Department of Biological Sciences
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210006
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006
614 Rieveschl Hall
Phone: (513) 556-9700
Fax: (513) 556-5299
Eric J Tepe
Title: Assistant Professor
Curator of the Herbarium
Office: 703B Rieveschl Hall
Plant systematics, including taxonomy, phylogenetics, biogeography, and diversification of “giant genera” – those with over 1000 species – including Piper (Piperaceae) and Solanum (Solanaceae). Evolution of ant-plant associations. Visit my webpage for more details. Click here for the CINC herbarium webpage.
- Ph.D., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA, 2005 (Botany).
In my research into plant systematics I make use of both traditional and contemporary techniques to study evolutionary relationships among species, morphological evolution, and the diversification of plant groups in both space and time.
I am currently working on the taxonomy and evolutionary relationships of the giant genus Solanum. With over 1000 species, the genus Solanum presents the opportunity to work on both large and small-scale questions within the same group of plants. The informally named “Potato Clade” is one of 12-15 well-supported major clades within Solanum, and since it includes the potato (S. tuberosum), tomato (S. lycopersicum), and pepino (S. muricatum), it is one of the most economically important clades of plants in the world. The potato clade is exclusively New World in distribution, with most groups centered in the Andes of South America.
Relationships within the Potato Clade
Most of the 200-300 species in the potato clade belong to a group of species closely related to tomato and potato and, as a result, are the focus of intense research; however, the clade contains four other smaller groups that remain virtually unknown and relationships among all of these groups are poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to use DNA sequences from the nuclear and chloroplast genomes to resolve relationships among the groups that make up the potato clade and to identify morphological traits that make each of the groups easily identifiable in the field.
This study is in its preliminary stages, but the potato clade consists of five major groups: section Anarrhichomenum; section Basarthrum; section Herpystichum; and section Pteroidea; and a strongly supported clade composed of sections Petota (containing the potato), Lycopersicon (containing the tomato), Lycopersicioides, Juglandifolium, and Etuberosum.
Revision of Solanum section Herpystichum
Despite the intense research focused on potato and its close relatives, other parts of the "potato clade" are very poorly known. I am currently working on a revision of Solanum section Herpystichum, one of the most poorly known and undercollected of these groups. The section consists of viny plants that root at the nodes. This research has resulted in the discovery of three new species of Solanum from Ecuador.
- (co-PI), Smilanich, A., Tepe, E.J., Dyer, L.A., Forister, M., Jeffrey C., Dodson, C., Whitfield, J., COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Phylogenetic and phytochemical cascades in the evolution of tropical diversity, The National Science Foundatoin. $ 658,967. 01-01-2012 to 12-31-2014. Status: Active.
- (PI), Tepe, Eric, Collaborative Research: Phylogenetic and Phytochemical Cascades in the Evolution of Tropical Diversity, National Science Foundation. (2012-00109-01 / DEB-1146119), $38,137.00. 02-01-2012 to 01-31-2015. Status: Active.
- (PI), Culley, Theresa; Rogstad, Steven; Tepe, Eric, Digitization PEN: Digitization of North American Bryophyte and Lichen Specimens from Two Ohio Herbaria at the University of Cincinnati (CINC), National Science Foundation. (EF-1410548), $166,627.00. 07-01-2014 to 06-30-2016. Status: Awarded.
- (PI), Tepe, Eric, Collaborative Research: Dimensions US-Biota Sao Paulo: Chemically mediated multi-trophic nteraction diversity across tropical gradients, National Science Foundation. (DEB-1442075), $78,664.00. 11-01-2014 to 10-31-2019. Status: Awarded.
