Tzu-Tong Kao

Tzu-Tong Kao (高資棟), Ph.D. Candidate

I have broad interests in plant systematics, anatomy, and microscopy. My current research is focused on:

1) The evolution and function of farina (lipophilic flavonoid exudates that forms a bright-colored layer/band on lower surface of sporophytic leaf or margin of gametophytic prothallus) in notholaenid ferns, a desiccation-tolerant clade of ferns that have adapted to and diversified within the deserts of southwest U.S. and Mexico.

2) The infraspecific diversification of a xeric-adapted species, Notholaena standleyi, integrating the data from cytology, biochemistry, molecular phylogeny, ecological niche modeling, and morphology/anatomy.

Room 348, Biological Sciences Building
Duke University, Durham NC, 27708
Education & Professional Experience

Duke University, Biology, Ph.D. student, 2013 – present
Taiwan Forest Research Institute, assistant, 2011-2013
Taiwan Society of Plant Systematics, assistant, 2010-2013
National Taiwan University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, M. Sc., 2009

National Taiwan University, Life Science, B. Sc., 2007


Kao, T.-T., K.M. Pryer, F.D. Freund, M.D. Windham, and C.J. Rothfels. Low-copy nuclear sequence data confirm complex patterns of farina evolution in notholaenid ferns (Pteridaceae). (in review).

GeorgeL.O., K.M. Pryer, T.-T. Kao, L. Huiet, & M.D. Windham. Baja: A new monospecific genus segregated from Cheilanthes s.l. (Pteridaceae). Systematic Botany: in press.

Huiet, L., F.-W. Li, T.-T. Kao, J. Prado, A. R. Smith, E. Schuettpelz, & K. M. Pryer. 2018. A worldwide phylogeny of Adiantum(Pteridaceae) reveals remarkable convergent evolution in leaf blade architecture. Taxon67: 488–502. Reprint PDF

Kuo, L.-Y., Y.-H. Chang, J.M.O. Glowienka, V.B. Amoroso, S.-Y. Dong, T.-T. Kao, C.-N. Wang, & W.-L. Chiou. 2016. A revised frameworkof Dryopterissubg. Nothoperanema (Dryopteridaceae) inferred from phylogenetic evidence, with descriptions of two new sections. Systematic Botany 41: 596–605. Reprint PDF

Kao, T.-T., K.M. Pryer, M.D. Turner, R.A. White, & P. Korall. 2015. Origins of the endemic scaly tree ferns on the Galápagos and Cocos Islands. International Journal of Plant Sciences 176: 869–879. Reprint PDF

Huang, Y.-M., V.B. Amoroso, F.P. Coritico, C.-W. Ko, T.-T. Kao, J.R. Callado, & W.-L. Chiou. 2015. Reproductive biology of Aglaomorpha cornucopia (Copel.) M.C. Roos, a rare and endemic fern from the Philippines. American Fern Journal 105: 31–44. Reprint PDF

Kao, T.-T., W.-L. Chiou, S.-Y. Hsu, C.-M. Chen, Y.-S. Chao, Y.-M. Haung. 2014. Hybrid origin of Nephrolepis xhippocrepicis Miyam (Nephrolepidaceae). International Journal of Plant Reproductive Biology 6: 1–14. Reprint PDF

Moore, S.-J., B.S. Parris, T.-T. Kao, P.-F. Lu, and W.-L. Chiou. 2013. Xiphopterella devolii (Polypodiaceae), a new species and newly recorded genus in Taiwan. Botanical Studies 54: 24. Reprint PDF

Kao, T.-T., S.-J. Chen, W.-L. Chiou, and L.-L. Kuo-Huang. 2008. Various microscopic methods for investigating the venuloid idioblasts of Pteris grevilleana Wall. Taiwania 53: 394–400. Reprint PDF

Master thesis

Kao, T.-T. 2009. A study of false veins and silica deposition types on fronds in Pteridaceae. Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University.


黃曜謀、邱文良、陳俊銘、高資棟。2013。台北植物園區馬蹄腎蕨的研究與發現。林業研究專訊,20(3): 53-55.



2017     NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation ($20,670)