Dr Markus Ruhsam
Dr Markus Ruhsam, Molecular Ecologist
I am a botanist with over 30 years of experience in plant identification who also uses genetic tools to study and understand plant diversity. The combination of morphological and molecular techniques is a powerful approach to investigate evolutionary processes which, for instance, has led to the discovery of a new species of monkey puzzle trees (Araucaria) in New Caledonia by RBGE and collaborators. A particular interest of mine are the processes which shape and change plant populations over time (phylogeography).
My current research interests include
- Hybridisation between wild apple ("crab apple", Malus sylvestris) and cultivated apple (M. domestica) in Scotland
- Phylogeography and phylogenetics of New Caledonian Araucaria species
- The possible consequences of hybridisation for plant species e.g. is the native British bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) threatened by the introduced 'Spanish' bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)
- Medicinal plants
- Effects of fragmentation on populations
- Plant speciation
I also identify plant material sent in to The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh by the general public.
Li XY, Lin XY, Ruhsam M, Chen L, Wu XT, Wang MQ, Thomas PI and Wen YF, 2019. Development of microsatellite markers for the critically endangered conifer Glyptostrobus pensilis (Cupressaceae) using transcriptome data. Silvae Genetica, 68(1), pp.41-44. https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/sg/68/1/article-p41.xml
Kohn DD, Ruhsam M, Hulme PE, Barrett SCH, Hollingsworth PM (2019). Paternity analysis reveals constraints on hybridization potential between native and introduced bluebells (Hyacinthoides). Conservation Genetics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-019-01158-4
Mao K*, Ruhsam M*, Ma Y, Graham SW, Liu J, Thomas P, Milne RI, Hollingsworth PM (2018). A transcriptome-based resolution for a key taxonomic controversy in Cupressaceae. Annals of Botany, 123(1), 153–167. https://academic.oup.com/aob/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aob/mcy152/5075047
*These authors contributed equally
Ruhsam M, Jessop W, Cornille A, Renny J, Worrell R. (2018). Crop-to-wild introgression in the European wild apple Malus sylvestris in Northern Britain. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. https://academic.oup.com/forestry/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/forestry/cpy033/5108524
Wang X*, Feng L*, Zhou T*, Ruhsam M, Huang L, Hou X, Song J (2018). Genetic and chemical differentiation characterizes top-geoherb and non-top-geoherb areas in the TCM herb rhubarb. Scientific reports, 8(1), 9424. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-27510-1
*These authors contributed equally
Wang X, Gussarova G, Ruhsam M, de Vere N, Metherell C, Hollingsworth PM, Twyford AD (2018). DNA barcoding a taxonomically complex hemiparasitic genus reveals deep divergence between ploidy levels but lack of species-level resolution. AoB Plants 10(3): ply026 https://academic.oup.com/aobpla/article/10/3/ply026/4983864
Ruhsam M, PM Hollingsworth (2018). Authentication of Eleutherococcus and Rhodiola herbal supplement products in the United Kingdom. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 149: 403-409. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0731708517312499
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 74(2): 123-139 https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/edinburgh-journal-of-botany/article
Ruhsam M, Clark A, Finger A, Wulff AS, Mill RR, Thomas P, Gardner M, Gaudeul M, Ennos RA, PM Hollingsworth (2016). Hidden in plain view: cryptic diversity in the emblematic Araucaria of New Caledonia. American Journal of Botany 103(5): 888-898 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.3732/ajb.1500487
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, KM Pryer (2015). The evolutionary history of ferns inferred from 25 low-copy nuclear genes. American Journal of Botany 102: 1089-1107 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.3732/ajb.1500089
Ruhsam M, Rai HS, Mathews S, Ross TG, Graham SW, Raubeson LA, Mei W, Thomas P, Gardner MF, Ennos RA, PM Hollingsworth (2015) Does complete plastid genome sequencing improve species discrimination and phylogenetic resolution in Araucaria? Molecular Ecology Resources 15: 1067-1078 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1755-0998.12375
Kranitz ML, Biffin E, Clark A, Hollingsworth ML, Ruhsam M, Gardner MF, Thomas P, Mill RR, Ennos RA, Gaudeul M, Lowe AJ, Hollingsworth PM (2014). Evolutionary Diversification of New Caledonian Araucaria. PloS ONE 9: e110308 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0110308
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 http://www.pnas.org/content/111/18/6672.short
Ruhsam M, Jacobs T, Watson K, Hollingsworth PM (2014). Is hybridisation a threat to Rumex aquaticus in Britain? Plant Ecology & Diversity 8(4): 465-474 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2014.941956
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 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0076957
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 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evo.12147
Ruhsam M, Hollingsworth PM, Ennos RA (2011) Early evolution in a hybrid swarm between outrossing and selfing lineages in Geum. Heredity 107: 246-255 https://www.nature.com/articles/hdy20119
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 https://academic.oup.com/biolinnean/article/101/4/977/2450684
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.
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; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/rubiaceae/
Browse through our diverse range of formal and informal education programmes for people of all ages and at all levels
RBGE publications include a range of titles with books on botany and botanical taxonomy, gardening and horticulture, art and history, children’s books and Guidebooks for all of our Gardens.
Knowledge Exchange links the research community with others.
Searchable Resource Centres
View our selection of searchable resource centres.
Check our latest news and connect with our experts
Find the ideal venue for your corporate event
Your dream wedding
The perfect setting to host your truly unique wedding.
Find out how you can support our work at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.