Adjunct professor, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University
Botanical Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Endangered Species Protection Board, IUCN SSC Conservation Genetics Specialist Group
- Rare and Threatened Species
- Gene-flow and Pollination
- Restoration Genetics
- Conservation of Genetic Diversity
Genetics & ...
Rare Species: "The Anna Karenina principle states that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”
When we talk about rare species we tend to think of them as a collective group that shares similar traits, however, some argue that “every rare species is rare in its own way”. Rabinowitz (1981) showed that all common species had wide ranges, large population and broad habitat tolerance, while rare species could have any combination of these traits, but not all three. What is interesting is the range, population size and habitat preference all have important consequences for gene flow and population structure.
I am interested in the population genetics of rare species, and what that can tell us for about the management of these species.
Botanic Gardens: "Botanic Gardens are playing a growing role in plant conservation"
Botanic Gardens collections are playing an important role in helping to slow the extinction of plant species. A well-planned collection will represent the complete genetic diversity of plants in the wild. Once we brought that diversity in our collections, our job is to ensure that the diversity is maintained, so that it could one day be used to return the plant back to the wild.
Pollinators: "One of the few things that is as fascinating as the diversity of flowers, is the diversity of animals that pollinate them"
The success and diversity of flowering plants are attributed in part to animal pollination. The genetic contribution of different pollinator guilds will vary through maternal fitness (number of seed sired), paternal fitness (number of fathers and distance of fathers) and connectivity between isolated populations. I am interested in the role pollinators play in driving the genetic structure of plant populations.
Restoration: Choosing "genetically appropriate material" for restoration has become an important aim of many restorations.
I study the genetic, demographic, and community factors that might influence restoration success in a number of species. More specifically identifying what genetic factors could help improve the establishment and persistence of restored populations in long-term
Widener, L. ++, & J.B. Fant (2018) Genetic differentiation and diversity of two sympatric subspecies of Castilleja affinis; a comparison between the endangered serpentine endemic (spp. neglecta) and its widespread congener (ssp. affinis) Conserv Genet 19 (2) 365-381
Vander Stelt, Erin ++, Jeremie B. Fant, Susanne Masi and Daniel J. Larkin (2017) Assessing habitat requirements and genetic status of a rare ephemeral wetland plant species, Isoëtes butleri Engelm. Aquatic Botany 138; Pages 74-81
Williams, E.W. ±, R. Cheung*, C. Siegel*, M. Howard, J. Fant, K. Havens (2016) Persistence of the gypsophile Lepidospartum burgessii (Asteraceae) through clonal growth and limited gene flow. Conservation Genetics; 17 (5) pp 1201–1211
Kim, E.S. ++, D.N. Zaya+, J.B. Fant and M.V. Ashley (2015) Genetic factors accelerate demographic decline in rare Asclepias species. Conservation Genetics 16(2) 359-369 Fant, J.B., K. Havens, J.M. Keller#, A. Radosavljevic+ and E.D. Yates and K. Havens (2014) The influence of contemporary and historic landscape features on the genetic structure of the sand dune endemic, Cirsium pitcheri (Asteraceae). Heredity 112, 519–530
Griffith, M. P., Beckman, E., Callicrate, T., Clark, J., Clase, T., Deans, S., … Wood, J. (2019). TOWARD THE METACOLLECTION: Safeguarding plant diversity and coordinating conservation collections. Botanic Gardens Conservation International - US. San Marino, US.
Fant, J.B. , K. Havens, A.T. Kramer, S.K. Walsh, T. Callicrate, R.C. Lacy, M. Maunder, A. Hird Meyer,and P.P. Smith (2016) What to do when we can’t bank on seeds: What botanic gardens can learn from the zoo community about conserving plants in living collections American Journal of Botany (Accepted)
Basey A., J.B Fant, A.T. Kramer (2015) Producing native plant materials for restoration: ten rules to collect and maintain genetic diversity. Native Plants Journal 16:37-53.
