Here you will find a list of the members of the research group Molecular Evolution and Plant Systematics. The working group is integrated into the research profile area "Sustainable Systems and Biodiversity", the core research theme "Ecology and Biodiversity" and the Cluster for Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution (C-BEE) of the Faculty of Life Sciences and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).

AG Muellner-Riehl
Unsere Arbeitsgruppe. Foto: Dr. Jan Schnitzler

Working group leader

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Nora Müllner-Riehl

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Nora Müllner-Riehl

Institutsgebäude
Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-38581

Technical staff

 Britta Kummer

Britta Kummer

Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-38590
Fax: +49 341 97-38549

 Claudia Krüger

Claudia Krüger

Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-38577

Researchers

Dr. Peter Otto

Dr. Peter Otto

Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-38592

Dr. Frank Hauenschild

Dr. Frank Hauenschild

Molekulare Evolution und Systematik der Pflanzen
Institutsgebäude
Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-38577

 Laura Holzmeyer

Laura Holzmeyer

Molekulare Evolution und Systematik der Pflanzen
Institutsgebäude
Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

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Dr. Jana Ebersbach

Molekulare Evolution und Systematik der Pflanzen
Institutsgebäude
Johannisallee 21
04103 Leipzig

Scholarship recipients

PhD student

Room 230

E-Mail: jay_edneil.olivar@uni-leipzig.de

Tel.: +49 (0)341 9738577

PhD project: Systematics of Philippine Cyrtandra J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. (Gesneriaceae)

I am interested in the systematics of Southeast Asian flowering plants. My current research focuses on the genus Cyrtandra which is the largest genus in the family Gesneriaceae. I work with Philippine members of the genus to determine their phylogenetic relationships and reasons for their rich assemblage in the country.

PhD student

Room 230

E-Mail: jeprianto.manurung@uni-leipzig.de

Tel.: +49 (0)341 9738577

PhD project: Evolutionary ecology of Lumnitzera racemosa and Lumnitzera littorea (Combretaceae)

My research interests are forest genetics and evolutionary ecology, especially in mangrove species, working both in the field and laboratory. I am using up-to-date molecular methods to study plant genetics and their secondary metabolites.

I am interested in forest conservation and in discovering the benefits that can be derived from forests such as medicines and food (non-timber forest products). I also get to know the interaction between local communities and the forest, which is important for a sustainable relationship of forest service and the communities.

Publications

  • Manurung J. Siregar IZ, Kusmana C. 2015. Genetic variation of the mangrove species Avicennia marina in heavymetal polluted estuaries of Cilegon Industrial Area, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 18 (3):1109-1115.
  • Manurung J. Basyuni M. Affandi O. 2012. Study on Perspective of Community for Restoration Program of  Mangrove Forest, A Community Case from Bogak Village, Tanjung Tiram Subdistrict, Batu Bara Regency. Peronema Forestry Science Journal Vol. 1 No1

