Richard Milne


1987-1988    Assistant Scientific Officer, Herbarium of Kew Gardens

1988-1991    BSc in Plant Science, University of Bristol

1991-1992    Conducted biodiversity survey in Colombian rainforest

1993-1997    PhD, University of St Andrews

1998-2000    Postdoctoral Fellow, University of St Andrews

2001-2004    Postdoctoral Fellow on series of four small grants written with Dr Richard Abbott, University of St Andrews

2004    Joined University of Edinburgh; NERC Research Fellow

2008-2011    Appointed as Lecturer, jointly employed by University of Edinburgh and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

2011    Appointed as Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Research summary

My reseach interests focus upon various areas of plant evolution, often but not always using Rhododendron as a study organism. I have published a series of papers on hybridisation in Rhododendron, which introduced to the scientific literature the novel concept of an "F1-dominated hybrid zone", in which large numbers of fertile F1 hybrids appear to exclude other genotypes from a specific habitat via superior fitness alone. My recent work on this area has involved collaborations with Chinese researchers, while my recent PhD student Tobias Marczewski conducted a detailed examination of hybrids and problematic Rhododendron taxa in Yunnan, China.

A second major area of interest is in biogeography, both at global and more local levels. I am interested in the timing, route and method of plant movement between landmasses, and have written two review articles on these topics. Recently completed PhD students Kathryn Armstrong and Bhaskar Adhikari each examined biogepgraphic patterns within particular areas (respectively SE Asia and Nepal), and how these related to global biodiversity patterns. Among my current students, Alan Elliott is continuing to examine Himalayan biogeography, Lakmini Kumarage will investigate how Sri Lanka’s flora is related to that from neighbouring landmasses, and Maria Camila Gomez is investigating patterns of speciation within the Paramo ecosystem of western South America. I also have a long standing interest in the systematics of Rhododendron subgenus Hymenanthes, a group found disjunctly throughout the northern Hemisphere, and which has undergone rapid radiation in the area around SW China.

View all 77 publications on Research Explorer