Geophytic Organisms

Ontology & Phylogeny



What is a geophyte?

Geophytes are terrestrial plants with their growing points located on below ground structures such as a bulb, corm, tuber and/or rhizome. Some examples that you might be familiar with include potato, onion, turmeric and taro. Geophytes, many of which are economically, ecologically and evolutionarily important, are vastly understudied, which limits our understanding of how plants respond to various environmental pressures and the ensuing consequences of those responses. Thus, the need for a working group focused on these taxa is warranted.


Who is GOOPhy?

GOOPhy (goof-e) is a diverse group of people devoted to understanding the morphological, evolutionary, ecological and genomic complexity of geophytes. Our interests are broad and include horticulture, genetics, systematics, morphology and anatomy. The breadth of expertise found among our members will promote the integration of knowledge at different levels of organization from the individual cell to whole ecosystems.

logo resize.png

Where are we going?

Through a growing collaborative network of people not afraid to get their hands dirty (literally), the work of GOOPhy will enhance our botanical understanding of how form relates to function, abiotic and biotic drivers of morphological innovation and the genomic consequences of these changes, plus so much more! Those with synergistic interests and a desire to work with fellow geophytophiles should feel free to Contact us.

Meet GOOPhy


Cody Coyotee Howard

Currently a PhD candidate in Dr. Nico Cellinese’s lab at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Cody is the founder of GOOPhy with a keen interest in understanding how and why some plants evolved the bulb.



Carrie M. Tribble

A UC Berkeley PhD candidate in Dr. Carl Rothfels lab, Carrie is interested in understanding trait evolution and adaptation in plants. Her dissertation focuses on the evolution of underground storage organs in the Liliales with special attention to Bomarea (Alstroemeriaceae).



Jesus Martinez-Gomez

Under the guidance of Dr. Chelsea Specht at Cornell, Jesus is a PhD candidate working towards understanding inflorescence evolution using the UMBEL-evable Allium (the onions) as a model system.



Dr. Emily B. Sessa

Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Florida, Dr. Sessa is a fern-fanatic working towards understanding what ecological and evolutionary processes have generated, and help to maintain, fern diversity.



Dr. Chelsea D. Specht

With a passion for the Zingiberales, Dr. Specht, a professor at Cornell University, aims to understand the evolution of plant form and function.



Dr. Nico Cellinese

Associate Curator (Florida Museum of Nat. History) and Assoc. Professor (UF Biology), Dr. Cellinese is interested in the evolution and biogeography of the angiosperms while also developing tools that serve the biodiversity and phyloinformatics communities.



Dr. Jamie Males

Studying the Bromeliaceae in order to understand the evolution of CAM photosynthesis, Dr. Males also seeks to uncover the secrets of succulence across the plant tree of life.


Dr. Victoria Sosa

Mesoamerican plant biodiversity, ecology and evolution (with a passion for geophytes) is what motivates Dr. Sosa’s research program at the Instituto de Ecologia AC in Mexico.