Susan Mazer

Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
photo of Susan Mazer

Dr. Susan Mazer has been a professor of plant ecology, genetics, and evolution at UCSB since 1988, and the Director of the California Phenology Project ( since 2011.  Her research aims to detect the processes and results of evolution by natural selection, particularly for plant reproductive traits that contribute to the adaptation of plants to stressful environments, such as gas exchange rates, water use efficiency, seed size, age at flowering, flower size, and pollen and ovule production. She uses quantitative genetic, life history, and comparative approaches to test predictions concerning the outcome of natural selection in wild species, and  has worked with a wide variety of species and plant communities to detect reproductive and physiological adaptations, ranging from South American tropical rainforests to the Sierra Nevada and Coastal Ranges of California.  Her current research is investigating the factors that influence the joint evolution of mating system (self-fertilization vs. outcrossing), physiological performance, age at flowering, flowering phenology, and drought-avoidance in the California native wildflower genus, Clarkia.