Welcome to the Botany Department!

Welcome to the Botany Department at Oklahoma State University. We are a dynamic department devoted to understanding plant biology, from molecules to ecosystems. Our faculty have comprehensive research programs in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and in Cell & Molecular Biology.   We regularly publish in top tier journals and are committed to excellence in teaching.  We provide opportunities for research experiences for our undergraduates through our B.S. Botany and B.S. Biological Science programs. Our Graduate Program offers an M.S. in Botany and a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences. 

The Botany Department Office is located in 301 Physical Sciences. Faculty have offices and labs in Physical Sciences, Life Science East basement, or the Henry Bellmon Research Center (Faculty Directory). The OSU Herbarium is in the LSE basement.


Honorable Mention - Shannon Bever
2013 OSUBS Photo Contest

Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Reproduction - Wednesday, February 18 2015 - 12:30 pm
108 Noble Research Center

The OSU Chapter of Sigma Xi awarded Dr. Janette Steets, Department of Botany, the Young Investigator Award in recognition of her early career achievements.  Dr. Steets will present the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Lecture as part of this honor.  Interactions between plants and their pollinators and herbivores have a profound influence on plant reproductive success and reproductive trait evolution. The first part of the talk will focus on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant-pollinator interactions.  The majority of flowering plant species are dependent on animal vectors to transfer pollen among flowers to facilitate sexual reproduction.  Having a sufficient amount of pollen is an important determinant of plant fitness, and thus a major factor influencing plant population persistence and evolutionary change.  A global synthesis of studies of pollen limitation of plant reproduction will be presented.  The second part of this talk will focus on the role of ecological interactions in plant mating system expression and evolution.  Plants frequently reproduce through a mixture of cross- and self-fertilization, and a number of ecological factors have been proposed to explain the evolutionary maintenance of this mixed strategy.  In this talk, research on the role of predispersal seed predators and their parasitoids for the reproductive success and mating system of Ruellia humilis (fringeleaf wild petunia) will be presented.  Her presentation takes place Wednesday, February 18 at 12:30 pm in room 108 Noble Research Center.

News & Announcements

The Life Science Freshman Research Scholars (LSFRS) Program is designed to help freshman students majoring in Botany and other life science disciplines identify a research project, establish a research connection with an OSU faculty member, and participate in a research project. First-semester freshmen majoring in the life sciences (Botany, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Zoology) may apply to the program.  Students majoring in any of these disciplines can conduct research with Botany faculty.  For more information and to download the application, please visit http://zoology.okstate.edu/undergraduate-studies/lsfrs.  The application deadline is September 5, 2014.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected OSU Regents Professor Dr. David Meinke as a 2013 AAAS Fellow. Meinke earned distinction for his pioneering work in the field of plant molecular genetics and in developing and promoting Arabidopsis as a model organism. He continues to conduct genetics research that is focused on functional genomics of seed development and the identification of essential genes.

Hope Goertz, among six students honored in a white coat ceremony for first year medical students at the OSU School of Osteopathic Medicine. Hope was selected as the Outstanding Senior in Botany in 2013. She was born in Germany but is a Stillwater High School graduate.

Ben Haack, Botany undergraduate, was awarded a Wentz Scholarship for Fall 2013 for $4500. He is working with Mark Fishbein on "A putative new species of highland Mexican milkweed in Asclepias (Apocynaceae)." He also received the Paul Buck Botany Award from the Oklahoma Native Plant Society for an outstanding presentation at the Oklahoma Academy of Science meeting this past November. 

Angela Rein, PhD Candidate, was awarded a National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement grant for $18,941 in support of her research.  Her project is entitled:  Turning Vines Into Trees: A Genome Skimming Approach to the Phylogenetics of New World Milkweed Vines (Matelea, subg. Chthamalia, Apocynaceae).  Angela is a PhD Plant Sciences candidate working with Dr. Mark Fishbein.

Contact Information

Oklahoma State University, Department of Botany, 301 Physical Science, Stillwater, OK 74078-3013
E-mail: botany@okstate.edu, Telephone: (405) 744-5559, Fax: (405) 744-3285