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Lyon_jpg.jpgStephanie Lyon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

UWSP Herbarium Director
UWSP Tropical Conservatory Director

Office: CBB 212
Research Website:
Lyon ResearchGate


Ph.D., Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014). Dissertation, "Molecular systematics, biogeography, and mycorrhizal assocaitions in the Acianthinae (Orchidaceae), with a focus on the genus Corybas."

B.A.,  Biology, concentration in Environmental Studies, Carleton College, 2004, magna cum laude.


BIOL 309  Ecology of the Big Island
BIOL 342  Vacular Plant Taxonomy
BIOL 345  Agrostology
BIOL 490  Senior Seminar in Pollination Ecology

Research Areas

Orchid ecology, evolution, and taxonomy; Wisconsin floristics; molecular systematics.


I spent my early years in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in eastern Tennessee, and developed a passion for botany at a young age. As an undergraduate I took a lot of field ecology classes, worked for the arboretum, and interned with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center studying native orchids and their mycorrhizal fungi. After graduation, I spent a year researching the pollination ecology of purple cone flower in western Minnesota, and two years doing plant identification, data management, and statistics for ecologists at the University of Minnesota. I moved to Wisconsin in 2007 to study botany at UW-Madison in the Givnish lab, specializing in orchid systematics and ecology. Seven years (including over a year of field work abroad) and two children later, I finally had my doctorate. After a short stint in Ohio, I joined the biology department at UW-Stevens Point where I teach several botany classes including Vascular Plant Taxonomy and Agrostology and serve as director of the UWSP herbarium and the UWSP tropical conservatory.

Grants, Awards, Fellowships

NSF graduate research fellow, 2008-2012


Danilo N. Tandang, T. Reyes Jr. R.A.A. Bustamante, J.R.C. Callado, E.R. Tadiosa, E.M. Agoo, and S.P. Lyon. 2020. Corybas boholensis (Orchidaceae): A New Jewel Orchid Species from Bohol Island, Central Visayas, Philippines. Phytotaxa 477 (2): 261-268.

Tandang, D.N, R.A.A. Bustamante, U. Ferreras, A.S. Hadsall, S.P. Lyon and A.S. Robinson. 2020. Corybas circinatus (Orchidaceae), a new species from Palawan, the Philippines. Phytotaxa 446 (2):135-140.

Lyon, S.P. 2016. Six new species of New Guinea Corybas. Malesian Orchid Journal 18: 85–103.

Givnish, T.J., D. Spalink, D., M. Ames, S.P. Lyon, S.J. Hunter, A. Zuluaga, A. Doucette, G.G. Caro, J. McDaniel, M.A. Clements, M.T.K. Arroyo, L. Endara, R. Kriebel, N.H.  Williams, and K.M. Cameron. 2016. Orchid historical biogeography, diversification, Antarctica and the paradox of orchid dispersal. Journal of Biogeography 43(10): 1893-2084.

Givnish, T.J., A. Zuluaga, I. Marques, V.K.Y. Lam, M.S. Gomez, W.J.D. Ilese, M. Ames, D. Spalink, J.R. Moeller, B.G. Briggs, S.P. Lyon, D.W. Stevenson, W. Zomlefer, and S.W. Graham. 2016. Phylogenomics and historical biogeography of the monocot order Liliales: Out of Australia and through Antarctica. Cladistics 32 (6): 581–699.

Givnish, T.J., D. Spalink, M. Ames, S.P. Lyon, S.J. Hunter, A. Zuluaga, W. Iles, M.A. Clements, M. Arroyo, J. Leebens-Mack, L. Endara, R. Kreibel, K.M. Neubig, W.M. Whitten, N.H. Williams, K.M. Cameron. 2015. Orchid phylogenomics and multiple drivers of their extraordinary diversification. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20151553. Highlighted in Science (349: 914). 

Mennes, C.B., V. Lam, P.J. Rudall, S.P. Lyon, S.W. Graham, E.F. Smets, V. Merckx. 2015. Ancient Gondwana break-up explains the distribution of the mycoheterotrophic family Corsiaceae (Liliales). Journal of Biogeography 42: 1123-1136.

Givnish, T.J., G.J. Bean, M. Ames, S.P. Lyon, K.J. Sytsma. 2013. Phylogeny, floral evolution, and inter-island dispersal in Hawaiian Clermontia (Lobeliaceae) based on ISSR variation and plastid spacer sequences. PLOS ONE 8(5): e62566

Wagenius, S., and S.P. Lyon. 2010. Reproduction of Echinacea angustifolia in fragmented prairie is pollen-limited but not pollinator-limited. Ecology 91: 733-742.


 "Next generation species delimitation and phylogeography of a recently radiated clade of Australian Corybas" International Botanical Congress, Shenzhen, China, July 25, 2017

 "Phylogeny, morphological evolution, and biogeography of the orchid subtribe Acianthinae." Botanical Society of America conference, Boise, ID, July 29. 2014

 "Phylogeny and species delimitation of the Australian endemic Corysanthes clade (genus Corybas, Orchidaceae)." International Botanical Congress, Melbourne, Australia, July 26. 2011      

"Molecular systematics and biogeography of Corybas (Orchidaceae)." Flora Malesiana conference, Singapore, August 25.2010       

"Molecular systematics of Corybas (Orchidaceae)." Botanical Society of America conference in Providence, RI, July 31-August 4. (Poster) 2010       

Research Opportunities Available:

Acianthinae online monograph; Platanthera molecular phylogenetics, micromorphology & evolutionary history; DNA-based identification of Carex sect. Ovales; Botanical surveys and checklist development for various properties

Work Study Opportunities Available:

Work-study positions are available in the UWSP herbarium and the UWSP greenhouses. Eligible students with demonstrated interests in plant identification, field botany, museum studies, and/or horticulture should contact me for more information.

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