Paul G Wolf, Ph.D.

Department Chair,
Biological Sciences
Professor, Biological Sciences


301 Sparkman Drive
Shelby Center
Room 369
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



The Wolf lab focuses on the evolution of plants and their genomes. We use a wide range of approaches to explore relationships among plant populations and species. We are currently interested in how homosporous ferns have acquired their typically high chromosome numbers, on average about four times that of flowering plants - Some fern species have over 1000 chromosomes! Patterns of chromosome behavior in ferns can be a reference model for exploring loss of fertility in flowering plants when they undergo genome doubling (polyploidy). Paul G Wolf received his PhD from Washington State University, trained as a post doctoral researcher at University of California, Irvine, and was faculty at Utah State University from 1992 - 2019. He joined the faculty in Biological Sciences at University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2019. The lab is currently accepting masters students in the Biological Sciences Program and PhD students in the Biotechnology Program.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Website


  • Post doctoral researcher, University of California, Irvine: 1990-1991
  • Ph.D. Botany, Washington State University: 1990
  • M.A. Botany (honors), University of Kansas: 1986
  • B.Sc. Biological Sciences (honors), University of Leicester: 1982

Honors & Awards

  • Utah State University and College of Science University Service Award, 2018
  • Outstanding paper – Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 2018
  • Utah State University Mortar Board, Top Professor, 1998
  • Washington State University Summer Research Assistantship, 1989
  • Hannah Aase Fellowship, Washington State University, 1986
  • Graduated with honors, University of Kansas, 1986
  • Graduated with honors, University of Leicester, 1982

Recent Publications

  • Marchant DB, Gu Chen2, Shengguan C, J Jenkins, S Shu, ... PG Wolf, RR Dhakal, A Harkess, F-W Li, ... JH Leebens-Mack, J Grimwood, J Schmutz, PS Soltis, DE Soltis, Z-H. 2022. Dynamic genome evolution in a model fern. Nature Plants, September.

  • Kinosian, S.P., C.A. Rowe, P.G. Wolf. 2022. Why do heterosporous plants have so few chromosomes? Frontiers in Plant Science 13:807302. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.807302.

  • Kinosian, S.P and P.G. Wolf. 2022. The natural history of model organisms: The biology of C. richardii as a tool for understanding plant evolution. eLife 2022;11:e75019

  • Wolf, P. G. 2021. Cellular Processes: Chromosome number pattern seen in ferns. Open Access Government Jan 2021: 234-235.

  • Kinosian SP, WD Pearse, and PG Wolf. 2020. There and back again: Reticulate evolution in Ceratopteris. American Fern Journal 110: 193 – 210.

  • Kinosian SP, WD Pearse, and PG Wolf. 2020. Cryptic diversity in the model fern genus Ceratopteris (Pteridaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 152: 106938.

  • Rowe CA, Lichvar RW and Wolf PG. 2020. How Many Tree Species of Birch Are in Alaska? Implications for Wetland Designations. Front. Plant Sci. 11:750. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00750

  • Marchant DB, EB Sessa, PG Wolf, K Heo, WB Barbazuk, PS Soltis, DE Soltis. 2019. The C-Fern (Ceratopteris richardii) genome: insights into plant genome evolution with the first partial homosporous fern genome assembly. Scientific Reports 9: 18181.

  • Wolf PG, Rowe CA, Kinosian SP, Der JP, Lockhart PJ, Shepherd LD, McLenachan PA, Thomson JA. 2019. Worldwide relationships in the fern genus Pteridium (bracken) based on nuclear genome markers. American Journal of Botany 106(10): 1365–1376.

  • Robison TA and PG Wolf. 2019. ReFernment: an R package for annotating RNA editing in plastid genomes. Applications in Plant Sciences 7(2): e1216