John Spence

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040
> Email John




M.Sc., Biology, Utah State University

Ph.D., Botany, University of British Columbia


National Park Service Senior Scientist, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University; Visiting Scientist, Arboretum at Flagstaff; Visiting Scientist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Australia; Participant, Flora of the Cape Horn Island Archipelago (Chile) Project

Research interests

John’s research interests include biogeography and evolution of Colorado Plateau flora, especially endemic and rare species; vegetation ecology and classification; bryophyte and vascular plant systematics; bird inventory, monitoring, and ecology; and ecological effects of climate change.

Current research

  • Flora of Cape Horn Island Archipelago, Chile
  • Systematics of Bryum
  • Biogeography, ecology, and floristics of the hanging gardens of the Colorado Plateau
  • Bryophyte flora of Arizona
  • Rare plant studies on the Colorado Plateau
  • Flora of the San Juan River Basin

Selected publications

Spence, J.R. In press. Bryaceae. In Flora of North America Vol. 28. Oxford University Press, New York.

Spence, J.R. In press. A new look at ranking plant rarity with an emphasis on the American Southwest. Calorchortiana 1.

Spence, J.R., and D.G. Catcheside. 2012. Australian Mosses Online 66. Anomodontaceae. Biological Resources Study, Canberra.

Spence, J.R., and J.R. Shevock. 2012. Ptychostomum pacificum (Bryaceae), a new fen species from California, Oregon, and western Nevada, USA. Madroño 59(3):156–162.

Spence, J.R., C.T. LaRue, and J.D. Grahame. 2011. Birds of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona. Monographs of the Western North American Naturalist 5(1): 20–70.

Spence, J.R.. 2009. New combinations in North American Rosulabryum (Bryopsida, Bryaceae). Novon 19(3): 397–400.

Spence, J.R. 2009. Nomenclatural changes in the Bryaceae (Bryopsida) for North America III. Phytologia 91(3):494–500.

Floyd, M.L., W.H. Romme, D.D. Hanna, M. Winterowd, D. Hanna, and J.R. Spence. 2008. Fire history of piñon-juniper woodlands on Navajo Point, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Natural Areas Journal 28(1):26–36.

Brinda, J.C., L.R. Stark, J.R. Shevock and J.R. Spence. 2007. An annotated checklist of the bryophytes of Nevada, with notes on collecting history in the state. The Bryologist 110(4): 673–705.

Spence, J.R. 2007. Nomenclatural changes in the Bryaceae (Bryopsida) for North America II. Phytologia 89(1):110–114

Spence, J.R., J.R. Shevock and L.R. Stark. 2006. Contributions toward a bryoflora of Nevada: Bryophytes new for the Silver State, Part II. Madroño 53(4): 400–403.

Spence, J.R., and H.P. Ramsay. 2006. Bryaceae. Pages 274–348 in Flora of Australia Volume 51. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC, Australia.

Shevock, J.R., J.R. Spence, and L.R. Stark. 2005. Contributions toward a bryoflora of Nevada I. Madroño 52:66–71.

Holmes, J., J.R. Spence, and M.K. Sogge. 2005. Birds of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon: a synthesis of status, trends and dam operation effects. Pages 123–138 in S.P. Gloss, J.E. Lovich, and T.E. Melis (eds.). The state of the Colorado River ecosystem in Grand Canyon. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 128.

Spence, J.R., and T. Corman. 2005. Geography, climate and habitats of Arizona. Pages 19–43 in T. Corman and C. Wise-Gervais (eds.). Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Spence, J.R. 2005. New and interesting vascular plant species from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona and Utah. Western North American Naturalist 65:103–111.

Spence, J.R. 2005. New genera and combinations in Bryaceae (Bryales, Musci) for North America. Phytologia 87(1):15–28.

Spence, J.R. and B.A. Bobowski. 2003. 1994–1997 Water bird surveys of Lake Powell, a large oligotrophic reservoir on the Colorado River, Utah and Arizona. Western Birds 34:133–148.

Spence, J.R. and H.P. Ramsay. 2002. The genus Anomobryum Schimp. (Bryopsida, Bryaceae) in Australia. Telopea 9(4):777–792.

Spence, J.R. 2001. Climate of the central Colorado Plateau, Utah and Arizona: characterization and recent trends. Pages 187–203 in van Riper III, C.,  K.A. Thomas, and M.A. Stuart (Eds). 2001. Proceedings of the Fifth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau. U.S. Geological Survey/FRESC Report Series USGSFRESC/COPL/2001/24.