My name is Maya L. Allen and I am currently a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico. As an undergraduate I attended the University of Alabama, I had the wonderful experience of conducting undergraduate research centered on algal systematics. I then attended Northern Arizona University for my master’s degree. My master’s research utilized RADseq, restriction site associated DNA sequencing, to resolve the phylogeny of the genus Glossopetalon. Glossopetalon is an understudied shrub genus in the small family, the Crossosomataceae.Although my background is systematics, as a first year PhD student I am now branching out to investigating genetic assimilation and plasticity lead evolution. I am generally interested in the evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity and how plasticity facilitates invasion success.