Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

Kayri Havens


  Adjunct Graduate Faculty at Loyola
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Ph.D. 1994, Indiana University
Plant conservation genetics, plant reproductive ecology
Phone: 847.835.8378
E-mail: khavens@chicagobotanic.org


My research interests generally fall under the umbrella of reproductive ecology and conservation genetics of plant species. I have worked on nonrandom reproductive success in a rare evening primrose (Oenothera organensis) and outbreeding depression in Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) and Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia). I am currently working with a number of colleagues on demographic and genetic studies on a threatened thistle (Cirsium pitcheri), seed germination tolerances under climate change scenarios, and on post-wildfire restoration research in the Intermountain West.

I am also interested in developing measures of success and best practices for ex situ plant conservation programs, from collecting genetically diverse seed accessions to minimizing genetic change during storage and increasing likelihood of success of reintroductions. A more recent area of focus involves examining the pros and cons of assisted migration for plants.  I have an ongoing interest in plant phenology and its relationship to climate change.  I am the co-director of Project BudBurst, a national citizen science campaign to collect phenological data on a variety of species.  A final area of research focuses on invasive plant species. I am interested in improving predictive risk assessments and evaluation procedures for deliberately introduced plants, and worked with a team that developed the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Invasive Plant Policy.


Madeja, G., L. Umek, and K. Havens. 2012. Differences in Seed Set and Viability of Miscanthus Cultivars Grown in Zone 5 and Their Potential for Invasiveness.  Journal of Environmental Horticulture 30: 42-50.

Henderson, S., D.L. Ward, K.K. Meymaris, P. Alaback, and K. Havens. 2012. Project BudBurst: Citizen Science for All Seasons. In: Citizen Science: Public Collaboration In Environmental Research, J.L. Dickinson and R. Bonney (eds.). Cornell University Press.  Pp 50-57.

Sundberg, M., P. DeAngelis, K. Havens, K. Holsinger, K. Kennedy, A.T. Kramer, R. Muir, P. Olwell, K. Schierenbeck, L. Stritch, and B. Zorn-Arnold. 2011. Perceptions of strengths and deficiencies; disconnects between university science students and potential employers.  BioScience 61: 133-138.

Havens, K.  2011. Research at Public Gardens.  In: Public Garden Management: A complete Guide to the Planning and Administration of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, D. Rakow and S. Lee (eds.).  John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey. Pp. 272-283.

Kramer, A.T. and K. Havens. 2011. Assessing botanical capacity in the United States: gaps identified and strategic recommendations made to maximize conservation success. Australasian Plant Conservation 19: 21-22.

Havens, K. 2011. Dynamic Floras and the Need for Consistent Terminology. Natural Areas Journal 31: 115-116.

Knight, T.M., K. Havens and P. Vitt. 2011. Will the use of less fecund cultivars reduce the invasiveness of perennial plants? BioScience 61: 816-822.

Tienes, M., K. Skogen, P. Vitt and K. Havens. 2010. Optimal Monitoring of Rare Plant Populations: Report for the USDA Forest Service. 57 pages. 

Fant, J., A. Banai, K. Havens and P. Vitt. 2010. Hybridization between the threatened plant, Lespedeza leptostachya Englem. and its co-occurring congener Lespedeza capitates Michx.: morphological and molecular evidence. Conservation Genetics 11: 2195-2205.

Pennacchio, M., L. Jefferson, and K. Havens. 2010. Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine. Oxford University Press, 247 pp.

Kramer, A., K. Havens, and B. Zorn-Arnold. 2010. Assessing Botanical Capacity to Address Grand Challenges in the United States. 64 pp. plus appendices. Available at https://www.bgci.org/files/UnitedStates/BCAP/bcap_report.pdf.

Vitt, P., K. Havens, A.T. Kramer, D. Sollenberger, and E. Yates. 2010. Assisted migration of plants: changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Biological Conservation 143:18-27.

Vitt, P., K. Havens, and O. Hoegh-Guldberg. 2009. Assisted migration: part of an integrated conservation strategy. Letter in response to Ricciardi and Simberloff. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:473-474.

Kramer, A., and K. Havens. Plant conservation genetics in a changing world. 2009. Trends in Plant Science 14:599-607.

Vitt, P., K. Havens, B. Kendall, and T.M. Knight. 2009. Community-level management increases the viability of Tomanthera auriculata, a rare prairie annual. Biological Conservation 142:798-805.

Hawkins, Belinda, Suzanne Sharrock, and K. Havens. 2008. Plants and Climate Change: Which Future? Botanic Garden Conservation International report, 96 pp.

Havens, K., P. Vitt, and J. Schwarz. 2008. Your garden, our climate. Chicagoland Gardening 2:20-21.

Schwarz, J., K. Havens, and P. Vitt. 2008. Understanding climate change through citizen science. Roots 5:22-24.

Jefferson, L.V., M. Pennacchio, K. Havens, B. Forsberg, D. Sollenberger, and J. Ault. 2008. Ex situ germination responses of midwestern USA prairie species to plant-derived smoke. American Midland Naturalist 159:251-256.

