Contact-image
Position
Research Scientist (Restoration Ecophysiology)
Address
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Fraser Avenue
Kings Park Western Australia 6005
Email
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Phone
(+61 8) 9480 3639
Fax
(+61 8) 9480 3641

Research themes

  • Developing physiological approaches for monitoring plant performance in restoration
  • Impacts of climate shifts and management practices on plant physiological performance
  • Understanding physiological traits enabling plant survival in native species
  • Plant physiological responses to abiotic stress

Academic background

  • 2001 - 2006 Charles and Annie Neumann Scholarships in Agriculture. PhD Thesis title: Physiological Investigation of Effects of Salicylic Acid on Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants (with Special Reference to Salinity). Supervisors: Professor Krishnapillai Sivasithamparam (UWA) and Dr Tissa Senaratna (UWA/ Kings Park and Botanic Garden).
  • 2000 First Class Honours, Agriculture, University of Western Australia. Thesis title: Differential root exudation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) on different soils and its role in phosphorus acquisition. Supervisors: Professor Hans Lambers and Dr Erik Veneklaas (University of Western Australia), Dr Kadambot Siddique and Dr Mike Bolland (Department of Agriculture Western Australia).
  • 1997 - 2000 Bachelor of Agricultural Science (BSc. Agric.), University of Western Australia.

Major projects

Current

  • Using plant ecophysiology as a tool to underpin successful Banksia woodland restoration. Industry partner: Rocla Quarry Products.
  • Managing ecosystem change requires the integration of above and belowground hydrological processes at relevant scales. Industry partner: ARC Linkage.
  • Broadscale implementation of native grass germination enhancement technologies. Industry partner: RIRDC.
  • Restoring the Saudi Arabian arid zone. Industry partner: Ariyadh Development Authority.
  • Tetratheca paynterae experimental translocation research trial translocation Cliffs. Industry partners: Asia Pacific Iron Ore Pty Ltd, Yilgarn Operations – Windarling Range.
  • Ricinocarpus brevis Restoration Research Plan Cliffs. Industry partner: Asia Pacific Iron Ore Pty Ltd.
  • Restoration of Banded-Ironstone communities in the Midwest - Koolanooka, Blue Hills and Weld Range exploration lines.

Past

  • Scoping study: Ecophysiological study of Tetratheca aphylla for restoration. Industry partners: Polaris, Mineral Resources Limited.
  • Scoping study for Biodiversity Rehabilitation. Industry partner: Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Ltd.
  • Business case - Restoration Seedbank Initiative and Pilbara Restoration Institute. Industry partners: BGPA, BHPBIO.
  • Banksia tree health and decline – Why our Banksias are dying? Industry partner: Friends of Kings Park (FoKP).
  • Grass Roots – native perennial grasses for sustainable pasture systems. Industry partner: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).
  • Releasing agricultural weed seed dormancy through application of a novel smoke derived chemical. Industry partner: Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
  • Induction of multiple environmental stress tolerance in Australian native species for land rehabilitation using benzoic acid derivatives. Industry partner: Australian Research Council (Linkage Grant).
  • Reliable establishment of non-traditional perennial pasture species. Industry partners: Sustainable Grazing of Saline Lands (SGSL), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).
  • Improving establishment of commercial native plants suitable for agro-forestry though improved understanding of germination biology, moisture management and weed control. Industry partners: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Joint Venture in Agroforestry (JVAP).

