Mark Hughes: Tropical Botanist

Email: Mark Hughes
Phone: +44 (0)131 248 2893
Fax: +44 (0)131 248 2901

Research interests

My research focus is documenting and explaining the species richness in the mega-diverse genus Begonia. My research has two strands, one based on classical herbarium taxonomy and the other focusing on biogeography from regional to continental scales. My taxonomic work is based in Southeast Asia, particularly Sumatra and the Philippines. This underpins my biogeographic research, which brings together distributional, molecular, geological, and climatic data to create synthetic hypotheses explaining current patterns of diversity in the genus. This aspect of my work is currently focused on the Philippine archipelago.

Current research & projects

  • Begonia Resource Center. A global database of Begonia names and specimens
  • Sumatran Begonia. Producing a taxonomic revision, in collaboration with Herbarium Bogoriense
  • Asian Begonia photo book. A photo guide to Asian Begonia, in collaboration with Academia Sinica and Koo Botanic Conservation Centre, Taiwan
  • Niche evolution in neotropical Begonia (Peter Moonlight, MacIntyre Begonia Scholar, University of Glasgow)
  • Biogeography of Sri Lanka (Lakmini Kumarage, Darwin Scholar, University of Edinburgh)
  • A revision of Begonia sect. Symbegonia in Papua New Guinea (Janet Gagul, University of Port Moresby; Martin Sands, RBGKew)
  • A revision of Northeast Indian Begonia (Becky Camfield, RBGE alumna)
  • Organelle genome incongruence in Begonia (Danny Fuller, RBGE alumnus)


    (please email me for reprints; publications in Google Scholar)

    Souvannakhoummane, K., Hughes, M. & Lanorsavanh, S. (2016). Begonia lamxayiana Souvann. (Begoniaceae): a new species from Lao PDR. Thai Journal of Botany 8(1): 1-5.

    Phutthai, T. & Hughes, M. (2016). A new species and a new record in Begonia sect. Platycentrum from Thailand. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 68(1): 99-107.

    Hughes, M., Girmansyah, D. & Handoyo, W.I. (2015). Further discoveries in the ever expanding genus Begonia (Begoniaceae): fifteen new species from Sumatra. European Journal of Taxonomy 167: 1-40.

    Nishii, K., M. Hughes, M. Briggs, E. Haston, F. Christie, M.J. deVilliers, T. Hanekom, W.G. Roos, D.U. Bellstedt, M. Möller. (2015) Streptocarpus redefined to include all Afro-Malagasy Gesneriaceae: Molecular phylogenies prove congruent with geography and cytology and uncovers remarkable morphological homoplasies. Taxon 64(6): 1243-1274.

    Pennington, R.T., Hughes, M. & Moonlight, P.W. (2015). The origins of tropical rainforest hyperdiversity. Trends in Plant Science

    Wang J., Chen W.H., Hughes M., Yang Z.Z. & Shui Y.M. (2015). Additional notes on the Begonia sect. Petermannia (Begoniaceae) from China. Plant Diversity and Resources 37 (5): 563–568.

    Rubite, R.R., Hughes, M., Blanc, P., Chung, K.F., Yang, H.A., Kono, Y., Alejandro, G.J.D., De Layola, L.B., Virata, A.G.N. and  Peng, C.-I. (2015). Three new species of Begonia endemic to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan. Botanical Studies 56: 19.

    Hughes, M., Rubite, R., Blanc, P., Fang, K.-F. & Peng, C.-I. (2015) The Miocene to Pleistocene colonization of the Philippine archipelago by Begonia sect. Baryandra (Begoniaceae). American Journal of Botany (online early).

    Hughes, M., Barber, S., Heatabun, C. & Gagul, J. (2015). Begonia yapenensis (sect. Symbegonia, Begoniaceae), a new species from Papua, Indonesia. European Journal of Taxonomy, 119: 1-6.

    Moonlight, P.W., Richardson, J.E., Tebbitt, M.C., Thomas, D.C., Hollands, R., Peng, C.-I & Hughes, M. (2015). Continental-scale diversification patterns in a mega-diverse genus: the biogeography of Neotropical Begonia. Journal of Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12496.

    Hughes, M. & Takeuchi, W. (2015). A new section (Begonia sect. Oligandrae) and a new species (Begonia pentandra sp. nov.) in Begoniaceae from New Guinea. Phytotaxa, 197(1): 37-44.

    Phutthai, T., Hughes, M., Sridith, K. (2014). Begonia kanburiensis (sect. Diploclinium, Begoniaceae), a new species from Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin 42: 43-47.

    Hughes, M. (2013). Memecylaceae. In Kiew et al. (Eds.) Flora of Peninsular Malaysia Series II: Seed Plants. Forestry Research Institute, Malaysia.

    Ardi, W.H., Ardhaka, I.M., Hughes, M., Undaharta, N.K.E, Girmansyah, D. & Hidayat, S. (2013). Two new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Bali and Lombok. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 65(2): 135-142.

    Hughes, M. (2013). Memecylon pseudomegarcarpum M.Hughes (Melastomataceae) a new species of tree from Peninsular Malaysia. European Journal of Taxonomy 56: 1-9.

