Former members of the Plant Systematics Research Group are spread far and wide.  Many have gone on to productive careers in plant systematics and related fields.  The following list is not complete, but serves to illustrate: a) the substantial contribution Pauline Ladiges has made to the training researchers in this field, and b) the sorts of jobs that are available for interested students.    

Note: Omissions are not intentional.  If you would like to be added to the list, or have your details corrected or removed, please email Mike

Javi1Javier Aju, from Guatemala:  MSc research project (2014-2015) on relationships and biogeography of the tropical legume genus Archidendron, tribe Ingeae (Mimosoideae-Leguminosae).     

Sita Ariati: MSc on phylogeny and biogeography of Acacia sect. Botrycephalae.  PhD studying morphological and genetic variation in arid zone acacias of the Acacia victoriae complex.  Now at Centre for Plant Conservation, Bogor Botanic Gardens, Indonesia. 

Erin3Erin Batty: Honours (2009) on morphological and genetic variation in Philotheca myoporoides (Rutaceae). Worked as a research assistant in our group until 2016 (the place would have fallen apart without her!).  Now coordinator of volunteers at the National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Mike Bayly: an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree. PhD on the phylogeny of Philotheca (Rutaceae) and related genera.  Now lecturer in plant systematics in the School of BioSciences.

dendrobJacinta Burke completed a PhD on the phylogeny and classification of Dendrobium orchids, especially sect. Dendrocoryne.   Her thesis included a morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses of Australian members of Dendrobium (in the broad sense), and detailed studies of species complexes centred on D. speciosum, D. tetragonum and D. kingianum

Gill Brown: Honours on Melaleuca.  PhD on Rhododendron sect. Vireya. Subsequently Research Fellow, then Curator of the University of Melbourne Herbarium. Still an honorary member of the research group, but now Principal Botanist and Collections Manager at the Queensland Herbarium. 

Jenny Chappill (1959-2006): PhD on the systematics of Eucalyptus subg. Maidenaria. This was followed by postdoctoral work at Harvard and a lecturing position at the University of Western Australia (1991 until the time of her premature death).  In her time at UWA, Jenny trained a number of PhD students that are now key researchers studying the diverse flora of Western Australia.

grevTrisha Downing completed an honours project on the Grevillea ilicifolia complex, which resulted in the recognition of new segregate species and subspecies [paper here].  This was followed by an MSc on the phylogeny of Tetratheca (Tremandraceae/Elaeocarpaceae) [paper here], and a PhD (completed 2013) on another holly grevillea, G. aquifolium.  She studied both morphological and genetic variation in G. aquifolium order to assess its classification, conservation and geographic history.  She is currently a tutor at The University of Melbourne.

Marco Duretto: PhD on Boronia (Rutaceae).  Has held senior roles at the National Herbarium of Victoria, the Tasmanian Herbarium, and is now Manager Plant Diversity at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

Katherine Evans: PhD on genetic variation in Banksia saxicola and B. integrifolia.  Now at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Christina Flann: PhD on Euchiton (Asteraceae) in Australia and New Zealand.  Now Research Fellow at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.  Editor of Global Compositae Checklist.

correa webPippa French: honours student (2011/12) studied morphological and genetic variation in the genus Correa (Rutaceae).  Her study focussed on Victorian and South Australian populations, including the very variable species Correa reflexa, and on understanding the causes of incongruence between chloroplast and nuclear DNA variation in this group (paper here). Pippa subsequently studied horticulture and now works on community garden programs at Yarra City Council.

Adele Gibbs: PhD on the systematics of Eucalyptus subg. Eudesmia (paper here), followed by a postdoc in the botany department at the University of New England, Armidale.    

Gareth Holmes: PhD in Ary Hoffman’s research group (co-supervised by Andrew Drinnan) on reproductive biology and population genetics of rare holly-leaved grevilleas, followed by work as a research fellow in the systematics lab.  After three years at Landcare Research, New Zealand, Gareth is now working at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Rod Jones: PhD on systematics of the fungal genus Dermocybe in Australia.  Now works for the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

Jürgen Kellermann: PhD on Rhamnaceae.  Now Senior Botanist at the State Herbarium of South Australia.

EmL1Emma Lewis: honours on Miocene conifer fossils from Balcombe Bay, Victoria [paper here].  MSc on leaf morphology and anatomy of eucalypts.  She now works for the Department of Justice. 

Sue McIntyre: PhD on ecology of weeds of rice fields.  Now leads a research group at CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Crace ACT.

Claire Marks: honours on Kelleria (Thymelaeaceae; paper here), PhD on Nicotiana sect. Suaveolentes (papers here and here).  Career currently diverted by children.

Nicole Middleton: honours project on variation in disjunct populations of Banksia saxicola.  Now a member of professional staff of the School of Botany; for many years curator of the herbarium.

Dan Murphy: honours and PhD on the systematics of Acacia.  Now Molecular Systematist at the National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

veroniceaWill Neal: honours student (2012) studied genetic and morphological variation in Philotheca verrucosa (Bendigo wax, fairy wax)  and Zieria veronicea (pink zieria).  These two species, both in family Rutaceae, have disjunct distributions in South Australia, western Victoria, eastern Victoria and Tasmania.  Will is used genetic data to infer the geographic history of these species and to identify conservation priorities. He is now doing a PhD in the Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group in the School of BioSciences

Daniel Ohlsen
completed honours in 2009 on the Gleicheniaceae of Australasia, followed by a PhD on Aspleniaceae, Australia’s largest fern family, completed  in 2014. He is currently working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria on VicFlora, Victoria’s online flora.

David Orlovich: was never a student in the systematics lab, but worked as a research fellow on various projects on Myrtaceae, including both floral development and Molecular phylogenetics.  Now a lecturer at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Carlos Parra-O.: PhD on the systematics of the eucalypt genus Corymbia.  Now a lecturer at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.  He is also Main Keeper of the herbarium COL.

lauraLaura Pollock: is an ecologist who strayed into the realm of systematics in the course of her PhD.  Her research, based primarily in the Vesk lab, was on factors affecting the distribution of eucalypt communities in the Grampians National Park.  That included fine scale genetic analyses, using nuclear and chloroplast SSR markers, to unravel the levels of geneflow and distinctiveness of endemic species of stringybarks, and their genetic interactions with closely related congeners [paper here].  Laura has completed her PhD and is now working as a postdoc in Grenoble, France. Her website is here.

Elisa Raulings: honours and PhD on the systematics and reproductive biology of Stylidium.  Was previously a Research Fellow at Monash University. Now works for Greening Australia.

Kevin Thiele: honours project on the phylogeny and classification of Angophora, followed by a PhD on Banksia.  Until recently curator of the Western Australian Herbarium, now running his own consulting business.

Ian Thompson: PhD on the systematics of Hovea (Fabaceae).  Now tutor at the University of Melbourne and Botanist at the National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Frank Udovicic: honours and PhD on molecular phylogenetics of eucalypts.  Now Manager of Plant Sciences at the National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.


Ruby Wilson: honours student (2012) studying phylogeny of the fern family Blechnaceae in Australia (see paper here).  She subsequently studied horticulture and now works as an arborist for the City of Stonnington. 

Ian Wright: honours on geographic variation in Eucalyptus diversifolia.  Now Associate Professor at Macquarie University, NSW.