- Jahner, J.P., M.L. Forister, T.L. Parchman, A.M. Smilanich, J.S. Miller, J.S. Wilson, T.R. Walla, E.J. Tepe, L.A. Richards, M.A. Quijano-Abril, A.E. Glassmire, and L.A. Dyer (2017). Host clade conservatism, geography, and elevation in the evolution of a Neotropical moth radiation. Evolution, 71, 2885-2900. [Link]
- Glassmire, A.E., C.S. Jeffrey, M.L. Forister, T. Parchman, C.C. Nice, J.P. Jahner, J.S. Wilson, T. Walla, L.A. Richards, A.M. Smilanich, C.R. Morrison, W. Simbaña, L.A. Salagaje, C. Dodson, J. Miller, M.D. Leonard, E.J. Tepe, S. Villamarin-Cortez, and L.A. Dyer (2016). Intraspecific phytochemical variation shapes community and population structure for specialist caterpillars. . New Phytologist , 212, 208-208-219.
- Tepe, E.J., G.J. Anderson, D.M. Spooner, and L. Bohs (2016). Relationships among wild relatives of the tomato and potato: a phylogeny of the Potato clade of the genus Solanum. . Taxon, 65, 262-262-276.
- Tepe, E.J., G. Rodriguez-Castañeda, A.E. Glassmire, and L.A. Dyer (2014). Piper kelleyi, a hotspot of ecological interactions and a new species from Ecuador and Peru. Phytokeys, 34, 19–32. [Link]
- Bornstein, A.J., J.F. Smith, and E.J. Tepe (2014). Two new species of Piper from the Greater Antilles. Systematic Botany, 39 (1), 10-16.
- Wilson, J.S., M.L. Forister, L.A. Dyer, J.M. O'Connor, K. Burls, C.R. Feldman, M.A. Jaramillo, J.S. Miller, G. Rodríguez-Castañeda, E.J. Tepe, J.B. Whitfield, and B. Young (2012). Host conservatism, host shifts and diversification across three trophic levels in two Neotropical forests. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25, 532–546. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., G. Ridley, and L. Bohs (2012). A new species of Solanum named for Jeanne Baret, an overlooked contributor to the history of botany. PhytoKeys. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., F.T. Farruggia and L. Bohs (2011). A 10-gene phylogeny of Solanum section Herpystichum (Solanaceae) and a comparison of phylogenetic methods.. American Journal of Botany, 98 (8), 1356-1365. [Link]
- Sanchez-Puerta, M.V., C.C. Abbona, S. Zhuo, E.J. Tepe, L. Bohs, R.Olmstead, and J.D. Palmer (2011). Multiple recent horizontal transfers of the cox1 intron in the Solanaceae and extended co-conversion of flanking exons. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11, 277. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., and L. Bohs. (2011). A revision of Solanum sect. Herpystichum. Systematic Botany, 36, 1068-1087. [Link]
- Rodríguez-Castañeda, G., R.E. Forkner, E.J. Tepe, L.A. Dyer and G.L. Gentry (2011). Weighing defensive and nutritive roles of ant mutualists across a tropical altitudinal gradient.. Biotropica, 43, 343-350. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J. and L. Bohs (2010). A molecular phylogeny of Solanum sect. Pteroidea (Solanaceae) and the utility of COSII markers in resolving relationships among closely related species.. Taxon, 59, 733-743. [Link]
- Pelser, P.B., E.J. Tepe, A.H. Kennedy, and L.E. Watson (2010). The fate of Robinsonia (Asteraceae): sunk in Senecio, but still monophyletic? . Phytotaxa, 5, 31-46. [Link]
- Pelser, P.B., A.H. Kennedy, E.J. Tepe, J.B. Shidler, B. Nordenstam, J.W. Kadereit and L.E. Watson (2010). Patterns and causes of incongruence between plastid and nuclear Senecioneae (Asteraceae) phylogenies. American Journal of Botany, 97, 856-873. [Link]
- Leiva González, S., F.T. Farruggia, E.J. Tepe, and C.T. Martine (2010). Browallia sandrae (Solanaceae) una nueva especie del Departamento Cajamarca, Perú / Browallia sandrae (Solanaceae) a new species from Cajamarca Department, Peru. Arnoldoa, 17, 9–17. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., W.A. Kelley, G. Rodriguez-Castañeda, and L.A. Dyer (2009). Invited contribution. Characterizing the cauline domatia of two newly discovered Ecuadorian ant-plants in Piper: an example of convergent evolution. Journal of Insect Science (online), 9 (27), 9 pages. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J. and L. Bohs (2009). Three new species of Solanum section Herpystichum (Solanaceae) from Ecuador. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 3, 511-519. [Link]
