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 Janice  Coons

Janice Coons

Office: 2023 - Life Science
Phone: 217-581-6243
Email: jcoons@eiu.edu

Research

My research has the overall focus of understanding the reproductive biology of plants that are native to Illinois. Currently my emphasis is in two areas. One area deals with plants that are endangered or threatened in Illinois. These studies seek to identify factors that limit the success of these plants including many reproductive ones such as development and pollination of flowers, development and production of fruits and seeds, dispersal and longevity of seeds, dormancy and germination of seeds, and development of seedlings. These studies include laboratory, greenhouse and field components. Findings of these studies are used by biologists within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other agencies to make better informed decisions relative to management of natural areas where endangered and threatened plant species are found.  Information relative to this research is at http://castle.eiu.edu/teplants.

Another area of my research is the use of native Illinois plants in landscaping. This area ties to reproductive biology because little is known about the culture of most native plants using pots or containers in greenhouses, which is a common practice for growing herbaceous plants frequently used in landscaping. My research investigates factors that are needed to propagate healthy, flowering plants in a period of time that is short enough to be economically profitable for greenhouse producers. These factors include seed treatments, vegetative propagation, container types, water/fertilizer/media needs, light requirements, flower development, and pest problems. Most production studies are done in laboratories and greenhouses, but we also have an outreach component that involves outdoor gardens where gardeners around Illinois have planted native plants (produced in our studies) in their home and community demonstration gardens. These gardeners evaluate plant performance regarding establishment, appearance, flowering, fertilizer/water/soil/light needs, pests, and other problems. We also have outreach via workshops and articles to gardeners and the Green Industry to share information we have gained in our research studies as well as general information about using native plants in landscaping. Information relative to this research is at http://castle.eiu.edu/n_plants.

My teaching includes mostly classes in horticulture and plant physiology. These classes have an active lab component to involve students. In addition, I mentor several students doing undergraduate and graduate research. These student projects frequently result in presentations at professional meetings. Student accomplishments with these projects are recognized by grants, awards, and publications.

EIU Threatened and Endangered Plant Species Research Program
Landscaping with Native Plants
Prairie Restoration, A Digital Aid

Selected Publications

Grant*, M.C.J., N.E. Coutant, and J.M. Coons.  2009.  Botany at Eastern Illinois University.  Plant Science Bulletin 55:66-76.

Franken*, K.M. , J.M. Coons, H.R. Owen, E.L. Smith, and J.E. Ebinger. 2009.  Influence of reproductive and environmental factors on population size of wild hyacinth [Camassia angusta  (Engelm. and A. Gray) Blank. (Liliaceae)], an Illinois endangered species.   Castanea 74:114-122.

Claerbout*, A.E., H.R. Owen, J.M. Coons, and B.L. Todd*.  2009.  Investigation of insect visits to flowers ofStylisma pickeringii (Patterson bindweed), an endangered plant of Illinois sand prairies.  Erigenia 22:61-62.

Jernegan*, M., V. Hustad*, M. Tonsor*, R. Jadhav*, G. Ahrens*, and J. Coons.  2007.  Soil characteristics and microbes influencing establishment of prairie species.  Embarras Volunteer Stewards (newsletter) vol.14 (3). 

Claerbout*, A.E., J.M. Coons, H.R. Owen, and K.R. Robertson. 2007. Floral biology of Physaria ludoviciana(Brassicaceae), a plant rare to the Midwest. Castanea 72:130-137.

Coons, J. and N. Coutant. 2006. Solutions for the busy gardener. Chicagoland Gardening. Nov/Dec. p. 24-26. Invited Paper.

McClain, W.E., J. Shimp, T.L. Esker, J.M. Coons, E.T. Adler*, and J.E. Ebinger. 2006. Distribution and invasive potential of kudzu (Pueraria lobata, Fabaceae) in Illinois, USA. Trans. Illinois State Acad. Sci. 99:17-30.

Flocca*, N.L., J.M. Coons, H.R. Owen, B.J. Fischer*, and B.E. Edgin.  2004.  Germination of Silene regiaseeds from four sites in Lawrence County, Illinois following scarification or stratification.  Erigenia.  20:8-14. 

*= Student Author

Selected Conference Presentations

Coons, J.M. 2008. Unique Strategies for Survival of Stylisma pickeringii (Patterson Bindweed), an Endangered Species of Illinois Sand Prairies. Invited Seminar for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO on Sept 3, 2008. Coons, J.M. 2008. Unique Strategies for Survival of Stylisma pickeringii (Patterson Bindweed), an Endangered Species of Illinois Sand Prairies. Invited Seminar for Bradley University in Peoria, IL on April 18, 2008.

Coons, J.M. 2008. Native Illinois Plants. Invited Keynote Speaker for “Gardeners’ Big Day” sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in Fulton County on April 5, 2008.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2008. Using Native Plants in Your Landscape. Invited Workshops for “Gardening Insights Day” sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in Decatur, IL on March 29, 2008.

Franken*, K.M., J.M. Coons, H.R. Owen, E.L. Smith, and J.E. Ebinger. 2008. Environmental and reproductive factors influencing population size of the Illinois endangered species Camassia angusta (wild hyacinth). Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 101 (supplement):21. Poster.

Holsapple*, B., J.M. Coons, and N.E. Coutant. 2008. Effect of auxin on root development using cuttings of six prairie species. Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 101 (supplement):22. Poster.

