Steven Janssens


As an evolutionary botanist, I have a broad interest in ecology, evolution and conservation. Knowing how difficult it is to sometimes properly identify plants at species level using both morphology and molecular genetics, I am very keen on investigating how new molecular technologies can be applied to put the correct identification of species at a higher level.

Since 2013, I work as senior researcher in Meise Botanic Garden (Belgium) where I focus on unravelling evolutionary patterns and speciation mechanisms within flowering plants using a subset of different scientific disciplines ranging from biogeography, diversification analyses, population genetics, phylogenetics and bioinformatics. Although I work on a broad range of angiosperm lineages, the groups that I am most interested in are Jewelweeds (Balsaminaceae), coffee (Rubiaceae), bananas (Musaceae) and African trees (various families).

Before my time at Meise Botanic Garden, I worked 9 years as researcher at the Laboratory of Plant Systematics (KU Leuven, Belgium), where I carried out my PhD research and had a postdoc position. At the moment I am still linked with the university where I am involved in courses at the Biology Department.

Within the Plant.ID project, I am involved in ESR12 on the identification of illegally logged African trees together with dr. Hans Beeckman, Prof. Erik Smets and Prof. Nina Rønsted.