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Dr Kerry Gibbons

Rubiaceae Research (ABRS Postdoctoral Fellow)

Research Interests

I am interested in the systematics, evolution and historical biogeography of the Australasian flora. For my PhD I studied the systematics of Loganieae, an Australasian-Pacific tribe of Loganiaceae (Gentianales), focusing on Mitrasacme and the related genera AdelphacmePhyllangium and Schizacme. Mitrasacme predominantly occurs in the Australian Monsoon Tropics. In contrast, Schizacme occurs in montane habitats in south-eastern Australia and New Zealand.

My current project on Spermacoceae (Rubiaceae, Gentianales) further develops my interest in the Australian Monsoon Tropics flora. Within Spermacoceae, multiple lineages with floristic links to the Americas, Asia, Malesia, and the Pacific now form part of the monsoonal biome.


Plant systematics, molecular phylogenetics, evolution of morphology, historical biogeography, biome assembly, Loganiaceae, Rubiaceae, Gentianales, Araliaceae, Apiales.

Current Projects

The Australian Spermacoceae (Rubiaceae: Rubioideae): systematics, evolution and historical biogeography


Gibbons KL, Conn, BJ, Henwood MJ (accepted) Status of names of Mitrasacme species occurring outside Australia. Telopea 18

Gibbons KL, Conn, BJ, Henwood MJ (2014) The Australasian genus Schizacme (Loganiaceae): new combinations and new species in the New Zealand flora. Telopea 17, 363–381.

Gibbons KL, Conn BJ, Henwood MJ (2013) Adelphacme (Loganiaceae), a new genus from south-western Australia. Telopea 15, 37–43.

Gibbons KL, Conn BJ, Henwood MJ (2012) Phylogenetic relationships in Loganieae (Loganiaceae) inferred from nuclear ribosomal and chloroplast DNA sequence data. Australian Systematic Botany 25, 331–340.

Gibbons KL, Conn BJ, Henwood MJ Understanding morphological diversity despite homoplasy and nested evolution: molecular phylogeny of Mitrasacme (Loganieae, Loganiaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (in prep)

Henwood MJ, Perkins AJ, Gibbons KL. Molecular Phylogeny of Hydrocotyle and systematic implications. Australian Systematic Botany (in prep.)