Jennifer Rhode Ward, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Contact Information

  • 251-6232
  • 307 Zeis Hall

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Wednesday 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Note:

Dr. Ward was named a PULSE (Partnership for Life Sciences Education) Fellow in 2019. She was also the 2020 recipient of the Association of Southeastern Biologists' Meritorious Teaching Award. Her research combines molecular, field, and statistical methods to examine several interrelated aspects of plant population biology, with current focus on invasive and rare species. These include American ginseng, a CITES Appendix II listed plant that produces medicinally-active compounds, and Virginia spiraea, a federally threatened riparian shrub. She is also studying the floral ecology and reproductive biology of Sarracenia spp. (pitcher plants), which form complex phytotelma communities and undergo frequent hybridization events. Finally, she is developing molecular genetic markers for plant species including sochan (a spring edible) and Asian bittersweet (an invasive exotic liana).

Dr. Ward received her B.A. (biology) from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a public liberal arts college, then earned her Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science (Virginia Institute of Marine Science). She did post-doctoral research in terrestrial plant population biology at Portland State University (Oregon) before beginning her faculty career.

Visit Dr. Ward's website to learn more.


  • Ph.D. in Marine Science/Biological Sciences from College of William and Mary/Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • B.A. in Biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 135 Concepts in Ecology and Evolution
  • BIOL 136 Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 136L Cellular and Molecular Biology lab
  • BIOL 211 Principles of Botany
  • BIOL 211L Principles of Botany lab
  • BIOL 320 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 443 Genetics