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Officers & Council of the
Systematics Association (2012)

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Prof. J. Brodie (2010-12)
Dept. of Botany
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Juliet Brodie Juliet Brodie is a research phycologist at the Natural History Museum, London, specializing in the taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, biodiversity and conservation of seaweeds. She studied red seaweeds for her PhD, supervised by Prof. Michael Guiry, Galway, Ireland, where she holds an adjunct Professorship. She is a specialist in the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Porphyra, red seaweed eaten around the world (e.g. laver bread in Wales and nori - the wrapping in sushi). She also has an interest in the green algae, particularly endophytic species which occur in red and brown algae. Juliet is keen to find ways of helping people to identify these organisms raise awareness of the seaweeds and their importance in coastal ecosystems, e.g. The Big Seaweed Search ( which you can join in.
Dr. P. Wilkie (2010-12)
Tropical Forest Botanist
Royal Botanic Garden
20A Inverleith Row
Edinburgh EH3 5LR
Peter Wilkie Peter's main research interest is the tropical trees of South East Asia. He is particularly interested in the families Sapotaceae and Malvaceae (subfamily Sterculioideae) and is currently focused on producing monographs of species rich genera in the Sapotaceae and on producing regional floras in Malaysia. A key aspect of his research is the production of molecular data to provide robust phylogenies of Sapotaceae to aid generic delimitation and support monographic research. Peter is currently developing the Sapotaceae Resource Centre which provides access to important data for monographic studies. This will help connect Sapotaceae researchers from around the world and provide a valuable research tool for monographers from countries that are species rich but resource poor.
Meetings Secretary
Dr. Alex Monro (2011-13)
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Alex Monro Alex is a plant taxonomist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His research aims to generate and document biological diversity data and collections and to use these to establish and test hypotheses of relationships between taxa or areas. In doing so, he aims to help meet civil society's demands on taxonomy as articulated in the Convention on Biological Diversity, its work programme and cross-cutting issues. Foci for this are the plant family Urticaceae (nettles), the Neotropics, karst and SW China. Links to online CV: Read CV Link to blog: Read Blog
Grants & Awards Secretary for SRF
Dr. Bente Klitgård (2010-12)
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Bente Klitgård Bente Klitgård has a broad botanical background, is trained in most botanical technical skills and methods and has more than 25 years experience in multidisciplinary botanical research, science communication, and herbarium management and curation. Her taxonomic research projects are largely focussed on the Legume (Leguminosae/Fabaceae) and Mint families (Lamiaceae) and span: field botany, collections-based taxonomy, and molecular and morphological phylogenetics. She also has a keen interest in the application of micro-morphological characters to solve systematic questions. In this field projects have included palynology, and floral development and evolution. Link to CV - further information
Membership Secretary
Dr. J. Bennett (2010-12)
St Pauls School
Lonsdale Road
London SW13 9JT
Jon Bennett Jon is currently a member of the biology department at St. Paul's School, London ( Before moving into teaching he worked as a post-doc on various research projects including a worldwide monograph of the large genus Solanum ( at the Natural History Museum, London and an investigation of the evolution of photoreceptors in the parasitic plant family Orobanchaceae in the lab of Dr Sarah Mathews, Harvard University. His interest in the systematics of the Lamiales began during his PhD studies on the taxonomy of Strobilanthes (Acanthaceae) in Oxford; Jon still retains an interest in the taxonomy of Acanthaceae.
Dr. P. Olson (2010-12)
Dept. of Zoology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Pete Olson Peter's research interests are in the patterns and processes of animal diversity. His group focuses on the parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes), combining studies in phylogenetics, development and genomics to address the mechanistic and evolutionary basis of their form and complex life histories. For more information please visit
Editor in Chief
Dr. D. Gower (2010-12)
Dept. of Zoology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
David Gower David is a collections-based vertebrate biologist working on the natural history of amphibians and reptiles. Much of his work is taxonomic and phylogenetic, for which he draws on a wide range of evidence (morphology, molecules, fossils). Current focal taxa are caecilian amphibians, burrowing and aquatic snakes, and Triassic archosaurian reptiles.
Newsletter Editor
Dr. R.A. Jenner (2011-13)
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Ronald Jenner Ronald is a researcher in the Department of Zoology at the Natural History Museum. His interests include deep animal phylogeny, the evolution of animal body plans, and the evolution of animal venoms.