    Rubite, R.R., Hughes, M., Alejandro, G.J.D., Peng, C-I. (2013). Recircumscription of Begonia sect. Baryandra (Begoniaceae): evidence from molecular data. Botanical Studies 54: 38.

    de Villiers, M.J., Pirie, M.D., Hughes, M. Möller, M., Edwars, T.J., Bellstedt, D.U. (2013). An approach to identify putative hybrids in the 'coalescent stochasticity zone', as exemplified in the African plant genus Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae). New Phytologist 198(1): 284-300.

    Rajbhandary, S., Hughes, M., Shrestha, K.K. (2012) Pollen morphology of Begonia L. (Begoniaceae) in Nepal. Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy 19(2): 191-200.

    Wijedasa, L.S. & Hughes, M. (2012). A new species and new combinations of Memecylon in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Phytotaxa 66: 6-12.

    Hughes, M., Girmansyah, D., Handoyo, W.A. & Puglisi, C. (2012). The limestone flora of Sumatra. Gardenwise 39: 18-21.

    Hughes, M. (2012). Species old and new: the remarkable Begonia diversity of Sumatra. Begonian, 79(6): 209–214.

    Phutthai, T., Hughes, M. & Sridith, K. (2012). A new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Peninsular Thailand. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 69: 287-292.

    Thomas, D.C., Hughes, M., Phutthai, T., Ardi, W.H., Rajbhandary, S., Rubite, R., Twyford, A.D., & Richardson, J.E. (2011). West to east dispersal and subsequent rapid diversification of the mega-diverse genus Begonia (Begoniaceae) in the Malesian archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 39: 98-113.

    de Wilde, J.J.F.E., Hughes, M., Rodda M. & Thomas D.C. (2011). Pliocene intercontinental dispersal from Africa to Southeast Asia highlighted by the new species Begonia afromigrata (Begoniaceae). Taxon 60: 1685-1692.

    Rajbhandary, S., Hughes, M., Phutthai, T., Thomas, D.C. & Shrestha, K.K. (2011). Asian Begonia: out of Africa via the Himalayas? Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 63: 277-286.

    Hughes, M. & Girmansyah, D. (2011). Searching for Sumatran Begonia described by William Jack: following in the footsteps of a 19th century Scottish botanist. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 63: 83-96.

    Thomas, D.C., Hughes, M., Phutthai, T., Rajbhandary, S., Rubite, R., Ardi, W.H., Richardson, J. (2011). A non-coding plastid DNA phylogeny of Asian Begonia (Begoniaceae): Evidence for morphological homoplasy and sectional polyphyly. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 428-444.

    Thomas, D.C., Ardi, W.H. & Hughes, M. (2011). Nine new species of Begonia L. (Begoniaceae) from South and West Sulawesi, Indonesia. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 68: 225-255.

    Hughes, M., Rubite, R.R., Kono, Y. & Peng, C-I. (2011). Begonia blancii (sect. Diploclinium), a new species endemic to the Philippine island of Palawan. Botanical Studies 52: 203-209.

    Rajbhandary, S., Hughes, M. & Shrestha, K. (2011). Male flower and androecium morphology of Begonia species in Nepal. Journal of Taxonomy and Biodiversity Research 5: 19-26.

    Hughes, M. (2011). A new species of fleshy-fruited Begonia from the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Adansonia 33: 81-85.

    Hughes, M., Girmansyah, D. (2011). A revision of Begonia sect. Sphenanthera from Sumatra. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 62: 239-251.

    Rajbhandary, S., Hughes, M. & Shrestha, K. (2010). Distribution patterns of Begonia species in the Nepal Himalaya. Botanica Orientalis, 7:73-78.

    Hughes,M., Coyle, C. & Rubite, R.R. (2010). A revision of Begonia section Diploclinium on the Philippine island of Palawan, including five new species. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 67: 123–140.

    Ardi, W.H. & Hughes, M. (2010). Begonia droopiae, a new species from West Sumatra. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 62: 17-22.

    Rajbhandary, S., Hughes, M., & Shrestha, K.K. (2010). Three new species of Begonia sect. Platycentrum from Nepal. Gardens Bulletin Singapore 62: 143-152.

    Hughes, M., Girmansyah, D., Ardi, W.H. & Nurainas. (2009). Seven new species of Begonia from Sumatra. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore, 61: 29-44.

    Thomas, D.C., Ardi, W.H., Hartutiningsih & Hughes, M. (2009). Two new species of Begonia from South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 66: 229-238.

    Thomas, D.C., Ardi, W.H. & Hughes, M. (2009). Two new species of Begonia from Central Sulawesi. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 66: 103-114.

    Hughes, M. & Coyle, C. (2009). Begonia section Petermannia on Palawan (Philippines) including two new species. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 66: 205-211.

    Hughes, M. & Pullan, M. (2009). Memecylaceae of Peninsular Malaysia. WWW publication:

    Thomas, D.C. & Hughes, M. (2008). Begonia varipeltata (Begoniaceae): A new peltate species from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 65: 369-374.

