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Steve Leavitt

Assistant Professor
Biology

4143 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

801-422-4879

Teaching Interests


General biology, Symbioses, Evolution, Lichenology

Research Interests


Evolutionary diversification, molecular systematics and phylogenomics, role of species interactions within an evolutionary context, fungal symbioses, biogeography in arid environments, conservation, climate change and bio-monitoring, and scientific education and outreach.

Courses Taught


Winter 2019

  • BIO 130: Biology Section 001, 002, 003, 004, 005
  • BIO 494R: Mentored Research Section 025, 040
  • BIO 699R: Master's Thesis Section 016

Fall 2018

  • BIO 494R: Mentored Research Section 024
  • BIO 654: Speciation and Phylogeography Section 001
  • BIO 699R: Master's Thesis Section 017

Summer 2018

  • BIO 494R: Mentored Research Section 023

Spring 2018

  • BIO 511: Lichenology Section 001

Publications

Journal Articles

Warren SD, StClair LL, Leavitt SD. 2019. Aerobiology and passive restoration of biological soil crusts. Aerobiologia.

Kraichak E, Huang J, Nelsen M, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2018. A revised classification of orders and families in the two major subclasses of Lecanoromycetes (Ascomycota) based on a temporal approach. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 188(3):233–249.

Barcenas-Peña A, Leavitt SD, Huang J, Grewe F, Lumbsch HT. 2018. Phylogenetic study and taxonomic revision of the Xanthoparmelia mexicana group, including the description of a new species (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). 40:13-28.

Leavitt SD, Westberg M, Nelsen MP, Elix JA, Timdal E, Sohrabi M, StClair LL, Williams L, Wedin M, Lumbsch H. 2018. Multiple, Distinct Intercontinental Lineages but Isolation of Australian Populations in a Cosmopolitan Lichen-Forming Fungal Taxon, Psora decipiens (Psoraceae, Ascomycota). 9:283.

Wei X, Leavitt SD, Huang J, Esslinger TL, Wang L, Moncada B, Lücking R, Divakar PK, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Parallel Miocene-dominated diversification of the lichen-forming fungal genus Oropogon (Ascomycota: Parmeliaceae) in different continents. Taxon. 66(6):1269-1281.

Grewe F, Huang J, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Reference-based RADseq resolves robust relationships among closely related species of lichen-forming fungi using metagenomic DNA. Scientific Reports. 7:9884.

Nuñez-Zapata J, Alors D, Cubas P, Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT, Crespo A. 2017. Understanding disjunct distribution patterns in lichen-forming fungi: insights from Parmelina (Parmeliaceae: Ascomycota). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 184:238-253.

Kirika PM, Divakar PK, Buaruang K, Leavitt SD, Crespo A, Gatheri GW, Mugambi G, Benatti MN, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Molecular phylogenetic studies unmask overlooked diversity in the tropical lichenized fungal genus Bulbothrix s.l. (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). 184(3):387-399.

Kirika PM, Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Buaruang K, Crespo A, Mugambi G, Gatheri GW, Lumbsch HT. 2017. The genus Relicinopsis is nested within Relicina (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). 49(3):189–197.

Sodamuk M, Boonpragob K, Mongkolsuk P, Tehler A, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Kalbionora palaeotropica, a new genus and species from coastal forests in Southeast Asia and Australia (Malmideaceae, Ascomycota). MycoKeys. 22:15-25.

Kraichak E, Crespo A, Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2017. A temporal banding approach for consistent taxonomic ranking above the species level. Scientific Reports. 7:2297.

Lücking R, Hodkinson BP, Leavitt SD. 2017. Corrections and amendments to the 2016 classification of lichenized fungi in the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The Bryologist. 120(1):58-69.

Divakar PK, Crespo A, Kraichak E, Leavitt SD, Schmitt I, Lumbsch HT, Singh G. 2017. Using a temporal phylogenetic method to harmonize family- and genus-level classification in the largest clade of lichen-forming fungi. Fungal Diversity.