Mr. R.G. Wilson (2011-13)
Horticultural Informatics, Science
Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley
Surrey GU23 6QB
Rupert Wilson After gaining his first degree in Botany from the University of Reading, Rupert remained in the Herbarium of the School of Plant Sciences for 13 years, where he developed his database skills, putting the Herbarium online. In 2001, he moved to the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley, where he took over running the RHS Horticultural Database, expanding his role in 2005 to cover management of all horticultural data within the Science at the RHS. Rupert maintains a keen interest in evolving technologies and their possible applications in botany and horticulture.

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Council members

Dr. Julia Day (2010-12)
Genetics, Evolution & Environment
University College London
Darwin Building, Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
Julia Day Julia Day is a lecturer in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and the Environment, University College London. Her research focuses on the diversification of recent vertebrate radiations, principally from island-like settings. Much of her work to date is on fish groups from a biodiversity hotspot, Lake Tanganyika, with current projects focusing on the systematics and evolutionary history of Seychelles amphibians and montane East African birds.
Martin Genner (co-opted Jan 2012-AGM 2012)
University of Bristol,
Woodland Road,
Martin Genner Martin is a Lecturer at the University of Bristol. He is interested in the evolutionary ecology of fishes and aquatic invertebrates, and currently his work tends to focus on European marine fishes and African freshwater fishes. He has a strong interest in the evolutionary biology of cichlid fishes of East Africa, and particularly enjoys going fishing for them in out-of-the-way places.
Professor David L Hawksworth CBE (2010-12)
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
David Hawksworth David has positions in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Natural History Museum in London, is a former President of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), an Honorary President of the International Mycological Association (IMA), and was the last Director of the former International Mycological Institute (1983-97). He is currently Chair of the IUBS/IUMS International Committee on Bionomenclature (ICB), and Editor-in-Chief of Biodiversity and Conservation. His research focuses on the systematics of fungi (including lichens) using traditional and molecular phylogenetic approaches. Also known for studies on the bioindication of air quality and the use of fungi in the forensic investigation of serious crime, he has introduced over 800 new scientific names, including 74 genera new to science. He served the Systematics Association as Treasurer (1972-81) and Editor-in-Chief (1981-84, 1986), and is the editor or co-editor of eight volumes in the Association's Special Volumes series. His latest book, Terms Used in Bionomenclature; the naming of organisms (and plant communities) (2010) can be downloaded free of charge and interrogated through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) website.
Dr. Michael Kuhlmann (2012-14)
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Michael Kuhlmann Michael is an entomologist at the Natural History, London where his research is focussed on solitary bee taxonomy, biogeography and evolutionary processes in plant-pollinator systems. Much of his work has been done in southern Africa and especially the Greater Cape Floristic Region which is a global centre of bee diversity.
Dr. Stefanie Klug (2012-14)
Dept. of Earth Sciences
University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road
Stefanie Klug Stefanie is a palaeobiologist working on the evolutionary history of sharks, skates and rays. She is particularly interested in their secret of success in past and present environments. Her approaches include systematic work as well as phylogenetic and biodiversity analyses, and calculations of the timing of specific adaptations (e.g. to the deep-sea). Stefanie did her MSc in Munich (GER) and completed her PhD in Berlin (GER) before she became a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Bristol in 2010 where she still is working in the Palaeobiology Research Group.
Dr. Eve Lucas (2011-13)
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Eve Lucas Eve studies the taxonomy, systematics, biogeography and conservation of the guava family (Myrtaceae), with a focus on the predominantly Neotropical tribe Myrteae and the genus Myrcia s.l. She has interests also in Neotropical ecology and other Myrtaceae with fleshy fruits. Eve curates the Myrtales collection in the Kew herbarium, sits on the editorial boards of the Flora of the Guianas and Kew Bulletin and is an editor of Phytotaxa. Eve lectures on the Kew tropical id course and likes nothing more than Neotropical field work.
Dr. Ellinor Michel (2010-12)
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Elinor Michel Ellinor works on diversification in species flocks, with a focus on molluscan taxonomy, systematics and ecology in African fresh waters, especially the Great Rift Lakes. She also has an interest in biodiversity informatics, nomenclature and the use of scientific collections in climate change research. She is based at the Natural History Museum, London.
