Barbara Schaal's lab focuses on the evolutionary genetics of plants, often in collaboration with staff and students of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Research projects span the range from molecular evolution of genetics to systematics to quantitative genetics. Schaal studies plant species native to the U.S., tropical crops and their wild relatives, and Arabidopsis.
Schaal is the dean of the faculty of arts & sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton distinguished professor in the department of biology at Washington University. Dr. Schaal is a plant evolutionary biologist recognized for her work on the genetics of plant species. She is known particularly for her studies that use DNA sequences to understand evolutionary processes such as gene flow, geographical differentiation, and the domestication of crop species.