Zhao X, Fernández-Brime S, Wedin M, Locke M, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Using multi-locus sequence data for addressing species boundaries in commonly accepted lichen-forming fungal species. 17(2):351–363.

Mark K, Saag L, Leavitt SD, Will-Wolf S, Nelsen MP, Tõrra T, Saag A, Randlane T, Lumbsch HT. 2017. Erratum to: Evaluation of traditionally circumscribed species in the lichen-forming genus Usnea, section Usnea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) using a six-locus dataset. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 17(1):321–321.

Leavitt SD, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Lumbsch HT. 2016. A matter of time – understanding the limits of the power of molecular data for delimiting species boundaries. Herzogia. 29(2):479– 492.

Kirika PM, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Leavitt SD, Mugambi G, Gatheri GW, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Polyphyly of the genus Canoparmelia—uncovering incongruences between phenotype-based classification and molecular phylogeny within lichenized Ascomycota (Parmeliaceae). Phytotaxa. 289(1):036–048.

Wei X, McCune B, Lumbsch HT, Li H, Leavitt SD, Yamamoto Y, Tchabanenko S, Wei J. 2016. Limitations of species delimitation based on phylogenetic analyses: a case study in the Hypogymnia hypotrypa group (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). 11(11):1-20.

Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Molina MC, Del-Prado R, Lumbsch HT, Crespo A. 2016. A DNA barcoding approach for identification of hidden diversity in Parmeliaceae (Ascomycota): Parmelia sensu stricto as a case study. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 180(1):21–29.

Alors D, Lumbsch HT, Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Crespo A. 2016. An integrative approach for understanding diversity in the Punctelia rudecta species complex (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). PLoS ONE. 11(2):e0146537.

Lindgren H, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Characterization of microsatellite markers in the cosmopolitan lichen-forming fungus Rhizoplaca melanophthalma (Lecanoraceae). MycoKeys. 14:31-36.

Leavitt SD, Kraichak E, Vondrak J, Nelsen MP, Sohrabi M, Perez-Ortega S, StClair LL, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Cryptic diversity and symbiont interactions in rock-posy lichens. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 99:261–274.

Mark K, Saag L, Leavitt SD, Will-Wolf S, Nelsen MP, Tõrra T, Saag A, Randlane T, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Evaluation of traditionally circumscribed species in the lichen-forming genus Usnea, section Usnea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) using a six-locus dataset. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 16(3):497–524.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Hidden diversity before our eyes: Delimiting and describing cryptic lichen-forming fungal species in camouflage lichens (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). Fungal Biology. 120(11):1374–1391.

Kirika PM, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Gatheri GW, Mugambi G, Leavitt SD, Moncada B, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Molecular data show that Hypotrachyna sorocheila (Parmeliaceae) is not monophyletic. The Bryologist. 119(2):172–180.

Kirika PM, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Mugambi G, Orock EA, Leavitt SD, Gatheri GW, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Phylogenetic studies uncover a predominantly African lineage in a widely distributed lichen-forming fungal species. Mycokeys. 14:1–16.

Widhelm TJ, Egan RS, Bertoletti FR, Asztalos MJ, Kraichak E, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Picking holes in traditional species delimitations: an integrative taxonomic reassessment of the Parmotrema perforatum group (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.

Leavitt SD, Grewe F, Widhelm TJ, Muggia L, Wray B, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Resolving evolutionary relationships in lichen-forming fungi using diverse phylogenomic datasets and analytical approaches. Scientific Reports. 6:22262.

Lücking R, Hodkinson BP, Leavitt SD. 2016. The 2016 classification of lichenized fungi in the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota – Approaching one thousand genera. The Bryologist. 119(4):361-416.

Altermann S, Leavitt SD, Goward T. 2016. Tidying up the genus Letharia: introducing L. lupina sp. nov. and a new circumscription for L. columbiana. The Lichenologist. 48(5):423–439.

Zhao X, Leavitt SD, Zhao ZT, Zhang LL, Arup U, Grube M, Pérez-Ortega S, Printzen C, Sliwa L, Kraichak E, et al. 2016. Towards a revised generic classification of lecanoroid lichens (Lecanoraceae, Ascomycota) based on molecular, morphological and chemical evidence. Fungal Diversity. 78(1):293–304.

