Contact image
Research Scientist (Restoration Ecophysiology)
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Fraser Avenue
Kings Park Western Australia 6005
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(+61 8) 9480 3639
(+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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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

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...