Janet Steven

Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology - Center for Sustainability in Education - Office of Graduate Studies

Janet Steven

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director

Forbes Hall 1017
(757) 594-7127


  • Ph D in Botany, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • BS in Biology, Davidson College


I teach courses that focus on plants, evolution, conservation, and experimental methods. Many of my courses have an emphasis on quantitative skills, and I encourage students to be actively engaged in lecture and lab.


In my lab, we use both molecular tools and field observations to answer questions about the microevolutionary processes that shape lineage evolution. Current projects address deer overabundance as a cause of natural selection in plants, and the population genetic structure of a fern species.

  • Class of 2013 Faculty Development Fund Award, Class of 2013. (2017)
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2019). Patterns of resource allocation in fly poison (Amianthium muscaetoxicum). BIOS. Volume, 89. Issue, 3. Pages, 113-117.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2019). The defensive benefit and flower number cost of selenium accumulation in Brassica juncea. AoB PLANTS.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2017). Drought and simulated deer herbivory reduce growth in Atlantic white cedar seedlings. Botany. Volume, 95. Pages, 531-538.
  • Book, Chapter in Textbook-New
    (2015). Predicting correlated responses in quantitative traits under selection: a linear algebra approach. Elsevier.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2015). Spatiotemporal variation in deer browse and tolerance in a woodland herb. Ecology. Volume, 96. Issue, 2. Pages, 471-478.
  • Jenna Miladin, Janet Steven, David Collar, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meetings, "Abiotic ecological niche parameters are associated with leaf and flower size in Silene," Austin, Texas. (2020)
  • Janet Steven, Botany 2018, "A course-based research experience investigating seed germination," Rochester, Minnesota. (2018)
  • Janet Steven, George Decatur, Emily Quick-Cole, Botany 2018, "Evidence for mechanisms to promote outcrossing in the homosporous fern Osmunda claytoniana," Rochester, Minnesota. (2018)
  • Janet Steven, Morgan Franke, Botany 2015, "Environment-dependent sexual dimorphism in Thalictrum pubescens," Edmonton, Alberta. (2015)
  • Janet Steven, "Developing microsatellites to determine the age and genetic structure of interrupted fern populations," Sponsored by The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen
  • Janet Steven, Kelli Shelton, "Eighty years of change in the plant community of a forested park in the coastal plain of Virginia," Sponsored by Virginia Academy of Science
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