Research associates and students

Current

  • Erica David (PhD; 2014 - present) Implications for wind management in restoration ecology, linking ecosystem aerodynamics to physiological drivers in arid and semi-arid systems. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Sean Tomlinson, Dr Ellery Mayence, Dr Andrew Guzzomi, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Dr Lucy Commander (Post-doc; 2012 - present) Restoration Ecology – Seed Enabling Technologist. Restoration of Threatened Ecological Communities occurring on Banded Iron Formations. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Wolfgang Lewandrowski (PhD; 2011 - present) Optimising seed germination and early vigour to advantage direct seeding of Triodia species - an interaction of seed and seedling ecophysiology. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Shahab Nikabadi (MSc; 2011 - present) Understanding the ecophysiology of trophic transition with micropropagated terrestrial orchids of the South-West Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR) for improving restoration success.
  • Rachael Ord (PhD; 2008 - present) Post removal of Pinus pinaster plantations in Western Australia: Implications for reinstatement of Banksia woodland, a historical ecosystem assemblage. Supervisors: Dr Deanna Rokich, Dr Shane Turner, Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Mallory Barnes (Hons; 2014 - present) Drought tolerance of Triodia species during seedling establishment - implications for restoring the Australian arid zone. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Mr Wolfgang Lewandrowski, Mr Todd Erickson, Prof Kingsley Dixon, Prof Erik Veneklaas.
  • Bryony Wilkinson (Hons; 2014 - present) Are acidifying soil amendments an effective treatment for chlorotic decline syndrome of Eucalyptus marginata in an urban parkland? Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Hans Lambers.

Past

  • Dr Luis Merino Martin (Post-doc; 2012 - 2014) Restoration Ecology – Soil Scientist. Restoration of Threatened Ecological Communities occurring on Banded Iron Formations. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Cameron Mounsey (PhD; 2010 - 2014) Understanding vegetation patch-gap dynamics to determine restoration success. Supervisors: Dr Ben Miller, Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Gavan McGrath, Prof Christoph Hinz, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Laura Skates (Hons; 2014) Niche specialisation in the rare carnivorous hydrophyte Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. (Droseraceae) causes increased susceptibility to threatening processes. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Mr Adam Cross and Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Anthea Challis (Hons; 2014) Mortality patterns and physiological responses of the canopy tree, Banksia menziesii in relation to varying summer water availability in an urban remnant. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Dr Ben Miller.
  • Mark Bundock (PhD; 2008 - 2013) Non-target impacts of herbicides and adjuvants used in Banksia woodland and Jarrah forest weed control. Supervisors: Dr Deanna Rokich, Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • David Leach (PhD; 2008 - 2013) Fire Suppressant impacts on Flora of the Swan Coastal Plain. Supervisors: Dr Deanna Rokich, Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Sacha Ruoss (PhD; 2008 - 2012) Restoration Ecology and Conservation of Rare Banded Ironstone Plants in an Arid Biodiversity Hotspot. Supervisors Dr Ben Miller, Dr Matthew Barrett, Dr Jason Stevens, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Stephen Benigno (PhD; 2008 - 2012) The Ecophysiological Adaptations of Framework Banksia Woodland Species to Post-Minesite Stresses. Supervisors Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Deanna Rokich, Prof Christoph Hinz, Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Dylan Martini (Hons; 2013) Why do Banksia menziesii seedlings in post-mining restoration experience high mortality during their second summer? Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Luis Merino Martin.
  • Erin Picken (Hons; 2012) Defining Banded Iron Formation Communities for Restoration. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Dr Ben Miller.
  • Marta Gorecki (Hons; 2011) Maternal environment can change the germination with karrikinolide of the weed Brassica tournefortii. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Rowena Long.
  • Wolfgang Lewendrowski (Hons; 2011) Improving greenstock quality for Banksia woodland restoration. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Rowena Long.
  • Christina Putz (Intl Diploma, Intl student; 2011) Understanding early seedling establishment drivers in Acacia hilliana in Pilbara minesite restoration and native soil substrates. Supervisors: Mr Todd Erickson and Dr Jason Stevens.
  • Cameron Mounsey (Hons; 2009) The roots of shallow soil endemic species are not better adapted to enter smaller pores than the roots of closely related congeners. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Dr Ben Miller.
  • Andrew Naskos (Hons; 2009) Germination requirements and seed enhancements to improve the broadacre restoration of Acacia acinacea, Enchylaena tomentosa and Einadia nutans. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Christopher Loo.
  • Simone Tausch (Intl Diploma; 2008) Understanding soil compaction thresholds limiting Banksia woodland species root development. Supervisor: Dr Jason Stevens.
  • Liann Smithson (Hons; 2009) Physiological Strategies for Surviving Drought in Endemic Banded Iron Formation Habitats. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Dr Ben Miller.
  • Robert Aldermann (Hons; 2008) Karrikinolide stimulates germination of some important agricultural weeds. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Michael Renton and Prof. Stephen Powles.
  • Erin Griffiths (Hons; 2008). Nutrient regimes for improving the out-planting success of three Banksia woodland species. Supervisor: Dr Jason Stevens.
  • Jemma Marris (Hons; 2008) Root foraging and drought tolerance traits of two shallow soil endemic species. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Dr Ben Miller.
  • Navjot Kuar (Hons; 2008) Using ecotypic germination traits of an Australian native grass (Microlaena stipoides) to identify target environments for new perennial pastures species. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Christopher Loo.
  • Christopher Loo (Post-doc; 2006 - 2009) Reliable establishment of non-traditional native pasture species. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Prof Kingsley Dixon.
  • Samantha Clarke (2006 - 2007) Grass roots - native perennial grasses for sustainable pasture systems. Supervisors: Dr Jason Stevens and Prof Kingsley Dixon.