    Edwards, T., Hughes, M., Möller, M., Bellstedt, D. (2008). New Streptocarpus species (Gesneriaceae) from South Africa. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 158: 743-748.

    Hughes, M. & Hollingsworth, P.M. (2008). Population genetic divergence corresponds with species-level diversity patterns in the large genus Begonia. Molecular Ecology, 17: 2643-2651.

    Hughes, M. (2008). An annotated checklist of southeast Asian Begonia. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

    Hughes, M. & Tanaka, N. (2007). A new species of Begonia from northern Myanmar. Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica, 58: 83-86.

    Hughes, M., Möller, M., Bellstedt, D.U., Edwards, T.J. (2007). The impact of pollination syndrome and habitat on gene flow - a comparative study of two Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae) species. American Journal of Botany, 94: 1688-1695.

    Hughes, M. & Pullan, M. (2007). An online database of southeast Asian Begonia. WWW publication:

    Hughes, M. (2007). Begonia cladotricha: a new species from Laos. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 64: 102-105.

    Hughes, M. (2006). Four new species of Begonia from Sulawesi. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 63: 191-199.

    Hughes, M., Möller, M., Bellstedt, D.U., Edwards, T.J. (2005). Breeding system of a plesiomorphic floral type: an investigation of small flowered Streptocarpus species. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 262: 13-24.

    Hughes, M., Möller, M., Bellstedt, D.U., Edwards, T.J & de Villiers, M. (2005). Refugia, dispersal and divergence across a forest archipelago: a study of Streptocarpus in eastern South Africa. Molecular Ecology, 14: 4415-4426.

    Forrest, L.L, Hughes, M. & Hollingsworth P.M. (2005). A phylogeny of Begonia using nuclear ribosomal sequence data and non-molecular characters. Systematic Botany, 30: 671-682.

    MacMaster, G., Möller, M, Hughes, M., Edwards T.J. & Bellstedt D.U. (2005). A new species of Streptocarpus endemic to Madagacascar. Adansonia, 27: 131-136.

    Möller, M., Brooks K.J. & Hughes, M. (2004). Plastid inheritance in Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae) and an inferred hybrid origin for a population of S. aff. primulifolius from Igoda River, South Africa. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 60: 389-408.

    Hughes, M., Möller, M., Bellstedt, D.U., Edwards, T.J. & Woodhead, M. (2004). EST and random genomic nuclear microsatellites for Streptocarpus. Molecular Ecology Notes, 4: 36-38.

    Hughes, M. & Hollingsworth, P.M. (2003). Population structure in the endemic Begonia of the Socotra archipelago. Biological Conservation, 113: 277-284.

    Hughes, M., Hollingsworth, P.M. & Squirrell, J. (2002). Isolation of polymorphic microsatellite markers for Begonia sutherlandii Hook. f. Molecular Ecology Notes, 2:185-186.

    Hughes, M. & Miller, A.G. (2002). A new endemic species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from the Socotra archipelago. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 59: 273-281.

    Hughes, M., Russell, J. & Hollingsworth, P.M. (2002). Polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Socotran endemic herb Begonia socotrana. Molecular Ecology Notes, 2: 159-160.

    Hughes, M. (2001). Collecting Begonia sutherlandii in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Glasgow Naturalist, 23: 125.

    Hughes, M. (2001). The Begonia of the Socotra archipelago. The Begonian, 68: 199-213.

    Catry, P., Mellanby, R., Suleiman, K.A., Salim, K.H., Hughes, M., McKean, M., Anderson, N., Constant, G., Heany, V., Martin, G., Armitage, M., Wilson, M. (2000). Habitat selection by terrestrial birds on Pemba Island (Tanzania), with particular reference to six endemic taxa. Biological Conservation, 95: 259-267.

    Cresswell, W., Hughes, M., Mellanby, R., Bright, S., Catry, P., Chaves, J., Freile, J., Gabela, A., Martineau, H., MacLeod, R., McPhee, F., Anderson, N., Holt, S., Barabas, S., Chapel, C. & Sanchez T. (1999). Densities and habitat preferences of Andean cloud-forest birds in pristine and degraded habitats in north-eastern Ecuador. Bird Conservation International, 9: 124-145.

    Cresswell, W., Mellanby, R., Bright, S., Catry, P., Chaves, J., Freile, J., Gabela, A., Hughes, M., Martineau, H., MacLeod, R., McPhee, F., Anderson, N., Holt S., Barabas, S., Chapel, C. & Sanchez, T. (1999). The birds of the Guandera Biological Reserve, Carchi, Northern Ecuador. Cotinga, 12: 55-63.

    Hughes, M., Donelly, C., Crozier, A., & Wheeler, C.T. (1999). Effects of the exposure of roots of Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. to light and flavonoids on nodulation. Canadian Journal of Botany, 77: 1311-1315.

    Crozier, A., Hughes, M. & McDonald, M. (1998). Survey of the free and conjugated myricetin and quercetin content of red wines of different geographical origins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 46: 368-375.

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