Thomas J. Givnish

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Henry Allan Gleason Professor of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2003-present).
Lecturer, Assistant and Associate Professor, Harvard1976-1985).
Visiting Fellow, Australian National University (2004-2005). Adjunct Professor, University of
Sydney (2016-present).
PhD Biology, Princeton, 1976.

Research Interests

Ecology, physiology, evolution, systematics, and historical biogeography of plants, especially on oceanic islands and tropical mountains.
Phylogenomics of monocots. Adaptive radiation and determinants of species diversification in bromeliads, orchids, Hawaiian lobeliads. Ecology of plant speciation.
Optimal plant strategies for energy capture and implications for species traits and distributions along gradients. Ecology of prairies, temperate oak savannas, and deciduous forest understories. Field experience: Australia, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Society Islands, North America, South America, Europe, South Africa.

Teaching Interests

Plant ecology and evolutionary biology: ecology; vegetation of Wisconsin (synthesis of functional, community, phylogenetic, and biogeographic approaches); population genetics. Field courses on Hawaiian ecology and evolutionary biology, Venezuelan ecology, Californian desert ecology, and Australian plant ecophysiology. My aim in these courses is to inspire students by helping them experience patterns in the natural world, develop theories to account for them, and then test those theories via experiments or comparative studies.
NSF Graduate Fellow, 1973; Danforth Graduate Fellow, 1973; Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, 1998; Fellow of the AAAS, 2003. EO Wilson Biodiversity Lecture, University of Oldenburg, 2017.


ASPT: Finance Committee, 2014-7. University of Wisconsin: Hilldale Undergraduate Research Awards (Chair, Biological Division) 1991-2004; Organization for Tropical Studies representative, 1994-2008; Recreational Sports Board (chair), 2005-11; Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (chair), 2011-2014; Provost’s Committee on Faculty Misconduct, 2014-present; Honorary Degrees, 2017-present. USF&WS: Recovery Team for Karner Blue Butterfly. Alberta: Review of Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Initiative, 2017.

Graduate & Undergraduate Student Education: Mentor to 16 PhDs, with four more in progress; 10 M.S. students; 7 post-doctoral research associates.
Chief Goals if Elected

Specific goals

  1. Work with the AJB editor and other BSA officers to elevate the impact of AJB and APPS;
  2. assist in the transition to our new publisher and executive director;
  3. work with Board to address the financial challenges associated with open access;
  4. increase the profile of BSA re plant conservation and national investment in scientific research; and
  5. initiate a competition for symposia proposed by graduate students.