Jernegan-Grant*, M.C., J.M. Coons, A.E. Claerbout*, and H.R. Owen. 2008. Seed biology—friend or foe to the endangered Physaria ludoviciana. Natural Areas Conference at Nashville, TN in October 2008. Poster.

Jernegan*, M.C., N.E. Coutant, and J.M. Coons. 2008. Botany at Eastern Illinois University. Botany 2008 Conference at Vancouver, BC in July. Poster.

Jernegan*, M.C. and J.M. Coons. 2008. Influence of associated species, soil and seed biology on disjunct distribution of Physaria ludoviciana (silvery bladderpod; Brassicaceae). Botany 2008 Conference at Vancouver, BC in July. Talk.

Jernegan*, M.C. and J.M. Coons. 2008. Development of the endangered Physaria ludoviciana (silvery bladderpod; Brassicaceae) when affected by light intensity. Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 101 (supplement):62. Talk.

Kemner, B.*, J.M. Coons, and N.E. Coutant. 2008. Development of thirty-three prairie species under greenhouse conditions. Environmental Horizons Sustainability Summit in Champaign, IL in April 2008. Poster.

Klaus*, I.T., B.M. McGuire*, E.M. Michel*, J.C. Minol*, M.T. Hughes*, S.L. Ervin*, J.M. Coons, and N.E. Coutant. 2008. Factors affecting seed germination of bluecurls (Trichostema setaceum). Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 101 (supplement):23-24. Poster.

Coons, J.M. 2007. Native Plants in Landscaping. Invited Talk for Charleston Exchange Club in Sept 2007.

Hickman*, G., E. Levenda*, J. Coons, and N. Coutant. 2007. Effects of stratification on seed germination of seven sand prairie species. Plant Biology & Botany 2007 Conference in Chicago, IL in July. Poster.

Jernegan*, M., V. Hustad*, M. Tonsor*, R. Jadhav*, G. Ahrens*, and J. Coons. 2007. Soil  characteristics and microbes influencing establishment of prairie species. Plant Biology & Botany 2007 Conference in Chicago, IL in July. Poster.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2007. Promoting Use of Native Plants in Landscaping. Organized Workshop for educators from across the state to share materials. Held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL on May 23, 2007.

Coutant, N.E. and J.M.Coons. 2007. Native Plants in the Garden. Organized Seminar for Green View Nursery in Champaign, IL on April 28, 2007.

Jernegan, M.C.*, A.L. McDonnell*, S.M. Haley*, B.W. Craven*, J.A. Cummings*, and J.M. Coons. 2007. Development of the endangered Kankakee mallow (Iliamna remota, Greene) when affected by light intensity. Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 100 (supplement):29-30. Poster.

Levenda*, E.J., G.C. Hickman*, N.E. Coutant, and J.M. Coons. 2007. Breaking seed dormancy in Clitoria mariana and Rhynchosia difformis using acid scarification. Transactions Illinois State Academy of Science 100 (supplement):31. Poster.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2007. Native Plants in the Garden. Organized Seminar for Sugar Grove Nature Center in McLean, IL on April 14, 2007.

Coutant, N.E. and J.M.Coons. 2007. Native Plants in the Garden. Invited Seminar for Allerton Park in Monticello, IL on April 1, 2007.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2007. Native Plants of Illinois. Organized Seminar for Prairie Gardens Nursery in Champaign, IL on March 31, 2007.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2007. Landscaping with Native Plants. Organized Workshop for gardeners at Douglas-Hart Nature Center in Mattoon, IL on March 4, 2007.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2007. Native Plants in the Garden. Organized Workshop for Master Gardeners in Arthur, IL area on February 20, 2007.

Jernegan*, M.C. and J.M. Coons. 2006. Seed longevity of Lesquerella ludoviciana, an endangered species of the Illinois sand prairies. Annual meeting of Botanical Society of America in Chico, CA in July/August 2006. Poster. Student received $500 Travel Award.

McDonnell*, A.L., H.R. Owen, and J.M. Coons. 2006. Floral initiation and development of the Illinois endangered species, Iliamna remota, with different photoperiods. Annual meeting of Botanical Society of America in Chico, CA in July/August 2006. Poster.
Coons, J.M. 2006. Native Plants in the Garden. Invited Workshop for Allerton Park in Monticello, IL on April 30, 2006.

Jernegan*, M., A. McDonnell*, S. Westfall*, J. Cummings*, B. Craven*, and J. Coons. 2006. Effects of hot water on breaking seed dormancy in Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota, Malvaceae). Annual meeting of Illinois State Academy of Science in Chicago, IL in April 2006. Poster.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2006. Increase Your Sales with Native Plants. Organized Workshop to Retail Nurseries in Springfield, IL area on March 13, 2006.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2006. Increase Your Sales with Native Plants. Organized Workshop to Retail Nurseries in Peoria, IL area on March 10, 2006.

Coons, J.M. 2006. Using Native Plants in Landscaping. Invited Seminar to Master Gardeners of Coles County in Charleston, IL on March 7, 2006.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2006. Increase Your Sales with Native Plants. Organized Workshop to Retail Nurseries in Urbana, IL area on February 24, 2006.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2006. Increase Your Sales with Native Plants. Organized Workshop to Retail Nurseries in Decatur, IL area on February 17, 2006.

Coons, J.M. and N.E. Coutant. 2006. Increase Your Sales with Native Plants. Organized Workshop to Retail Nurseries in Bloomington-Normal, IL area on February 10, 2006.



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