Skip to main content


Open Main MenuClose Main Menu

Mark Fishbein


Regents Professor of Plant Biology Ecology and Evolution



Mark Fishbein is a plant systematist and evolutionary ecologist who studies the processes generating biological diversity. He has long been fascinated by the ecological interactions between milkweed plants and the insects that pollinate flowers or consume their tissues. Using genomic data, he reconstructs the evolutionary history of milkweeds as a framework for testing hypotheses about the coevolution of plant defenses, such as toxins, hairs, waxes, and latex, and countermeasures employed by insect herbivores, such as monarch butterflies. His work has contributed to the advancement of the genomic and bioinformatic approaches to understanding plant evolution and he is considered a global expert on the taxonomy and biology of milkweeds. He is also active in the movement to mobilize digital data representing natural history collections for use in teaching, research, and outreach. Mark Fishbein joined the Oklahoma State University faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor of botany and director of the OSU Herbarium and is now Regents Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution, as well as Director of the Oklahoma State University Herbarium. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago and doctorate in ecology and

evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. He received post-doctoral training at Washington State University and University of Idaho and has held faculty appointments at Mississippi State University and Portland State University. He has served as president of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and associate editor of Systematic Biology. He has published over 67 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and co-edited Gentry’s Río Mayo Plants: The Tropical Deciduous Forest and Environs of Northwest Mexico.


In Defense of Plants: The Magnificence of Milkweeds

Digitizing Herbariums for Future Historians

Mark Fishbein


Back To Top