Pennacchio, M., L.V. Jefferson, and K. Havens. 2007. The inhibitory effects of plant-derived aerosol smoke on seed germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. Research Letters in Ecology, Vol. 2007:ID65083, 4 pp. Online.

Pennacchio, M., L.V. Jefferson, and K. Havens. 2007. Where there’s smoke, there’s germination. Illinois Steward Fall:24-28.

Havens, K., P. Vitt, J. Schwarz, B. Orr, and T. Crimmins. 2007. Chicago Botanic Garden’s conservation and outreach efforts on climate change. BGjournal 4:13-16.

Pennacchio, M., L. V. Jefferson, K. Havens, and P. Olwell. 2007. International conservation and land management exchange program. Public Garden 22:29.

Havens, K., P. Vitt, M. Maunder, E. O. Guerrant Jr., and K. Dixon. 2006. Ex situ plant conservation and beyond. BioScience 56:525-531.

Havens, K. 2006. Developing an invasive plant policy at a botanic garden: lessons learned. BGjournal 3:22-24.

Farnsworth, E.J., S. Klionsky, W.E. Brumback, and K. Havens. 2006. A set of simple decision matrices for prioritizing collection of rare plant species for ex situ conservation. Biological Conservation 128:1-12.

Pennacchio, M., L.V. Jefferson, and K. Havens. 2005. Smoke: Promoting germination of tall grass prairie species. Chicago Wilderness Journal: Best Practices in Conservation and Restoration 3:14-19.

Pennacchio, M., L.V. Jefferson, and K. Havens. 2005. Arabidopsis thaliana: a useful test species for phytotoxic bioassays. Journal of Chemical Ecology 31:1877-1885.

Maunder, M., K. Havens and E.O. Guerrant. 2004. Ex situ plant conservation: out of the garden and into the world. Public Garden 19:8-12.

Havens, K., M. Maunder, E.O. Guerrant, and P. Vitt. 2004. Conservation research at botanic gardens and arboreta. Public Garden 19:8-12.

Jefferson, L., K. Havens, and J. Ault. 2004. Implementing invasive screening procedures: The Chicago Botanic Garden model. Weed Technology 18:1434-1440.

Havens, K., L. Jefferson, and P. Vitt. 2004. Chicago Botanic Garden reaches beyond its borders. Public Garden 18:35-36.

Havens, K., E.O. Guerrant, M. Maunder, and P. Vitt. 2004. Guidelines for ex situ conservation collection management: Minimizing risks. In Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, ed. E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and M. Maunder, pp. 454-473. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Guerrant, E.O., P. Fiedler, K. Havens, and M. Maunder. 2004. Revised genetic sampling guidelines for conservation collections of rare and endangered plants. In Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, ed. E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and M. Maunder, pp. 419-441. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Maunder, M., E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and K. Dixon. 2004. Realizing the full potential of ex situ contributions to global plant conservation. In Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, ed. E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and M. Maunder, pp. 389-418. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Vitt, P. and K. Havens. 2004. Integrating quantitative genetics into ex situ conservation and restoration practices. In Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, ed. E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and M. Maunder, pp. 286-304. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Maunder, M., K. Havens, E.O. Guerrant, and D. Falk. 2004. Ex situ methods: A vital but underused set of conservation resources. In Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, eds. E.O. Guerrant, K. Havens, and M. Maunder, pp. 3-20. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Guerrant, E.O., K. Havens, and M. Maunder, eds. 2004. Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild, 504 pp. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Havens, K. 2002. Developing an Invasive Plant Policy: The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Experience. Public Garden 17(4):16-17.

Bell, T.J., M. Bowles, K. Havens, P. Vitt, and K. McEachern. 2002. Reintroducing Pitcher’s Thistle. Endangered Species Bulletin 27(3):14-15.

Havens, K. 1999. Pollination biology: Implications for rare plant conservation. Ecological Restoration17:217-219.

Ault, J.R. and K. Havens. 1999. Micropropagation of Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'. Hortscience 34:353-354.

L.F. Delph and K. Havens. 1998. Pollen competition in flowering plants. In Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection, ed. T.R. Birkhead and A.P. Moller, pp. 147-174. Academic Press.

Havens, K. and D.L. Holland. 1998. Factors affecting reproductive success in a rare grass, Calamagrostis porteri ssp. insperata. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 85:64-68.

Havens, K. 1998. The genetics of plant restoration. Restoration and Management Notes 16:68-72.

Havens, K. and L.F. Delph. 1996. Differential seed maturation uncouples fertilization and siring success in Oenothera organensis (Onagraceae). Heredity 76:623-632.

Havens, K., K.A. Preston, C.R. Richardson, and L.F. Delph. 1995. Nutrients affect allocation to male and female function in Abutilon theophrasti (Malvaceae). American Journal of Botany 82:726-733.

Havens, K. 1994. Clonal repeatability of in vitro pollen tube growth rates in Oenothera organensis (Onagraceae). American Journal of Botany 81:161-165.