Steven Awarded Grant for Fern DNA Research
Biology professor awarded grant for DNA research in hopes of confirming the age of fern populations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Dr. Janet Steven, Assistant Professor of Biology, has received a grant from the Nature Foundation at Wintergreen for DNA research that she hopes will confirm the age of fern populations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The work is part of a larger effort to enhance understanding and conservation efforts of non-woody plant species in old forest ecosystems.
“Preliminary findings suggest the ferns may be hundreds of years old," says Steven. "When we combine the size of the plants with our estimate of growth rate, we will be able to estimate plant age – this grant will enable us to confirm our suspicions.”
Steven teaches plant biology, experimental design and conservation biology. She earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.