Mason McNair

Dr. Mason McNair
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, PeeDee Research and Education Center

Office: PDREC Rm 120


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Plant Biology
University of Georgia 2022

B.S. Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University 2013

 Courses Taught

PBIO4650/6650 Plant Taxonomy (Spring 2022) UGA Lab Instructor
PBIO4650/6650 Plant Taxonomy (Spring 2021) UGA Lecture & Lab Instructor
PBIO 3650 Plant Ecology (Fall 2020) UGA Lab Teaching Assistant
PBIO 8350 Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution (Spring 2020) UGA Teaching Assistant
BIO 1108 Introduction to Organismal Biology (Fall 2019) UGA Lab Teaching Assistant
PBIO 8350 Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution (Spring 2019) UGA Teaching Assistant
BIO 1108 Introduction to Organismal Biology (Spring 2018) UGA Lab Teaching Assistant
HS 301 Plant Propagation (Spring 2009) NCSU Undergraduate Lab Teaching Assistant


Postdoc Lab website:
PhD Lab website:

Open Science Framework Repository:
Printables (3D Print Repository):

 Research Interests

My research focuses on inter- and intra-specific taxonomic delineation. Using North American Cercis (Redbuds) as a model system, I employ both genomic and morphometric approaches to identify the gene(s) underlying the phenotypic traits used to define species, subspecies, varieties, and forms within the genus. Using a pluralistic approach to taxonomy, I combine data from herbaria, common gardens, in-situ and ex-situ populations to make taxonomic determinations. My goal is to establish a robust pipeline for taxonomic delimitation, minimizing impacts on natural populations, and maximizing the utility of the data for conservation efforts. I also use 3D printing to enable affordable scientific research for underfunded labs, community (citizen) scientists, and underserved communities by creating simple, 3D printable designs. I implement these bespoke pieces of equipment throughout my research and use them in my teaching and outreach efforts as well.


McNair, M.C., Cruse-Sanders, J., Leebens-Mack, J.H. (in prep) Conservation data management in the digital age. Conservation Biology

McNair, M.C., Piotr T. Tuczapski, P.T., Havey, M.J., Leebens-Mack, J.H. (in prep) Radiation revealed in phylogenomic analysis of Allium (Amaryllidaceae) plastid genomes. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society

McNair, M.C., Cocioba, S.C., Pietrzyk, P. (in review) Toward a completely open-source 3D printable laboratory. Applications in Plant Science

McNair, M.C., Tarner, K., Gaya, H., Ingwers, M., Jones, H. (in submission) Effect of soilless media on small-scale propagation of Pinguicula gigantea. Propagation of Ornamental Plants.

McNair, M.C., Zenoble, M., Sexton, C.M. (accepted for publication; in review, 2023). Emphasis on quality in iNaturalist plant collections enhances learning and research utility. Journal of College Science Teaching.

McNair, M.C. Field Trip Report: Hybrids at Old Dock Preserve, North Carolina. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, 45:1, March 2016

McNair, M.C., & Harris, J., Germinating Nepenthes Seed: Putting Myths to Rest. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, 44:2, June 2015.

McNair, M.C., Wilkins, A., Werner, D.J., Wounding and Chemical Treatment Effects on Drosera capensis bud formation on leaf cuttings. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, 41:4, December 2012


3D Printing for Research & Teaching
Unsung Hero: Creating plant-dissection videos during COVID
Clemson Postdoc Spotlight