Tim Evans


Tim Evans, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor



Plant Systematist

Office: 232 HRY
Phone:  (616) 331-8704




1989 - B.S. in Botany, University of Wyoming


1991 - M.S. in Botany, University of Wyoming


1995 - Ph.D. in Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Courses Taught at G.V.S.U.

BIO 104   Biology for the 21st Century
BIO 309   Plants and Human Health
BIO 333   Systematic Biology
BIO 403   Plant Structure and Function



Research/Scholarship Interests:

My research involves the use of both molecular (DNA sequence data and other molecular markers) and morphological data to determine phylogenetic relationships among plants. Most of my work involves members of the monocot families Commelinaceae (Wandering Jew, Asiatic dayflower, etc.) and Bromeliaceae (pineapple family).

Within the Commelinaceae, my students and I, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Faden (Smithsonian Institution), are examining relationships within Aneilema, Commelina, and the tribe Tradescantieae.

I am also collaborating with Dr. Greg Brown (University of Wyoming) and Dr. Tania Wendt (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in a comprehensive study of phylogenetic relationships among members of subfamily Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae).  As part of this project, I am exploring the relationship between adaptive radiation and molecular evolution within the subfamily.  Additionally, this work is shedding new light on the impacts that extinction rates may have on phylogenetic reconstruction. 

I am also the Director of the Grand Valley State University Herbarium

Recent Publications:

McFadden, J. M., Salywon, A., Evans, T., Wojciechowski, M. F., Wilson, P. G., Snow, N. 2011. Morphological and molecular evidence of polyphyly in Rhodomyrtus (Myrtaceae: Myrteae). Systematic Botany 36: 390-404.

Givnish, T. J., Barfuss, M. H. J., Van Ee, B., Riina, R., Schulte, K., Horres, R., Gonsiska, P. A., Jabaily, R. S., Crayn, D. M., Smith, A. C., Winter, K., Brown, G. K., Evans, T., Holst, B. K., Luther, H., Till, W., Zizka, G., Berry, P. E., Sytsma, K. J. 2011. Phylogeny, adaptive radiation and historical biogeography in Bromeliaceae: insights from an 8-locus plastid phylogeny. American Journal of Botany 98: 872-895

Evans, T. (2009). In Dennis Woodland (Ed.), Plant Systematics in the 21st Century (ed.). Berrien Springs, Michigan: Contemporary Plant Systematics: 4th Sousa, L. O. F., T. Wendt, G. K. Brown, D. E. Tuthill, and T. M. Evans. 2007. Monophyly and phylogenetic relationships in Lymania (Bromeliaceae: Bromelioideae) based on morphology and chloroplast DNA sequences. Systematic Botany 32: 264-270

Rogers, K. L., K.L. Smith, M. Calkins, and T.M. Evans. 2009. Inter- and Intra- specific Patterns of Genetic Variation in West Michigan Ranid Frogs: Evolutionary and Conservation Implications - A Preliminary Report. Michigan Academician. 39: 69-91.

Givnish, T. J., J. C. Pires, S. W. Graham, M. A. McPherson, L. M. Prince, T. B. Patterson, H. S. Rai, E. H. Roalson, T. M. Evans, W. J. Hahn, K. C. Millam, A. W. Meerow, M. Molvray, P. J. Kores, H. E. O'Brien, J. C. Hall, W. J. Kress, and K. J. Sytsma. 2006. Phylogeny of the monocots based on the highly informative cpDNA gene ndhF: evidence for widespread concerted convergence. Pp. 28-51, In: Proceedings for the Third International Symposium on Monocots. Ontario, California.

Wade, D. J., T. M. Evans, and R. B. Faden. 2006. Subtribal relationships in tribe Tradescantieae (Commelinaceae) based on molecular and morphological data.  Pp. 520-526, In: Proceedings for the Third International Symposium on Monocots. Ontario, California.

Givnish, T. J., J. C. Pires, S. W. Graham, M. A. McPherson, L. M. Prince, T. B. Patterson, H. S. Rai, E. H. Roalson, T. M. Evans, W. J. Hahn, K. C. Millam, A. W. Meerow, M. Molvray, P. J. Kores, H. E. O'Brien, J. C. Hall, W. J. Kress, K. J. Sytsma. 2005. Repeated evolution of net venation and fleshy fruits among monocots in shaded habitats confirms a priori predictions: evidence from an ndhF phylogeny. Proceedings of the Royal Society London (Biology) 272: 1481-1490.

Givnish, T. J., K. C. Millam, T. M. Evans, J. C. Hall, J. C. Pires, P. E. Berry, and K. J. Sytsma. 2004.  Ancient vicariance or recent long-distance dispersal? Inferences about phylogeny and South American-African disjunctions in Rapateaceae and Bromeliaceae based on ndhF sequence data. Int. J. Plant Sci. (4 Suppl.): S35-S54.

Evans, Timothy M., Robert B. Faden, Thomas J. Givnish, and Kenneth J. Sytsma.  2003.  Phylogenetic relationships in the plant family Commelinaceae.  II:  A cladistic analysis of rbcL sequences and morphology.  Systematic Botany 28: 270-292.

Watson, L. E., P. L. Bates, T. M. Evans, M. M Unwin and J. R. Estes. 2002. Molecular phylogeny of Subtribe Artemisiinae (Asteraceae), including Artemisia and its allied and segregate genera. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2:17

Evans, Timothy M., Robert B. Faden, Michael G. Simpson, and Kenneth J. Sytsma.  2000.  Phylogenetic relationships in the plant family Commelinaceae.  I:  A cladistic analysis of morphological data.  Systematic Botany 25: 668-691.

Evans, Timothy M., R. B. Faden, and K. J. Sytsma. 2000. Homoplasy in the Commelinaceae: a comparison of different classes of morphological characters. Pp. 547-556 in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Comparative Biology of the Monocots, Sydney, September 1998, eds. K. L. Wilson and D. A. Morrison. Melbourne: CSIRO.

Givnish, T. J., T. M. Evans, M. L. Zjhra, T. B. Patterson, P. E. Berry, K. J. Sytsma. 2000. Molecular evolution, adaptive radiation, and geographic diversification in the amphiatlantic family Rapateaceae: evidence from ndhF sequences and morphology. Evolution 54(6): 1915-1937.

Watson, L. E., T. M. Evans, and T. Boluarte.  2000.  Molecular phylogeny of tribe Anthemideae (Asteraceae), based on chloroplast gene ndhF.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 15: 59-69.

Faden, R. B. and T. M. Evans. 1999. Reproductive characters, habitat and phylogeny in African Commelinaceae.  In Timberlake, J. & S. Kativu (eds.), African Plants. Biodiversity, taxonomy and uses Proceedings of the 1997 AETFAT Congress, Harare, Zimbabwe, pp. 23-38.

Givnish, T. J., T. M. Evans, J. C. Pires, and K. J. Sytsma. 1999. Polyphyly and convergent morphological evolution in Commelinales and Commelinidae:  evidence from rbcL sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 12: 360-385.

Daugherty, John, Timothy M. Evans, Tally Skillom, Linda E. Watson, and Nicholas P. Money.  1998.  Evolution of spore release mechanisms in the Saprolegniaceae (Oomycetes):  evidence from a phylogenetic analysis of Internal Transcribed Spacer sequences.  Fungal Genetics and Biology 24: 354-363.


Page last modified August 15, 2013