|Title:||Associate Professor - Biology|
I conduct research in two areas: plant ecology and science education. As a plant ecologist, I study plant-herbivore interactions, especially plant responses to herbivory and how genes and the environment interact to affect the expression of plant traits. Using aspen (Populus tremuloides) and its insect herbivores, I study the evolution of plant defense strategies such as herbivory resistance (traits that reduce the preference or performance of herbivores) and herbivory tolerance (traits that facilitate regrowth after damage). I’m also interested in physiological mechanisms behind plant adaptation to insect damage including growth-defense tradeoffs, induction of resistance chemicals, photosynthetic responses, and whole-plant biomass redistributions after herbivory. Using Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana), I study biogeographic patterns in resistance to mammalian herbivores including snowshoe hares. My most recent research, conducted in the Central Valley of California, focuses on competition between native and introduced grasses and on geographic variation in California buckeye (Aesculus californica) populations from the valley and adjacent foothills. As a science educator, I research ways to improve science content understanding and science teaching methods at the university-level, especially in classes populated by future elementary and secondary teachers. I also study the roles that Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES) play in higher education.
11. Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Tanner KD, Williams KS –all authors contributed equally this work (2011) Investigation of Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES) within the Largest University System in the United States. CBE—Life Sciences Education, in press.
10. Stevens MT, Esser SM (2009) Growth-defense tradeoffs differ by gender in dioecious trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 37:567-573.
9. Bryant JP, Clausen TP, Swihart RK, Landhäusser SM, Hawkins CDB, Stevens MT, Carrière S, Kirilenko AP, Veitch AM, Popko RA, Cleland DT, Williams JH, Jakubas WJ, Carlson MR, Lehmkhul Bodony KL, Cebrian M, Paragi TF, Picone PM, Moore JE, Packee EC, Malone TT (2009) Fire drives transcontinental variation in tree birch defense against browsing by snowshoe hares. American Naturalist 174:13-23.
8. Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Tanner KD, Williams KS KD–all authors contributed equally this work (2008) Science Faculty with Education Specialties. Science 322:1795-1796.
7. Stevens MT, Kruger EL, Lindroth RL (2008) Variation in tolerance to herbivory is mediated by differences in biomass allocation in aspen. Functional Ecology 22:40-47.
6. Wooley SC, Donaldson JR, Stevens MT, Gusse AC, Lindroth RL (2007) Extrafloral nectaries in aspen (Populus tremuloides): heritable genetic variation and herbivore-induced production. Annals of Botany 100:1337-1346.
5. Lindroth RL, Donaldson JR, Stevens MT, Gusse AC (2007) Browse quality in quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides): effects of genotype, nutrients, defoliation, and coppicing. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33:1049-1064.
4. Stevens MT, Waller DM, Lindroth RL (2007) Resistance and tolerance in Populus tremuloides: genetic variation, costs, and environmental dependency. Evolutionary Ecology 21:829-847.
3. Donaldson JR, Stevens MT, Barnhill HR, Lindroth RL (2006) Age-related shifts in leaf chemistry of clonal aspen (Populus tremuloides). Journal of Chemical Ecology 32:1415-1429.
2. Stevens MT, Lindroth RL (2005) Induced resistance in the indeterminate growth of aspen (Populus tremuloides). Oecologia 145:298-306.
1. Stevens MT, Turner MG, Tuskan GA, Romme WH, Gunter LE, Waller DM (1999) Genetic variation in postfire aspen seedlings in Yellowstone National Park. Molecular Ecology 8:1769-1780.
3. Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Tanner KD, Williams KS, Wood WB (2010) A role for postdocs in undergraduate education. Science327: 522-523.
2. Stevens MT, Carosella TL, Gerson MM, Grobner MA, Thao ML, Watson F, Wolf SJ, Wooley SC, Youngblom JJ (2009) World of Biology: Biology 1020 Laboratory Workbook, 4th ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA.
1. Bush SD, Pelaez NJ, Rudd JA, Stevens MT, Willams KS, Allen DE, Tanner KD–all authors contributed equally to this work (2006) On hiring Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES) for your science (not education) department. CBE—Life Sciences Education 5:297-305.
General Biology (BIOL 1010)
Teaching Methods in Science (BIOL/CHEM/GEO 4200)
Biology Seminar (BIOL 494R)
Plant Ecology (BOT 3700)