Yanni Chen

Ph.D. Student

Yanni Chen completed her PhD in August 2023 and is currently a post-doctoral research associate at Notre Dame University, in the lab of Dr. Nathan Swenson.

Hi, this is Yanni, a PhD student in Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University. I am always fascinated by plants, especially what strategies they have evolved to survive. In day to day research, I am working on plant evolution, emphasis on reproduction traits. In the long term, my research is expected to direct the biological practices in environmental protection and restoration.

Previously, I received my master’s degree advised by Robert Cox in the department of Natural Recourses Management, Texas Tech University. I was focused on one restoration technique, smoke, to pretreated target seeds. Under the tile of “The effect of smoke on seed germination: Global patterns and regional prospects for the Southern High Plains”, general patterns detection, field experiments, and greenhouse work were conducted.

Now I am excited about working in Dr. Matt Johnson’s lab to learn plant phylogeny at community level and how possible to incorporate as an advanced tool in plant community conservation and restoration.

At the spare time, I love all kinds of outdoor activities, swimming as much as I can, hiking and kayaking if there is any opportunity. Rock climbing at Rec center is also a great choice.


Including Phylogenetic Conservatism of Shortgrass Prairie Restoration Desired Species Does Not Improve Species Germination Predictions


Yanni Wins Native Plant Society Grant