Former Group Members

Former postdoctoral researcher

Publications

  • López-González, N., Bobo-Pinilla, J., Gutiérrez-Larruscain, D., Martínez-Ortega, M.M., Rojas-Andrés, B.M. (2021). Hybridization as a biodiversity driver: The case of Veronica × gundisalvi. Mediterranean Botany 42: e67901.
  • López-González, N., Bobo-Pinilla, J., Padilla-García, N., Loureiro, J., Castro, S., Rojas-Andrés, B.M., Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2021). Genetic similarities versus morphological resemblance: Unraveling a polyploid complex in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 155: 107006.
  • Rojas-Andrés, B.M., Padilla-García, N., de Pedro, M., López-González, N., Delgado, L., Albach, D.C., Castro, M., Castro, S., Loureiro, J., Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2020). Environmental differences are correlated with the distribution pattern of cytotypes in Veronica subsection Pentasepalae at a broad scale. Annals of Botany 125(3): 471–484.
  • Han, T.-S., Zheng, Q.-J., Onstein, R.E., Rojas-Andrés, B.M., Hauenschild, F., Muellner-Riehl, A.N. & Xing, Y.-W. (2020). Polyploidy promotes species diversification of Allium through ecological shifts. New Phytologist 225: 571-583.
  • Delgado, L., Rojas-Andrés, B.M., López-González, N., Padilla-García, N. Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2018). Veronica angustifolia (Vahl) Bernh.; Veronica austriaca subsp. jacquinii (Baumg.) Watzl; Veronica dalmatica N.Pad.Gar., Rojas-Andrés, López-González & M.M.Mart.Ort.; Veronica kindlii Adam.; Veronica orsiniana Ten.; Veronica prostrata L.; Veronica rosea Desf.; Veronica sennenii (Pau) M.M.Mart.Ort. & E.Rico; Veronica tenuifolia subsp. javalambrensis (Pau) Molero & J.Pujadas; Veronica tenuifolia Asso subsp. tenuifolia; Veronica teucrium L.; Veronica thracica Velen. In: Marhold, K. & Kučera, J. (eds.), IAPT/IOPB chromosome data 28. Taxon 67(6): 1235-1236, Online extended version: E2-E7.
  • López-González, N., Andrés-Sánchez, S., Rojas-Andrés, B. M., Martínez-Ortega, M. M. (2018). Divide and conquer! Data-mining tools and sequential multivariate analysis to search for diagnostic morphological characters within a plant polyploid complex (Veronica subsect. Pentasepalae, Plantaginaceae). PLoS One 13(6):e0199818.
  • Padilla-García, N., Rojas-Andrés, B.M., López-González, N., Castro, M., Castro, S. Loureiro, J., Albach, D.C., Machon, N. & Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2018). The challenge of species delimitation in the diploid-polyploid complex Veronica subsection Pentasepalae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 119: 196-209.
  • Rojas-Andrés, B.M. & Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2016): Taxonomic revision of Veronica subsection Pentasepalae (Veronica, Plantaginaceae sensu APG III) Phytotaxa 285: 1-100.
  • Rojas-Andrés, B.M., Rico, E. & Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2016): A nomenclatural treatment for Veronica subsect. Pentasepalae Benth. (Veronica L., Plantaginaceae sensu APG III) and typification of several names. Taxon 65: 617-627.
  • Rojas-Andrés, B.M., Albach, D.C., Martínez-Ortega, M.M. (2015): Exploring the intricate evolutionary history of the diploid-polyploid complex Veronica subsection Pentasepalae Benth. (Plantaginaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 179: 670–692.
  • Meudt, H., Rojas-Andrés, B., Prebble, J., Garnock-Jones, P., Low, E., Albach, D. (2015): Is genome downsizing associated with diversification in polyploid lineages of Veronica? Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 178: 243–266.
  • Delgado Sánchez, L., Martínez Ortega, M.M., Marcos Villaverde, P., Pinto Carrasco, D., Rojas Andrés, B., López González, B., Muñoz Centeno, L.M., Rico Hernández, E. (2011): Veronica micrantha Hoffmanns & Link. In: Atlas y Libro Rojo de la Flora Vascular Amenazada de España. Adenda 2010, Eds. Bañares, A., G. Blanca, J. Güemes, J.C. Moreno & S. Ortiz. (Madrid: Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal [Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino] y Sociedad Española de Biología de la Conservación de Plantas), 136-137.

Former researcher and PhD student

Research focus

The focus of my research is on plant biodiversity in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of sub-Saharan Africa. African ASAL are socio-economically and ecologically important, but threatened by land degradation due to unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing and are also sensitive to climate change effects. Within these lands, unfavourable abiotic factors limit agricultural productivity and place a high value on multipurpose tree species that provide a way to maximise agricultural potential and stabilise yields in stressful and unpredictable growing conditions. I am interested in understanding the interactions between climate alterations and plant genetic diversity in these fragile ecosystems. My research focus can be summarized below:

  • Climate protection and biodiversity conservation for sustainable use and enhanced livelihood.
  • The impact of climate and land use change on genetic diversity and distribution of plants.
  • Provide scientific evidence to support decision making in administration and politics.