Selected publications

Benigno SM, Dixon KW and Stevens JC (2014) Seedling mortality during biphasic drought in sandy Mediterranean soils. Functional Plant Biology http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP13366.

Bader MK, Ehrenberger W, Bitter R, Stevens J, Miller BP, Chopard J, Rüger S, Hardy GESJ, Poot P, Dixon KW, Zimmermann U and Veneklass EJ (2014) Spatio‐temporal water dynamics in mature Banksia menziesii trees during drought. Physiologia Plantarum DOI: 10.1111/ppl.12170.

Benigno S, Dixon K and Stevens J (2012) Increasing soil water retention with native-sourced mulch improves seedling establishment in postmine Mediterranean sandy soils. Restoration Ecology DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2012.00926.x.

Long R, Williams K, Griffiths E, Flematti G, Meritt D, Stevens J, Turner S, Powles S and Dixon K (2010) Prior hydration of Brassica tournefortii seeds reduces the stimulatory effect of karrikinolide on germination and increases seed sensitivity to abscisic acid. Annals of Botany 105:1063-1070.

Chiwocha S, Dixon K, Flematti G, Ghisalberti E, Merritt D, Nelson D, Riseborough J, Smith S and Stevens J (2009) Karrikins: a new family of plant growth regulators in smoke. Plant Science 177: 252–256.

Nelson DC, Riseborough J, Flematti GR, Stevens J, Ghisalberti EL, Dixon KW and Smith SM (2009) Karrikins discovered in smoke trigger Arabidopsis seed germination by a mechanism requiring gibberellic acid synthesis and light. Plant Physiology 149: 863-873.

Stevens JC, Merritt DJ, Flematti GR, Ghisalberti EL and Dixon KW (2007) Seed germination of agricultural weeds is promoted by the butenolide 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one under laboratory and field conditions. Plant and Soil DOI 10.1007/s11104-007-9344-z.

Stevens JC, Barrett-Lennard EG and Dixon KW (2007) Enhancing the germination of three fodder shrubs (Atriplex amnicola, A. nummularia, A. undulata; Chenopodiaceae): implications for the optimisation of field establishment. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 57: 1279-1289.

Stevens J, Senaratna T and Sivasithamparam K (2006) Salicylic acid induces salinity tolerance in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Roma): associated changes in gas exchange, water relations and membrane stabilization. Plant Growth Regulation 49: 77-83.

Veneklaas E, Stevens J, Cawthray G, Turner S, Grigg A and Lambers H (2003) Chickpea and white lupin rhizosphere carboxylates vary with soil properties and enhance phosphorus uptake. Plant and Soil 248: 187-197.

See Jason's full list of publications on Google Scholar...