Hawksworth DL, Lumbsch HT, Scholz P, Leavitt SD, Seaward MR. 2015. (2396) Proposal to conserve the name Lichen muralis (Lecanora muralis, Protoparmeliopsis muralis) with a conserved type (Ascomycota: Lecanorales: Lecanoraceae). Taxon. 64(6):1316–1317.

Zhao X, Zhang LL, Zhao ZT, Wang WC, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2015. A molecular phylogeny of the lichen genus Lecidella focusing on species from mainland China. PloS one. 10(9):e0139405.

Kraichak E, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Leavitt SD, Nelsen MP, Lücking R, Lumbsch HT. 2015. A tale of two hyper-diversities: diversification dynamics of the two largest families of lichenized fungi. Scientific Reports. 5:10028.

Kantvilas G, Leavitt SD, Elix JA, Lumbsch HT. 2015. Additions to the genus Trapelia (Trapeliaceae: lichenised Ascomycetes). Australian Systematic Botany. 27(6):395–402.

Singh G, Dal Grande F, Divakar PK, Otte J, Leavitt SD, Szczepanska K, Crespo A, Rico VJ, Aptroot A, da Silva Cáceres ME, et al. 2015. Coalescent-based species delimitation approach uncovers high cryptic diversity in the cosmopolitan lichen-forming fungal genus Protoparmelia (Lecanorales, Ascomycota). PloS one. 10(5):e0124625.

Divakar PK, Crespo A, Wedin M, Leavitt SD, Hawksworth DL, Myllys L, McCune B, Randlane T, Bjerke JW, Ohmura Y. 2015. Evolution of complex symbiotic relationships in a morphologically derived family of lichen-forming fungi. New Phytologist. 208(4):1217–1226.

Leavitt SD, Kraichak E, Nelsen MP, Altermann S, Divakar PK, Alors D, Esslinger TL, Crespo A, Lumbsch HT. 2015. Fungal specificity and selectivity for algae play a major role in determining lichen partnerships across diverse ecogeographic regions in the lichen-forming family Parmeliaceae (Ascomycota). Molecular Ecology. 24(14):3779–3797.

Buaruang K, Scharnagl K, Divakar PK, Leavitt SD, Crespo A, Manoch L, Lücking R, Lumbsch HT. 2015. Molecular data support Pseudoparmelia as a distinct lineage related to Relicina and Relicinopsis (Ascomycota, Lecanorales). The Lichenologist. 47(01):43–49.

Wang Q-, Yurkov AM, Gökerm M, Lumbsch HT, Leavitt SD, Groenewald M, Theelen B, Liu X-, Boekhout T, Bai F-. 2015. Phylogenetic classification of yeasts and related taxa within Pucciniomycotina. Studies in Mycology. 81:149–189.

Kirika PM, Leavitt SD, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Gatheri GW, Mugambi G, Lumbsch HT. 2015. The monotypic genus Bulborrhizina belongs to Bulbothrix sensu lato (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). The Bryologist. 118(2):164–169.

Leavitt SD, Divakar PK, Ohmura Y, Wang L, Esslinger TL, Lumbsch HT. 2015. Who’s getting around? Assessing species diversity and phylogeography in the widely distributed lichen-forming fungal genus Montanelia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 90:85–96.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Hansen ES, Divakar PK, Crespo A, Loomis BF, Lumbsch HT. 2014. DNA barcoding of brown Parmeliae (Parmeliaceae) species: a molecular approach for accurate specimen identification, emphasizing species in Greenland. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 14(1):11–20.

Schoch CL, Robbertse B, Robert V, Vu D, Cardinali G, Irinyi L, Meyer W, Nilsson RH, Hughes K, Miller AN, et al. 2014. Finding needles in haystacks: linking scientific names, reference specimens and molecular data for Fungi. Database. 2014:bau061.

Altermann S, Leavitt SD, Goward T, Nelsen MP, Lumbsch HT. 2014. How do you solve a problem like Letharia? A new look at cryptic species in lichen-forming fungi using Bayesian clustering and SNPs from multilocus sequence data. PloS one. 9(5):e97556.