Former postdoctoral researcher, including scientific coordinator of the BIOHEALTH project

Selected publications

  • Holzmeyer, L.*, Hartig, A.-K.*, Franke, K., Brandt, W., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Wessjohann, L.A. & Schnitzler, J.* (2020). Evaluation of plant sources for anti-infective lead compound discovery by correlating phylogenetic, spatial, and bioactivity data. PNAS 117(22): 12444-12451. (* equal contribution)
  • Muellner-Riehl, A.N.*, Schnitzler, J.*, Kissling, W.D., Mosbrugger, V., Rijsgijk, K.F., Seijmonsbergen, A.C., Versteegh, H. & Favre, A.* (2019). Origins of global mountain plant biodiversity: Testing the ‘mountain‐geobiodiversity hypothesis’. Journal of Biogeography 46: 2826-2838. (* equal contribution)
  • Barnosky, A.D., Hadly, E.A., ..., Schnitzler, J., et al. 2017. Merging paleobiology with conservation biology to guide the future of terrestrial ecosystems. Science 355:eaah4787.
  • Fritz, S.A., Eronen, J.T., Schnitzler, J., Hof, C., Janis, C.M., Mulch, A., Bohning-Gaese, K. & Graham, C.H. 2016. Twenty-million-year relationship between mammalian diversity and primary productivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(39):10908–10913 .
  • Silvestro, D., Schnitzler, J., Liow, L.H., Antonelli, A., Salamin, N., 2014. Bayesian estimation of speciation and extinction from incomplete fossil occurrence data. Syst Biol 63, 349–367.
  • Silvestro, D., Salamin, N., Schnitzler, J., 2014. PyRate: A new program to estimate speciation and extinction rates from incomplete fossil data. Met Ecol Evol 5, 1126–1131.
  • Fritz, S.A.*, Schnitzler, J.*, Eronen, J.T.*, Hof, C.*, Böhning-Gaese, K.*, Graham, C.H.*, 2013. Diversity in time and space: wanted dead and alive. Trends Ecol Evol 28, 509–516. (* equal contribution)
  • Koecke, A.V., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Pennington, T.D., Schorr, G., Schnitzler, J., 2013. Niche evolution through time and across continents: the story of tropical Cedrela (Meliaceae). Am J Bot 100, 1800–1810.
  • Schnitzler, J., Graham, C.H., Dormann, C.F., Schiffers, K., Peter Linder, H., 2012. Climatic niche evolution and species diversification in the Cape flora, South Africa. J Biogeogr 39, 2201–2211.
  • Schnitzler, J., Barraclough, T.G., Boatwright, J.S., Goldblatt, P., Manning, J.C., Powell, M.P., Rebelo, T., Savolainen, V., 2011. Causes of plant diversification in the Cape biodiversity hotspot of South Africa. Syst Biol 60, 343–357.
  • Silvestro, D.*, Schnitzler, J.*, Zizka, G., 2011. A Bayesian framework to estimate diversification rates and their variation through time and space. BMC Evol Biol 11, 311. (* equal contribution)
  • Valente, L., Reeves, G., Schnitzler, J., Pizer Mazon, I., Fay, M., Rebelo, T., Chase, M., Barraclough, T., 2010. Diversification of the African genus Protea in the Cape biodiversity hotspot and beyond: equal rates but different spatial scales. Evolution 64, 745–760.

Former doctoral student (2015–2017). Title of thesis: Molecular phylogeny of the genus Oxytropis DC. (Fabaceae) in Iran and Turkey.

Publications

Shahi Shavvon, R., Kazempour Osaloo, S., Maassoumii, A. A., Moharrek, F., Karaman Erkul, S., Lemmon, A. R., Lemmon, E. M., Michalak, I., Muellner-Riehl, A. N. and Favre, A. 2017. Increasing phylogenetic support for explosively radiating taxa: The promise of high-throughput sequencing for Oxytropis (Fabaceae). Journal of Sytematics Evolution. 55: 385-404

Former doctoral student. Population genetics of Cedrela fissilis from both highland and lowland in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Publications

MANGARATIVE, É.; VINSON, C. C.; SILVA, H. R. V.; GARCIA, M. G.; CARNIELLO, M. A.; SILVA, R. S.; OLIVEIRA, L. O. Contemporary Patterns Of Genetic Diversity Of Cedrela fissilis (MELIACEAE) Offer Insight Into The Shaping Of Seasonal Forests In Eastern South America. American Journal of Botany, v- 103, p. 307-316, 2016.

VINSON, CHRISTINA C. ; DAL SASSO, THAÍS C. S. ; SUDRÉ, CLAUDIA P. ; MANGARAVITE, É. ; DE OLIVEIRA, LUIZ O. Population genetics of the naturally rare tree Dimorphandra wilsonii (Caesalpinioideae) of the Brazilian Cerrado. Tree Genetics & Genomes, v. 11, p. 1-10, 2015.