- Jaramillo, M.A., R. Callejas, C. Davidson, J.F. Smith, A. Stevens, and E.J. Tepe (2008). A phylogeny of the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae) using ITS and the chloroplast intron psbJ-petA. Systematic Botany, 33, 647-660. [Link]
- Stern, S.R., E.J. Tepe, and L.A. Bohs (2008). Checklist of Solanum of north-central Peru, a hotspot of biological diversity. Arnoldoa, 15, 277-284. [Link]
- Smith, J.F., A.C. Stevens, E.J. Tepe, and C. Davidson (2008). Placing the origin of two species-rich genera in the Cretaceous with later species divergence in the Tertiary: a phylogenetic, biogeographic, and molecular dating analysis of Piper and Peperomia (Piperaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 275, 9-30. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., M.A. Vincent and L.E. Watson (2007). The importance of petiole structure on inhabitability by ants in Piper sect. Macrostachys (Piperaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 153, 181-191. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., M.A. Vincent and L.E. Watson (2007). Stem diversity, cauline domatia, and the evolution of ant-plant associations in Piper sect. Macrostachys (Piperaceae). American Journal of Botany, 94, 1-11. [Link]
- Crawford, D.J., E. Ruiz, T.F. Stuessy, E.J. Tepe, P. Aqeveque, F. Gonzalez, R.J. Jensen, G.J. Anderson, G. Bernardello, C.M. Baeza, U. Swenson and M. Silva O (2001). Allozyme diversity in endemic flowering plant species of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile: ecological and historical factors with implications or conservation. American Journal of Botany, 88, 2195-2203. [Link]
- Crawford, D.J., E. Landolt, D.H. Les and E.J. Tepe (1997). Allozyme variation and the taxonomy of Wolffiella. Aquatic Botany, 58, 43-54. [Link]
- Tepe, E.J., M.A. Vincent and L.E. Watson (2004). Phylogenetic patterns, evolutionary trends and the origin of ant-plant associations Piper section Macrostachys: Burger’s hypotheses revisited. Piper: a model genus for studies of phytochemistry, ecology, and evolution (pp.157-178). Boston: Kluwer Academic. [Link]
Presentations & Lectures
- Tepe, E.J. (03-12-2015). Convergent morphology and the evolution of ant–plant associations in neotropical Piper (Piperaceae) Serra Bonita Reserve, Camacan, Bahia, Brazil.
- Tepe, E.J. (04-23-2014). Taming the Green Giants: making sense of two of the world’s largest plant genera Givaudan Flovour Corporation, Cincinnati, OH.
- Tepe, E.J. (11-18-2013). Potatoes and peppers gone wild: taming the systematics of two of the world's largest plant 5 CV April 2015 – E.J. Tepe ￼ genera Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.
- Tepe, E.J. (09-21-2012). Potatoes gone wild: phylogeny and the search for synapomorphies among relatives of Solanum tuberosum Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, OH.
- Tepe, E.J. (2011). Black peppers and wild potatoes: systematics of two of the world's largest plant genera Faculty Center for Biodiversity, University of Vienna, Austria.
- Tepe, E.J. (11-13-2015). Room and board provided: the evolution of an ant–plant symbiosis, or Morphology, phylogeny, and the evolution of ant-plant associations in neotropical Piper (Piperaceae).” Meeting of the Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society, Avon Woods Nature Center, Cincinnati, OH.
- Tepe, E.J. (03-22-2018). Convergent morphology and the evolution of ant–plant associations in neotropical Piper (Piperaceae). Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil.
- Tepe, E.J. (04-10-2018). Room and board provided: ant-plant symbioses in one of the world’s largest plant genera. Oxbow, Inc., Lawrenceburg, IN.