Shrestha G, Raphael J, Leavitt SD, StClair LL. 2014. In vitro evaluation of the antibacterial activity of extracts from 34 species of North American lichens. Pharmaceutical Biology. 52(10):1262–1266.

Esslinger TL, Hansen ES, Leavitt SD. 2014. The brown parmelioid lichen species in Greenland. Folia Cryptogamica Estonica. 51:25–48.

Nelsen MP, Thell A, Leavitt SD, Hampton-Miller CJ, Lumbsch HT. 2013. A reappraisal of Masonhalea (Parmeliaceae, Lecanorales) based on molecular and morphological data. The Lichenologist. 45(06):729–738.

Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT, StClair LL. 2013. Contrasting demographic histories of two species in the lichen-forming fungal genus Xanthomendoza (Teloschistaceae, Ascomycota). The Bryologist. 116(4):337–349.

Leavitt SD, Fernández-Mendoza F, Pérez-Ortega S, Divakar PK, Lumbsch HT, StClair LL. 2013. DNA barcode identification of lichen-forming fungal species in the Rhizoplaca melanophthalma species-complex (Lecanorales, Lecanoraceae), including five new species. MycoKeys. 7:1.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Nelsen MP, Lumbsch HT. 2013. Further species diversity in Neotropical Oropogon (Lecanoromycetes: Parmeliaceae) in Central America. The Lichenologist. 45(04):553–564.

Parnmen S, Leavitt SD, Rangsiruji A, Lumbsch HT. 2013. Identification of species in the Cladia aggregata group using DNA barcoding (Ascomycota: Lecanorales). Phytotaxa. 115(1):1–14.

Leavitt SD, Fernández-Mendoza F, Pérez-Ortega S, Sohrabi M, Divakar PK, Vondrák J, Lumbsch HT, StClair LL. 2013. Local representation of global diversity in a cosmopolitan lichen-forming fungal species complex (Rhizoplaca, Ascomycota). Journal of Biogeography. 40(9):1792–1806.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Spribille T, Divakar PK, Lumbsch HT. 2013. Multilocus phylogeny of the lichen-forming fungal genus Melanohalea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota): Insights on diversity, distributions, and a comparison of species tree and concatenated topologies. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 66(1):138–152.

Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT, Stenroos S, StClair LL. 2013. Pleistocene speciation in North American lichenized fungi and the impact of alternative species circumscriptions and rates of molecular evolution on divergence estimates. PloS one. 8(12):e85240.

Leavitt SD, Nelsen MP, Lumbsch HT, Johnson LA, StClair LL. 2013. Symbiont flexibility in subalpine rock shield lichen communities in the Southwestern USA. The Bryologist. 116(2):149–161.

Sohrabi M, Leavitt SD, Rico VJ, Halici MG, Shrestha G, Stenroos S. 2013. Teuvoa, a new lichen genus in Megasporaceae (Ascomycota: Pertusariales), including Teuvoa junipericola sp. nov. 45(03):347–360.

Leavitt SD, Nelsen MP, StClair LL. 2013. Treading in murky waters: Making sense of diversity in Xanthoparmelia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) in theWestern United States. Bulletin of the California Lichen Society. 19(2):58–69.

Divakar PK, Kauff F, Crespo A, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2013. Understanding phenotypical character evolution in parmelioid lichenized fungi (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota). PloS one. 8(11):e83115.

Shrestha G, Leavitt SD, Proulx MW, Glacy LA, Call C, Hendrickson J, StClair LL. 2012. A Checklist of the lichens of the Beaver Dam Slope, Washington County, Utah, USA. North American Fungi. 7:1–7.

Esslinger TL, Morse CA, Leavitt SD. 2012. A new North American species of Hyperphyscia (Physciaceae). The Bryologist. 115(1):31–41.

Thell A, Crespo A, Divakar PK, Kärnefelt I, Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT, Seaward MR. 2012. A review of the lichen family Parmeliaceae–history, phylogeny and current taxonomy. Nordic Journal of Botany. 30(6):641–664.

