Markus Ruhsam: Plant Molecular Ecologist


Phone: +44 (0)131 248 2859

Fax: +44 (0)131 248 2901


I have been a field botanist for more than 20 years and started my scientific career with the MSc course in "Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants" at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh/University of Edinburgh. I then worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on the Rubiaceae World Checklist and on various aspects of Rubiaceae taxonomy. After the completion of this project I did a PhD at the University of Edinburgh investigating the evolutionary consequences of hybridisation between inbreeding and outcrossing plant taxa using Geum urbanum (Rosaceae) and G. rivale as study species.

Current research interests

  • Conservation genetics of the British Flora
  • Evolutionary consequences of hybridisation between plant taxa with different mating systems
  • Effects of fragmentation on populations
  • Plant speciation


Govaerts R, RUHSAM M, Andersson L, Robbrecht E, Bridson D, Davis A, Schanzer I, Sonké B World Checklist of Rubiaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet;


Mill RR, RUHSAM M, Thomas P, MF Gardner &  PM Hollingsworth (2017) Araucaria goroensis (Araucariaceae), a new Monkey Puzzle from New Caledonia, and nomenclatural notes on Araucaria muelleri. Edinburgh Journal of Botany:doi: 10.1017/S0960428617000014


RUHSAM M, Clark A, Finger A, Wulff AS, Mill RR, Thomas P, Gardner M, Gaudeul M, Ennos RA and PM Hollingsworth (2016). Hidden in plain view: cryptic diversity in the emblematic Araucaria of New Caledonia. American Journal of Botany 103(5): 888-898


Rothfels CJ, Li F-W, Sigel EM, Huiet L, Larsson A, Burge DO, RUHSAM M, Deyholos M, Soltis DE, Stewart CN, Shaw SW, Pokorny L, Chen T, dePamphilis C, DeGironimo L, Chen L, Wei X, Sun X, Korall P, Stevenson DW, Graham SW, Wong GK-S and KM Pryer (2015). The evolutionary history of ferns inferred from 25 low-copy nuclear genes. American Journal of Botany. 102: 1089 – 1107

RUHSAM M, Rai HS, Mathews S, Ross TG, Graham SW, Raubeson LA, Mei W, Thomas P, Gardner MF, Ennos RA and PM Hollingsworth  (2015) Does complete plastid genome sequencing improve species discrimination and phylogenetic resolution in Araucaria? Mol Ecol Resour. 2015 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12375. [Epub ahead of print]


Kranitz ML, Biffin E, Clark A, Hollingsworth ML, Ruhsam M, Gardner MF, Thomas P, Mill RR, Ennos RA, Gaudeul M, Lowe AJ and Hollingsworth PM (2014). Evolutionary Diversification of New Caledonian Araucaria. PloS ONE 9: e110308

Li FW, Villarreal JC, Kelly S, Rothfels CJ, Melkonian M, Frangedakis E, RUHSAM M, Sigel EM, Der JP, Pittermann J, Burge DO, Pokorny L, Larsson A, Chen T, Weststrand S, Thomas P, Carpenter E, Zhang Y, Tian Z, Chen L, Yan Z, Zhu Y, Sun X, Wang J, Stevenson DW, Crandall-Stotler BJ, Shaw AJ, Deyholos MK, Soltis DE, Graham SW, Windham MD, Langdale JA, Wong GKS, Mathews S & KM Pryer (2014) Horizontal transfer of an adaptive chimeric photoreceptor from bryophytes to ferns PNAS 111: 6672-6677.

RUHSAM M, Jacobs T, Watson K, Hollingsworth PM (2014). Is hybridisation a threat to Rumex aquaticus in Britain? Plant Ecology & Diversity published ahead of print August 13, 2014;


Rothfels CJ, Larsson A, Li F-W, Sigel EM, Huiet L, Burge DO, RUHSAM M, Graham SW, Stevenson DW, Wong GK-S, Korall P, Pryer KM. (2013) Transcriptome-Mining for Single-Copy Nuclear Markers in Ferns. Plos One 8: e76957

RUHSAM M, Hollingsworth PM, Ennos RA. (2013) Patterns of mating, generation of diversity, and fitness of offspring in a Geum hybrid swarm. Evolution 67: 2728-2740.


RUHSAM M, Hollingsworth PM, Ennos RA (2011) Early evolution in a hybrid swarm between outrossing and selfing lineages in Geum. Heredity 107: 246-255.


RUHSAM M, Hollingsworth PM, Squirrell J, Ennos RA (2010) Significant differences in outcrossing rate, self-incompatibility and inbreeding depression between two widely hybridising species of Geum. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 101: 977-990


Davis AP, Govaerts R, Bridson D, RUHSAM M, Moat J, Brummitt N (2009) A global assessment of distribution, diversity, endemism, and taxonomic effort in the Rubiaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 96: 68-78.


RUHSAM M, Govaerts R, Davis AP (2008) Nomenclatural changes in preparation for a World Rubiaceae Checklist. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 157: 115-124.


RUHSAM M, Davis AP (2007) A taxonomic revision of the genus Flagenium Baill. (Rubiaceae-Octotropideae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 557-570.


Davis AP & RUHSAM M (2005). Five new combinations and one new name in Rubiaceae from south-east Asia. Blumea 50: 575-578.

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Dr Markus Ruhsam

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