Steven D Johnson University of Kwazulu Natal

Steven D Johnson University of Kwazulu Natal

Steven D Johnson University of Kwazulu Natal

Prof Steven Dene Johnson

Professor Steven Dene JohnsonProfessor Steve Johnson holds the South African Research Chair in Evolutionary Biology and is a Professor in the School of Life Sciences on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus.His PhD on the pollination of plants in the Cape flora was obtained from the University of Cape Town in 1994 and he has since become a leading specialist in the field of plant pollination biology.

Johnson’s research is aimed at understanding the evolutionary diversification of plants, particularly in southern Africa, the conservation of plant-pollinator mutualisms, and the reproductive biology of invasive species. He has recently developed a strong interest in the role of floral volatiles in mediating specialized plant-pollinator interactions, and has established a state-of-the-art laboratory for the study of chemical cues used by plants to attract insect pollinators.

Johnson has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, co-authored a book on the Natural History of Table Mountain and has also written a large variety of popular science articles.

He is currently on the editorial boards of two international journals, Oecologia and Arthropod-Plant Interactions. He received the NRF President’s Award in 1999 and currently holds an A2-rating from the NRF. In 2010 he received UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Award. And this year the NRF-DST Research Chair Grant.

Professor Steve Johnson

Professor Steven Johnson’s research focuses on pollination biology, evolution, plant speciation, insect-plant relationships, invasive species, chemical ecology and floral mimicry. He currently holds the DST-NRF SARChI chair in Evolutionary Biology and is an associate editor of Proceedings of the Royal Society B and Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Position: Research Chair
Qualifications: BSc (Hons) UCT, PhD UCT

Discipline: Evolutionary Biology and Ecology
Campus: Pietermaritzburg
Telephone: 033 260 5148

Research Areas:

The ecology of plant-pollinator interactions. Formation of pollination ecotypes. Pollinator-driven speciation in plants. Plant breeding systems and ecological determinants of fruit and seed set. Floral mimicry in orchids and milkweeds. Coevolution of flowers and insects. Interpretation of trait evolution using phylogenetic analysis. Convergent evolution in plants with specialized pollination systems. Chemical ecology of pollination systems. Breakdown of plant-insect mutualisms in degraded landscapes. Reproductive systems of invasive plants

Recent Publications:

Duffy, K. & Johnson, S. D. 2017. Specialized mutualisms may constrain the geographical distribution of flowering plants. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY: B (in press)

Krauss, S. L., Phillips, R. D., Karron, J., Johnson, S. D., Roberts, D. G. & Hopper, S. D. 2017 Novel consequences of bird pollination for plant mating. TRENDS IN PLANT SCIENCES 22: 395-410.

Johnson, S. D., Moré, M., Amorim, F. W., Haber, W. A., Frankie, G. W. Stanley, D. A., Coccuci, A .A. & Raguso, R. 2017. The long and the short of it: a global analysis of hawkmoth pollination niches and interaction networks. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY 31: 101-115.

Johnson, S. D. & Schiestl, F. P. 2016. Floral mimicry. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Johnson, S. D. & Raguso, R. 2016. The long-tongued hawkmoth pollinator niche for native and invasive plants in Africa. ANNALS OF BOTANY 117: 25-36.

Websites: View Google Scholar profile
View Lab website
Postgraduate Candidates: PG Candidates

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