colby-sawyer faculty

Joshua Steffen

Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences
(603) 526-3679 |

Joshua Steffen comes to Colby-Sawyer from the University of Utah, where he earned his Ph.D. in Biology and was an adjunct professor. Professor Steffen has also taught courses at Salt Lake Community College and Westminster College, both in Utah. Since 2006 he has mentored undergraduate research projects focused on various aspects of Arabidopsis. His post-doctoral research has used novel sequencing methods to investigate the genomic changes that underlie evolution of gene expression in plants.

Joshua Steffen joined natural sciences faculty in 2012. Professor Steffen received his B.A. in 2002 from St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota. After Graduating from St. Olaf he obtained a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He carried out postdoctoral research focusing on the evolution of gene expression in plants. Professor Steffen has spent time teaching at Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Utah.

He hopes to develop new courses focusing on plant development, plant physiology, and genome biology. He is excited to provide research opportunities for students focusing on the evolution of gene expression and plant herbivore interactions using the model system Arabidopsis thaliana.

Areas of Expertise

  • Biology
  • Science
  • Plant Biology
  • Molecular and Genome Biology

Recent Publications

  • Gan, X.,* Stegle, O.,* Behr, J.,* Steffen, J.G.,* Drewe, P., Hildebrand, K.L., Lyngsoe, R., Schultheiss S.J., Osborne, E.J., Sreedharan V.T., Kahles, A., Bohnert R., Jean, G., Derwent, P., Kersey, P., Belfield E.J., Harberd, N., Kemen, E., Toomajian, C., Kover, P.X., Clark, R.M., Rätsch, G., and Mott R., (2011) Multiple reference genomes and transcriptomes for Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature 477, 419-423. Drews, G.N., Wand, D., Steffen, J.G., Schumaker, K.S., and Yadegari, R. (2010) Identification of Genes expressed in the angiosperm female gametophyte. J. Exp. Bot. epub.

  • Steffen, J.G., Kang, I., Portereiko, M.F., Lloyd, A., and Drews, G.N. (2008) AGL61 interacts with AGL80 and is required for central cell development in arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 148, 259-268.

  • Kang, I., Steffen, J.G., Portereiko, M.F., Llyod, A. and Drews, G.N. (2008) AGL62 inhibits celluarization during early endosperm development in arabidopsis. Plant Cell 20, 635-647.

  • Steffen, J.G., Kang, I., Macfarlane, J. and Drews, G.N. (2007) Identification of genes expressed in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte. Plant Journal 51, 281-292.

*denotes co-first author


  • Ph.D., Biology, University of Utah
  • B.A., Biology with distinction, St. Olaf College