Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Elizabeth (Liz) Zimmer

Research Botanist Emeritus (various land plant groups)
Department / Division
  • B.A., Cornell University
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests

The majority of Zimmer's present research projects deal with studies of the pattern and process of molecular evolution in green plants. When she began her postdoctoral work in 1980, she developed nuclear ribosomal genes as a good model for both phylogenetic and evolutionary process studies. At the Smithsonian, this work has continued to use ribosomal and chloroplast gene markers for molecular systematic studies of key groups such as the Isoetes, ferns, Gesneriaceae, several Pacific genera including Rutaceae, and the grape family, Vitaceae. These projects have involved graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and curators in the Department of Botany at NMNH (P. Schafran, J. Skog, L. Skog, W. Wagner, and J. Wen, respectively). Additionally, we have used microsatellite profiling for application to species and population level questions with colleagues including graduate students from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. Most recently, we have begun using Next Generation DNA Sequencing techniques (transcriptomatics, genome skimming and target capture) to resolve evolutionary relationships among some of those species groups.

Journal Article
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro, Wurdack, Kenneth J., Ferrucci, M. S., Johnson, Gabriel, Dias, Pedro, Coelho, Rubens G., Somner, Genise V., Steinmann, Victor W., Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, and Strong, Mark T. 2017. [Dataset] Generic Relationships and Classification of Tribe Paullinieae (Sapindaceae) with a New Concept of Supertribe Paulliniodae. Distributed by Dryad.
Book Chapter
  • Wen, Jun, Egan, Ashley N., Dikow, Rebecca B., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 2015. "Utility of transcriptome sequencing for phylogenetic inference and character evolution." In Next-generation sequencing in plant systematics. Hörandl, E. and Appelhans, M. S., editors. 51–91. International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT).
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 2005. "Preface." In Methods in Molecular Evolution: Producing the Biochemical Data, part B. Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne and Roalson, E. H., editors. xv.
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 2005. "Genetic assessment methods for plant conservation biology." In Plant Conservation: A Natural History Approach. Krupnick, Gary A. and Kress, W. John, editors. 237–241.
  • Allan, G. J., Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, Wagner, Warren L., and Sokoloff, D. D. 2003. "Molecular phylogenetic analysis of tribe Loteae (Fabaceae); Implications for classification and biogeography." In Advances in legume systematics, part 10, higher level systematic. Klitgaard, B. and Bruneau, A., editors. 371–393.
  • Hershkovitz, M. A., Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, and Hahn, W. J. 1999. "Ribosomal DNA and angiosperm systematics." In Molecular Systematics and Plant Evolution. Hollingsworth, P., Bateman, Richard M., and Gornall, R., editors. 268–326. Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Conant, D. S., Raubeson, L. A., Attwood, D. K., Perera, S., Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, Sweere, J. A., and Stein, D. B. 1997. "Phylogenetic and evolutionary implications of combined analysis of cpDNA and morphology in the Cyatheaceae (Tree Ferns)." In Pteridology in Perspective. Camus, J., Gibby, M., and Johns, R., editors. 231–248.
  • Hillis, D., Mable, B. K., Larson, A., Davis, S. K., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1996. "Nucleic Acids IV: Sequencing and Cloning." In Molecular Systematics, 2nd Edition. Hillis, D., Moritz, C., and Mable, B., editors. 321–381.
  • Wen, Jun, Jansen, R. K., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1996. "Phylogenetic relationships and DNA sequence divergence of eastern Asian and eastern North American disjunct plants." In Current Topics on Molecular Evolution. Nei, M. and Takahata, N., editors. 37–44.
  • Bharathan and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1995. "Early branching events in monocotyledons--partial 18S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis." In Monocotyledons: Systematics and Evolution. Rudall, P., Cribb, P., Cutler, D., and Humphries, C., editors. 81–107.
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1994. "Perspectives on future applications of experimental biology to evolution." In Molecular Ecology and Evolution: Approaches and Applications. Schierwater, B., Streit, B., Wagner, G., and DeSalle, R., editors. 607–616.
  • Jupe, E. R. and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1993. "Assaying differential ribosomal RNA gene expression with allele-specific probes." In Methods in Molecular Evolution: Producing the Biochemical Data. Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, White, T. J., Cann, R. L., and Wilson, A. C., editors. 541–552.
  • Hamby, R. K. and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1992. "Ribosomal RNA as a phylogenetic tool in plant systematics." In Molecular Systematics in Plants. Soltis, P., Soltis, D., and Doyle, J. J., editors. 50–91.
  • Hillis, D., Davis, S. K., Larson, L. A., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1990. "Nucleic Acids III. Sequencing." In Molecular Systematics. Hillis, D. and Moritz, C., editors. 318–370.
  • Knaak, C., Hamby, R. K., Arnold, M. L., LeBlanc, M. D., Chapman, R. L., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 1990. "Ribosomal DNA variation and its use in plant biosystematics." In Proceedings of the Fourth IOPB Congress. Shoichi, Kawano, editor. 135–158.
  • Rivin, C., Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, and Walbot, V. 1982. "Isolation of DNA and DNA recombinants from maize." In Maize for Biological Research. Sheridan, W. F., editor. 161–164.
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne and Newton, K. 1982. "A simple method for the isolation of high molecular weight DNA from individual maize seedlings and tissues." In Maize for Biological Research. Sheridan, W. F., editor. 165–168.
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne and Roalson, E. H. 2005. Methods in Molecular Evolution: Producing the Biochemical Data. Elsevier. In Methods in Enzymology.
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne, White, T. J., Cann, R. L., and Wilson, A. C. 1993. Methods in Molecular Evolution: Producing the Biochemical Data. Academic Press. In Methods in Enzymology.
  • Kim, Hyi Gyung, Funk, Vicki Ann, Jansen, R. K., and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 2001. "Phylogenetic relationships of Mutisieae (Asteraceae) from the Guayana Highland." Abstracts: Botany, 121–121.
  • Kim, Hyi Gyung, Funk, Vicki Ann, and Zimmer, Elizabeth Anne. 2001. "Molecular phylogenetics of the Liabeae (Asteraceae, Cichorioideae) based on ITS and ndhF sequences." Abstracts: Botany, 121–121.