Welcome to the Dept. of Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution!

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 Department of Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution 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.



2nd place winners - Oxalis, from Dylan Franks and Euphorbia from Mark Fishbein.
2015 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 Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, 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

Drs. Janette Steets and Linda Watson were named National Academies Education Fellows in the Sciences.  This summer, they participated in the Gulf Coast Summer Institute for life science education hosted at Louisiana State University (http://nasummerinstitutes.org/gulfcoast/).  The Summer Institutes are sponsored by the National Academies of Science and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  The goal of the institutes is to transform education at colleges and universities by improving classroom education and attracting more diverse students to research.   Faculty are trained in a scientific approach to teaching that reflects the way scientists work as researchers.  Drs. Steets and Watson attended the 5-day workshop as the OSU  team.

AJ Harris, PhD plant science major, has had two of her papers selected to receive the JSE Outstanding Paper Award. They are awarding 20 of the 370 papers published in JSE during 2008-2013. AJ will receive a certificate and $800 per paper from JSE.

OSU Botany's Newsletter, Bluestem, Summer 2015 edition is out!

Final OSU Botany Newsletter - Summer 2015

The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Mark Fishbein, associate professor of botany at Oklahoma State University and director of the University Herbarium, a three-year grant totaling $642,000 to study the evolution of milkweed, a species crucial to the rapidly declining monarch butterfly population, using genome sequences. Click here.

Jodie Crose

Jodie Crose is the recipient of the 2015 Botany Outstanding Senior award. She received her award at the A & S Banquet on April 16, 2015.

Angela McDonnell has been selected as a recipient of the Otto S. Cox Graduate Fellowship for Genetics Research. This fellowship recognizes outstanding full-time graduate students involved in genetics research at OSU. Angela will receive $1000 for fall 2015 semester.

Dylan Franks, Ph.D. Plant Science student, was a finalist in the College of Arts and Sciences 3 minute thesis competition.

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://osu-hhmi.okstate.edu/lsfrs.  The application deadline is July 20, 2015.

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.

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 Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, 301 Physical Science, Stillwater, OK 74078-3013
E-mail: botany@okstate.edu, Telephone: (405) 744-5559, Fax: (405) 744-3285