Student Representative
Ross Mounce (co-opted Jan 2012-AGM 2012)
Biodiversity Lab 1.07
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
The University of Bath
Bath BA2 7PD
Ross Mounce After gaining his BSc in Biology from Imperial College London, Ross then went on to the Natural History Museum 'Advanced Methods in Taxonomy & Biodiversity' MSc course, where he gained a fine appreciation for cladistics. He completed his PhD thesis at the University of Bath investigating the importance of fossils in phylogeny. Ross takes a keen interest in communicating science via social media, as well as the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science with which he hopes to encourage everyone to share publication data more openly and in a more reusable way.
Dr. Tiina Sarkinen (2012-14)
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Tiina Sarkinen Tiina is a tropical plant taxonomist based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Her research focuses on analysing species distribution patterns in South America, especially so in mega-diverse but poorly collected areas in the tropical Andes. Tiina is currently working on Solanaceae, a plant family which contains many cultivated crops such as tomato, potato, eggplant, and chilli peppers. Her research aims to understand species diversity patterns within the family across the Neotropics. She also works on ex situ conservation of crop wild relative species through collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
President elect(2012-15)
Dr R. Scotland
Dept. of Plant Sciences
Oxford University
South Parks Rd
Oxford OX1 3RB
Robert Scotland Robert Scotland is currently Reader in Systematic Botany in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and President-elect of the SA. He has had several stints on the SA council and was Botanical Secretary of the SA when a PhD student. He has broad taxonomic interests in Acanthaceae, systematic theory with a recent focus on the process of species discovery with a view to accelarating the pace of taxonomy through 'Foundation Monographs'. As an undergraduate he studied under Margaret Collinson at Kings, London and his PhD from the NHM London was supervised by Chris Humphries and Stephen Blackmore. He has supervised 10 PhD students and for the last fifteen years has run undergraduate field courses in Portugal and recently Tenerife.
Dr. Jon Todd (2010-12)
Curator of benthic Mollusca
Dept of Earth Sciences
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 5BD
Jon Todd Jon is a mollusc taxonomist focusing on fossil and living gastropods. His major research interests lie in integrating data from living and extinct taxa to; 1) study the systematic relationships and patterns of diversification of species-rich clades, particularly turrid and cerithioid snails, and 2) study diversity and macroecological change in marine molluscan communities in the Cenozoic and their relationship to key episodes of environmental change. His focal regions include the Caribbean and the inland seas of the East African Rift. He is part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network 'Throughflow' project ( examining the historical development of the Southeast Asian marine biodiversity hotspot. Jon is curator of the collection of fossil benthic molluscs in the Natural History Museum, London. He is an organiser of the annual Young Systematists' Forum.
Maria Vorontsova (2011-13)
Grass Taxonomist
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Maria Vorontsova Maria is a plant taxonomist specialising in grasses, researching the diversity and evolutionary history of Madagascar grasslands and their species of Poaceae. She looks after the Poaceae herbarium collection at Kew Gardens and maintains Grassbase, a database of names and descriptions of all the world's grass species: Maria also teaches courses on grass identification, she is an Editor of the journal Phytotaxa and a Book Reviews Editor for the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, and an organiser of the annual Young Systematists Forum.
Dr. Matthew Wills (2012-14)
Biology & Biochemistry
University of Bath
Matthew Wills Matthew Wills is a palaeobiologist interested in the relationships of arthropods, and in the ways in which fossils can help to shed light on deep phylogenetic questions more generally. He also works on quantifying macroevolutionary trends, on the manner in which major clades explore 'design space', and on measuring the stratigraphic congruence of cladograms. He is currently Reader in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Bath. Links to: Lab profile and Department profile
Dr. Wolfgang Wüster (2012-14)
School of Biological Sciences
Bangor University
Deiniol Road
LL57 2UW, UK
Wolfgang Wüster Wolfgang Wüster is a herpetologist with research interests in the systematics, biogeography and ecology of reptiles, particularly venomous snakes, and in the origin of venoms, the evolution of toxin families and the causes of variation in venom composition in snakes. He teaches widely in zoology, with emphases on evolutionary biology, systematics and herpetology, including field courses in the UK and overseas.

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