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John Schenk

Dr. John Schenk, portrait
Assistant Professor
Porter 401

Recent News


Ph.D. in Botany from Washington State University in 2009

B.S. in Botany from Oregon State University in 2003

Other Websites

Schenk Lab Research Site

Google Scholar


  • Plant Evolution
  • Plant Morphology
  • Phylogenetics

Our lab is interested in understanding the evolutionary processes that have generated such a remarkable amount of morphological forms and diversity in plants. We apply a macroevolutionary approach that takes advantage of traditional anatomical and morphological methods, phylogenetic comparative methods, ecology, and genomics to better understand how forms have evolved through time.


  • PBIO 1150: Plant Structure and Development (Fall)
  • PBIO 3080/5080: Structural Botany (Fall)
  • PBIO 1000: Plants and the Global Environment

Selected Publications

Brokaw, J. M., J. J. Schenk, J. K. Devitt, and D. J. Brokaw. 2020. Phylogeny and floral character evolution of Mentzelia section Bicuspidaria (Loasaceae). Systematic Botany 45: 306–314.

Botnaru, L., and J. J. Schenk.  2019.  Staminode evolution in Mentzelia section Bartonia and their impact on pollinator visitation rates.  Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 190: 151–164.

Schenk, J. J., S. Kontur, H. Wilson, M. Nobel, and E. Derryberry.  2018. Allopatric speciation drives diversification of ecological specialists on sandhills.  International Journal of Plant Sciences, 179: 325–339.

Schenk, J. J., and S. Steppan.  2018. The role of geography in adaptive radiation. American Naturalist, 192: 415–431.

Schenk, J. J., and K. Saunders.  2017.  Inferring long-distance dispersal modes in American amphitropically disjunct species through adaptive dispersal structures. American Journal of Botany, 104: 1756–1764.

Schenk, J. J., M. T. Sullivan, G. A. Washburn, R. C. Franta, M. L. Chambers.  2016.  Allometric relationships better explain seed microsculpture patterns in Mentzelia section Bartonia (Loasaceae) than ecology or dispersal. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 177: 263–276.

Schenk, J. J.  2016.  Consequences of Secondary Calibrations on Divergence Time Estimates. PLoS ONE, 11: e0148228.

Schenk, J. J., R. Herschlag, and D. W. Thomas.  2015.  Describing a new species into a polyphyletic genus:  Taxonomic Novelty in Ledermanniella s.l. (Podostemaceae) from Cameroon.  Systematic Botany, 40: 539–552.