David Baum

Position title: Professor of Botany

Email: dbaum@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-265-5385

340 Birge Hall

Ph.D. (1991) Washington University
Baum Lab
Research Interests
Plant phylogenetics; conceptual issues in evolution and systematics; origin of life
David Baum

My overarching research goal is to understand how evolution works to generate the remarkable diversity of living organisms around us today. In addition to various theoretical and conceptual interests, I have conducted research in diverse areas of plant evolutionary-developmental biology, plant phylogeny, and molecular evolution.  A major current focus is empirical and theoretical research on the origins of life.

At the introductory level I teach in Introductory Biology (Bot/Bio/Zoo 151) and frequently teach evolutionary biology courses at various levels from a Freshman Interest Group to a graduate, primary literature-based course, Foundations of Evolution (Bot 820). I commonly contribute to the teaching of Seminars in Plant Systematics and Evolution of Astrobiology.

Selected recent Publications (for the most-updated information consult Google Scholar)

Peng, Z., Plum, A., Gagrani, P., and BaumDA. 2020. An ecological framework for the analysis of prebiotic chemical reaction networks. J. Theoretical Biology 507:1-15 [link]

Zizka, A., Carvalho-Sobrinho J.  G., Pennington, R. T., Queiroz, L. P., Alcantara, S., BaumDA., Bacon, C. D., and Antonelli. A. 2020. Transitions between biomes are common and directional in Bombacoideae (Malvaceae). Journal of Biogeography. 2020; 47(6): 1310-1321 [link]

Karimi,  N., Grover, C. E., Ané, C., Gallagher, J. P., Wendel, J. P., and BaumDA. 2020. Reticulate evolution helps explain apparent homoplasy in floral biology and pollination in baobabs (Adansonia; Bombacoideae; Malvaceae). Systematic Biology 69(3): 462–478. [link]

Vincent,  L., Berg, M., Krismer, M., Saghafi, S., Cosby, J., Sankari, T., Vetsigian, K.,  Cleaves, H. J. III, and BaumDA. 2019. Chemical Ecosystem Selection on Mineral Surfaces Reveals long-term dynamics consistent with the spontaneous emergence of mutual catalysis. Life. 9(4), doi:10.3390/life9040080 [link]

BaumDA. 2019. Plant parts: Processes, structures, or functions? Gardens Bulletin, Singapore, 71 (Suppl. 2): 247-258. [link]

Mizuuchi, R., Blokhuis, A., Vincent, L., Nghe, P., Lehman, N., and BaumDA. 2019. Mineral surfaces select for longer RNA molecules. Chemical Communications
10.1039/C8CC10319D [link]

Conover, J.L., Karimi, N., Stenz, N., Ané, C., Grover, C.E., Skema, C., Tate, J. A., Wolff, K., Logan, S. A., Wendel, J.F., and  BaumDA. 2018. A Malvaceae mystery: A mallow maelstrom of genome multiplications and maybe misleading methods? Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 61(1):12-31 [link]

BaumDA. 2018. The origin and early evolution of life in chemical complexity space. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 456: 295-304 [link]

Wright, E. and BaumDA. 2018. Exclusivity offers a sound yet practical species criterion for bacteria.  BMC Genomics 19:724 [link]

Dey, G, and BaumDA. 2018. Origin of Eukaryotes. Oxford Bibliographies in Evolutionary Biology (Ed. Karin Pfennig). New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199941728-0108 [link]