NOGUEIRA, A. M. ; FERREIRA, A. ; FERREIRA, M. F. S. ; MANGARAVITE, É. . Preliminary study of wild guava from Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais by continuous descriptors. Acta Horticulturae, v. 1, p. 35-40, 2012.

Former postdoctoral researcher (Origin and evolution of Tibetan-Himalayan biotas).

Publications

Ebersbach, J., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Michalak, I., Tkach, N., Hoffmann, M.H., Röser, M., Sun, H., Favre, A. 2016. In and out of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: divergence time estimation and historical biogeography of the large arctic-alpine genus Saxifraga L. Journal of Biogeography, doi: 10.1111/jbi.12899

Favre A, Michalak I, Chen CH, Wang JC, Pringle JS, Matuszak S, Sun H, Yuan YM, Struwe L & Muellner-Riehl AN 2016. Out-of-Tibet: the spatio-temporal evolution of Gentiana (Gentianaceae). Journal of Biogeography 43(10): 1967-1978.

Clarkson, J.J., Pennington, T.D., Chase, M.W., Haynes, G., Engstrand, R., Kaye, M., Michalak, I. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N. 2016. Phylogenetic relationships in Trichilia (Meliaceae) based on ribosomal ITS sequences. Phytotaxa 259, 6-17.

Favre, A., Päckert, M., Pauls, S. U., Jähnig, S. C., Uhl, D., Michalak, I., and Muellner-Riehl, A. N. 2015. The role of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for the evolution of Tibetan biotas. Biological Reviews 90(1): 236-253.

Silvestro, D. and Michalak, I. 2012. raxmlGUI: a graphical front-end for RAxML. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 12: 335–337.

Michalak, I., Zhang, L.-B., and Renner, S. S. 2010. Trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and trans-Indian Ocean dispersal in the small Gondwanan Laurales family Hernandiaceae. Journal of Biogeography 37: 1214–1226.

Former doctoral student (2010–2016). Title of thesis: Evolution of mountain plants in the region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and beyond.

Now Postdoctoral Researcher at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main.

Publications

Matuszak, S., Favre, A., Schnitzler, J. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N. 2016. Key innovations and climatic niche divergence as drivers of diversification in subtropical Gentianinae (Gentianaceae) in the region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. American Journal of Botany 103, 899-911.

Hauenschild, F., Matuszak, S., Muellner-Riehl, A.N. & Favre, A. 2016. Phylogenetic relationships within the cosmopolitan buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) support the resurrection of Sarcomphalus and the description of Pseudoziziphus gen. nov. Taxon 65, 47–64.

Matuszak, S., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Sun, H. & Favre, A. 2015. Dispersal routes between biodiversity hotspots in Asia: the case of the mountain genus Tripterospermum (Gentianinae, Gentianaceae) and its close relatives. Journal of Biogeography 43, 580–590.

Favre, A., Matuszak, S., Sun, H., Liu, E., Yuan, Y.M. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N. 2014. Two new genera of Gentianinae (Gentianaceae): Sinogentiana and Kuepferia supported by molecular phylogenetic evidence. Taxon 63, 342–354.

Favre, A., Matuszak, S. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N. 2013. Two new species of the Asian genus Tripterospermum (Gentianaceae). Systematic Botany 38, 224–234.

Former doctoral student (2010–2014) Title of thesis: Plant diversification patterns in the Indomalesian, Australasian and Pacific Island region (Eocene to Pliocene).

Publications

Grudinski, M., Wanntorp, L., Pannell, C.M. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N. 2014. West to east dispersal in a widespread animal-dispersed woody angiosperm genus (Aglaia, Meliaceae) across the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 41, 1149–1159.

Wanntorp, L., Grudinski, M., Forster, P.I., Muellner-Riehl, A.N. & Grimm, G.W. 2014. Wax plants (Hoya, Apocynaceae) evolution – epiphytism drives successfull radiation. Taxon 63, 89–102.

Grudinski, M., Pannell, C.M., Chase, M.W., Ahmad, J.A. & Muellner-Riehl, A.N.2014. An evaluation of taxonomic concepts of the widespread plant genus Aglaia and its allies across Wallace's Line (tribe Aglaieae, Meliaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 73, 65–76.

Former postdoctoral researcher.

Now working with Prof. Darren Crayn (JCU, Cairns).

E-mail

 

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