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Stephen Stern, PhD, has been faculty at Colorado Mesa University since 2011. He has taught many subject within the field of biology, including general human biology, principles of plant biology, plant systematics, taxonomy of grasses, plant identification, tropical field biology and various research and internship classes.

"Students in my classes learn in a variety of ways, from classroom lectures and videos, to hands on activities in the lab or the field. In particular, I love utilizing the amazing ecosystems near Grand Junction, including the desert, Grand Mesa, and the San Juan Mountains," he said.

His primary interest lies in understanding the biodiversity and the evolution of vascular plants through both taxonomic and phylogenic approaches. His research focuses on the plants genus Solanum, which includes the eggplant, potato and tomato. Students in his lab gain experience with DNA extraction, PCR amplification, DNA sequencing and phylogenic analysis.

He is curator of the Walter Almond Kelley Herbarium at CMU and a board member for the non-profit Desert Ecosystem Analysis and Restoration. This includes evaluating grant proposals and educating the general public about the desert of the Colorado Plateau. Stern is also President of the Colorado Native Plant Society Plateau Chapter. Through the society, he has organized numerous workshops, field trips and events. He is also an online mentor for the Botanical Society of America's Planting Science program. This involves mentoring groups of students online and guiding them through experiments using plants.

Stephen Stern's curriculum vitae

Selected Publications

S. Stern, L. Bohs, & J. Keeling. In press (accepted for publication Jan 3rd, 2014) Botanical Research Institute of Texas. New species and combinations in Solanum section Androceras (Solanaceae).

S. Stern et al. In Press. Solanaceae Treatment in Flora de Argentina.

S. Stern, L. Bohs, L. Giacomin, J. Stehmann, & S. Knapp. 2013. A revision of Solanum section Gonatotrichum (Solanaceae). Systematic Botany. 38 471-496.

M. Vorontsova, S. Stern, L. Bohs, and S. Knapp. 2013 African Spiny Solanum (subgenus Leptostemonum, Solanaceae) A thorny phylogenetic tangle. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 1 1-18.

S. Stern. 2012. Solanaeae Treatment in The Flora of Oregon. available online at http//