In press. Recommendations for desirable procedures in herbarium practice and ethics, III. Syst Bot.

Ladner J, Mayfield MH, Prather LA, Ferguson CJ. 2017. Polyploidy and genome size variation in Phlox nana (Polemoniaceae) from the Pecos Plains of New Mexico and the Davis Mountains of West Texas. J Bot Res Inst Texas 11:351-362.

Chansler MT, Ferguson CJ, Fehlberg SD, Prather LA. 2016. The role of polyploidy in shaping morphological diversity in natural populations of Phlox amabilis. Am J Bot 103:1546-1558.

Ferguson CJ, Darrach ME, Mayfield MH. 2015. Phlox solivagus (Polemoniaceae), a new species from the Blue Mountains in southeastern Washington. Phytoneuron 2015-25: 1-12.

Fehlberg SD, Ty MC, Ferguson CJ. 2014. Rexamination of a putative diploid hybrid taxon using genetic evidence: the distinctiveness of Phlox pilosa subsp. deamii (Polemoniaceae). Int J Plant Sci 175:781-793.

Peirson, JA, Riina R, Mayfield MH, Ferguson CJ, Urbatsch LE, Berry PE. 2014. Phylogeny and taxonomy of the New World leafy spurges, Euphorbia section Tithymalus (Euphorbiaceae). Bot J Linn Soc 175:191-228.

Ferguson CJ. Polemoniaceae. 2013. Pp. 686-701 In G. Yatskievych, ed. Steyermark's Flora of Missouri, Vol. 3. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO.

Fehlberg SD, Ferguson CJ. 2012. Intraspecific cytotypic variation and complicated genetic structure in the Phlox amabilis-P. woodhousei (Polemoniaceae) complex. Am J Bot 99:865-874.

Nepal MP, Ferguson CJ. 2012. Phylogenetics of Morus (Moraceae) inferred from ITS and trnL-trnF sequence data. Syst Bot 37:442-450.

Woods, TM, Jonas JL, Ferguson CJ. 2012. The invasive Lespedeza cuneata attracts more insect pollinators than native congeners in tallgrass prairie with variable impacts. Biol Inv 14:1045-1059.