Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Major Professor

Randall Small

Committee Members

Elisabeth Schussler, Charles Kwit


This is a two-part thesis that focuses on identifying the center of origin for kenaf, Hibiscus cannabinus L., and the effects of supplemental videos on student confidence and learning. Kenaf, Hibiscus cannabinus, is an important fiber crop worldwide that lacks genetic studies to identify its CWR and center of origin. Maximum likelihood phylogenies were created from sequence data obtained from accessions from the USDA National Plant Germplasm System. Prior studies have shown East Africa as the center of origin for kenaf. This study shows support that the center of origin for kenaf should include South-Central Africa. The data also show conflicting evidence for both a single and multiple domestication events for kenaf. The second part of this thesis analyses the effects of student engagement with optional supplemental videos on confidence in scientific skills, perception of future success, perception of instructor, and academic performance. Students who watched the supplemental videos performed significantly better on a common assessment than students who did not watch the videos. However, the students who watched the videos also self-reported lower levels of confidence, perception of future ability, and perception of their instructor. This suggests that the videos may have led students to question their knowledge compared to students who didn’t watch the videos, despite their positive impact

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