Ksiazek-Mikenas, K. +, Fant, J. B., & Skogen, K. A. (2019). Pollinator-Mediated Gene Flow Connects Green Roof Populations Across the Urban Matrix: A Paternity Analysis of the Self-Compatible Forb Penstemon hirsutus. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7(August), 299. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00299
Skogen, K. A., Overson, R. P., Hilpman, E. T., & Fant, J. B. (2019). Hawkmoth pollination facilitates long-distance pollen dispersal and reduces isolation across a gradient of land-use. Annals of the Missouri Botanical GardenMissouri Bptanic Garden, 104(Fall), 495–511. https://doi.org/10.3417/2019475
Rhodes, Matthew K. ++, Jeremie B. Fant, Krissa A. Skogen (2017) Pollinator identity and spatial isolation influence multiple paternity in an annual plant. Molecular Ecology 26 (16) 4296–4308
Skogen, K. A., T. Jogesh, E. T. Hilpman*, S. L. Todd*, M. K. Rhodes*, S. Still, and J. B. Fant. In Press. Land-use change has no detectable effect on reproduction in a disturbance-adapted plant pollinated by long-distance dispersing hawkmoths. American Journal of Botany.
Rhodes, M.*, J.B. Fant and K.A. Skogen (2014) Local topography shapes fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the Arkansas Valley evening primrose, Oenothera harringtonii (Onagraceae) Journal of Heredity (in press)
Ksiazek, K*., J. B. Fant, and K. Skogen (2012) An assessment of pollen limitation on Chicago green roofs. Landscape and Urban Planning. 107 (4) 401-408.
Tonietto R*, J. Fant, J Ascher, K. Ellis*, and D Larkin (2011) A comparison of bee communities of Chicago green roofs, parks and prairies. Landscape and Urban Planning 103: 102– 108.
Kramer, A.T. *, J.B. Fant, and M. Ashley (2011) Influences of landscape and pollinators on population genetic structure: Examples from three Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) species in the Great Basin. American Journal of Botany 98(1): 109–121.
White, A, J.B. Fant, K. Havens, M. Skinner, and AT. Kramer (2018) Restoring species diversity: assessing capacity in the US native plant industry. Restoration Ecology Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 605–611
Fant J.B., Price, A.++ and D. Larkin (2016) The influence of habitat disturbance on genetic structure and reproductive strategies within stands of native and non-native Phragmites australis (common reed)" Diversity and Distributions. 22 (12) Pages 1301–1313.
Havens K., P. Vitt, S. Still, A.T. Kramer, J.B. Fant, and K. Schatz (2015) Seed Sourcing for restoration in an era of climate change. Natural Areas Journal 35(1) 122-133
Kramer A.T., D Larkin and J.B. Fant, (2015) Assessing potential seed transfer zones for five forb species from the Great Basin floristic region, U.S.A.. Natural Areas Journal 35(1) 174-188, (2015) Assessing potential seed transfer zones for five forb species from the Great Basin floristic region, U.S.A.. Natural Areas Journal 35(1) 174-188
Herman B, S Packard, Cathy Pollack, G. Houseal, S. Sinn, C. O’Leary, J. Fant, A.D. Lewis, S. Wagenius, D. Gustafson, K. Hufford, Bob Allison, K. Shaw, S. Haines and C. Daniels (2014). Decisions… Decisions… How to Source Plant Material for Native Plant Restoration Projects. Ecological Restoration 32 (3) 236-238.
Fant, J.B., A.T. Kramer , E. Sirkin, and K. Havens (2013) Genetics of reintroduced populations of the narrowly endemic thistle, Cirsium pitcheri (Asteraceae). Botany 91 (5) 301-308).
Fant, J.B., R.M. Holmstrom*, E. Sirkin, J.R. Etterson, and S. Masi, S (2008) Genetic structure of threatened native populations and propagules used for restoration in a clonal species Ammophila breviligulata (American beachgrass). Restoration Ecology 16(4):594-603.
*Denotes student authors