Divakar PK, Del-Prado R, Lumbsch HT, Wedin M, Esslinger TL, Leavitt SD, Crespo A. 2012. Diversification of the newly recognized lichen-forming fungal lineage Montanelia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) and its relation to key geological and climatic events. American Journal of Botany. 99(12):2014–2026.

Orock EA, Leavitt SD, Fonge BA, StClair LL, Lumbsch HT. 2012. DNA-based identification of lichen-forming fungi: can publicly available sequence databases aid in lichen diversity inventories of Mount Cameroon (West Africa)?. The Lichenologist. 44(06):833–839.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Divakar PK, Lumbsch HT. 2012. Miocene and Pliocene dominated diversification of the lichen-forming fungal genus Melanohalea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) and Pleistocene population expansions. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12(1):1.

Leavitt SD, Esslinger TL, Lumbsch HT. 2012. Neogene-dominated diversification in neotropical montane lichens: dating divergence events in the lichen-forming fungal genus Oropogon (Parmeliaceae). American Journal of Botany. 99(11):1764–1777.

Schoch CL, Seifert KA, Huhndorf S, Robert V, Spouge JL, Levesque CA, Chen W, Bolchacova E, Voigt K, Crous PW, et al. 2012. Nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region as a universal DNA barcode marker for Fungi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(16):6241–6246.

Leavitt SD, Johnson L, StClair LL. 2011. Species delimitation and evolution in morphologically and chemically diverse communities of the lichen-forming genus Xanthoparmelia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) in western North America. American Journal of Botany. 98(2):175–188.

Leavitt SD, StClair LL. 2008. Lichens of the Boulder Mountain Plateau, Wayne County, Utah, USA. Evansia. 25(4):85–89.

Jackson HB, Leavitt SD, Krebs T, StClair LL. 2005. Lichen flora of the eastern Mojave Desert: Blackrock Arizona, Mojave County, Arizona, USA. Evansia. 22(1):30–38.

Newsletter

Leavitt SD, Kropp B. 2019. Lichen Diversity in Great Basin National Park. 1st ed.

Other

Leavitt SD, Lumbsch HT. 2016. Ecological Biogeography of Lichen-Forming Fungi.

Leavitt SD, StClair LL. 2015. Bio-monitoring in Western North America: What Can Lichens Tell Us About Ecological Disturbances?.

Leavitt SD, Moreau CS, Lumbsch HT. 2015. The dynamic discipline of species delimitation: progress toward effectively recognizing species boundaries in natural populations.

Presentations

Fisher ML, Zaspel J, Nelson CR, Leavitt SD. Are you what you eat? Patterns of chemical sequestration in the lichen-feeding tiger moth Cisthene angelus (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Lithosiini). Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Canada, and Entomological Society of British Columbia Joint Annual Meeting. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 2018 .

Fisher ML, Nelson CR, Leavitt SD. Pick your poison, the decision of what’s for dinner for the lichenivorous caterpillars of Cisthene angelus (Dyar) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae). Ohio Valley Entomological Association. Indiana. 2018 .

Fisher MF, Nelson CR, Leavitt SD. You are What You Eat: The Strange Feeding Behavior of Lichen Eating Caterpillars. BYU Graduate Student Society Grad Expo. Provo, Utah. 2018 .

Technical Report

StClair LL, Leavitt SD. 2013. Final Report Concerning Establishment of a Lichen Air Quality Bio-monitoring Program for the Quinn Canyon and Grant Range Wilderness Areas, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, Nevada.

StClair LL, Leavitt SD. 2013. Final Report Concerning Establishment of a Lichen Air Quality Bio-monitoring Program for the South Unit of the Duchesne Ranger District, Ashley National Forest and Detailed Elemental Analysis Survey of the Cart Creek Bridge and Selected Sites along U.S. Highway 191, Utah.

StClair LL, St Clair SB, Leavitt SD. 2013. Final Report concerning Review of the lichen air quality baseline for Region 1 of the Forest Service, Montana and Idaho.