- Mardonovich, S., E.J. Tepe, and R.C. Moore (07-29-2015). Population structure in Carica papaya in Panama, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
- Tepe, E.J. A.J. Bornstein, M. Carvalho-Silva, A.P.M. Egydio, M.A. Jaramillo, and J.F. Smith (07-28-2015). Creating order out of chaos: a phylogeny of the Radula clade of Piper, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
- Culley, T., J. Lee, B. Merritt, R. Tunison, J. Barreiro-Sanchez, M. Philpot, M. Torres, M. Ammar, R. Elam, A. Koshoffer, A. Johnson, and E. Tepe (2017). UC Data Day University of Cincinnati.
- Koshoffer, A. and E.J. Tepe (2016). Challenges and Opportunities in an Institutional Repository Self-Submission Model Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit, Atlanta, Georgia.
- Miller, L. and E.J. Tepe (2016). Root beer plant” and its relatives: a molecular phylogeny of Piper sect. Pothomorphe Meetings of the Botanical Society of America and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Savannah, Georgia.
- Egydio, A.P.M., N.C. Yoshida, L.Y.V. Gutiérrez, L.L.F. Yamaguchi, L.B. Motta, E.J. Tepe, M.L. Salatino, A. Salatino, and M.J. Kato (09-2014). Phylogenetic studies of Peperomia and Piper: reconstruction of secondary metabolite evolution 62nd International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, Guimãres, Portugal.
- Tepe, E.J. and L. Bohs (07-2014). The spud family tree: relationships within the Potato clade of the giant genus Solanum (Solanaceae) Meeting of the Botanical Society of America, Boise, ID.
- Tepe, E.J. and L. Bohs (2014). The spud family tree: relationships within the Potato clade of the giant genus Solanum (Solanaceae). Meeting of the Botanical Society of America, Boise, Idaho.
- Mardonovich, S., E.J. Tepe, and R. Moore (07-2013). Morphological diversity of natural Carica papaya populations in Panama Meeting of the Botanical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.
- Tepe, E.J., Smilanich, A., M.L. Forister, L.A. Dyer, C.S. Jeffrey, L. Richards, C.D. Dodson, Wilson, J.S., Whitfield, J.B., Jaramillo, M.A., Jahner, J., Glassmire, A.E., Leonard, M., McMahon, K., Miller, J.S., Parks, K. (07-2013). Phylogenetic and phytochemical cascades in the evolution of tropical diversity Meeting of the Botanical Society of America, New Orleans, LA.
- Smilanich, A., M.L. Forister, L.A. Dyer, C.S. Jeffrey, L. Richards, C.D. Dodson, Wilson, J.S., Tepe, E.J., Whitfield, J.B., Jaramillo, M.A., Jahner, J., Glassmire, A.E., Leonard, M., McMahon, K., Miller, J.S., Parks, K. (03-2013). Phylogenetic and phytochemical cascades in the evolution of tropical diversity Gordon Research Conference: the changing face of plant-herbivore studies, Ventura, CA.
- Glassmire, A.E., C.S. Jeffrey, M.L. Forister, J.S. Wilson, M. Leonard, T. Walla, J.S. Miller, E.J. Tepe and L.A. Dyer (03-2013). Phytochemical variation as a mechanism for diversification Gordon Research Conference: the changing face of plant-herbivore studies, Ventura, CA.
Experience & Service
Other Experience and Professional Memberships
- 1997 to To Present ,Botanical Society of America,
- 1999 to To Present ,American Society of Plant Taxonomists,
- 2000 to To Present ,Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society,
- 2004 to To Present ,International Association of Plant Biosystematists,
- 2013 to To Present ,Society of Herbarium Curators,
- 2013 to To Present ,Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections,
- 2014 to To Present ,Ohio Moss and Lichen Association,
- -BIOL-1005 GENETICS & SOCIETY
- -BIOL-3052 MEDICAL BOTANY
- -BIOL-3052 MEDICAL BOTANY
- -BIOL-3010C BOTANY
- -BIOL-2082C EVOL ECOL GENETICS