Jun was born in the Chinese province of Hubei on December 27, 1963. She received a BS degree in Forestry from Central China Agricultural University at Wuhan in 1984, and a PhD in plant biology from the Ohio State University in 1991. After completing a postdoctoral position at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, she moved to the Smithsonian Institution in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Botany and the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics. In 1995, she joined the staff of the Department of Biology at Colorado State University as assistant professor and curator of the herbarium. In 2000, she moved to Chicago where she began her work as associate curator at the Field Museum. In August of 2005, Jun joined the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution as a research scientist and curator.
Jun is an expert on the systematics and biogeography of the ginseng family (Araliaceae) and the grape family (Vitaceae). She is a broadly trained botanist and evolutionary biologist, working on various genera in a large number of plant families. Since 1985, Jun has been conducting monographic, phylogenetic, biogeographic, and ethnobotanical studies on Asian and New World disjunct plants. Her research employs herbarium, field, and laboratory approaches as well as various modern analytical methods to understand the taxonomy, patterns, and processes of diversification of disjunct plant groups. She has made extensive botanical collections (over 12,000 collection numbers). She is also interested in developing more projects on biodiversity inventory and conservation studies. Wen has traveled extensively throughout the world, conducting field studies and collections. She has been a productive scientist with about 140 scientific papers published. Jun has served as treasurer of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, as council member of the International Association of Plant Taxonomists, and various committee members in professional societies.
Jun was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 2009.