School of Life Sciences

Prof 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.

Research interests

  • 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.

Research profiles