Staff Profile:Dr Alastair Culham

Dr Alastair Culham
Job Title:
Associate Professor

Associate Professor of Botany

  • Curator, Reading University Herbarium (RNG)
  • Programme Director for the MSc Plant Diversity
  • School Enhanced Learning Coordinator
  • Member of the Catalogue of Life Global Team
  • Catalogue of Life Editorial Team
  • Scientific Coordinator for EU FP7 i4Life Project
Areas of Interest:
  • Funding from EU (under Framework 7) for the i4Life project whose aim is to interlink and harmonise the taxonomic catalogues of six major Global Biodiversity Programmes (GBPs) with the Catalogue of Life to create a Virtual Research Community.
  • Funding from BBSRC, NERC, The Royal Society, Industry
  • Evolutionary relationships in Pelargonium (a collaborative project with Dr Mary Gibby of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh);
  • Phylogenetic history and evolutionary patterns in Drosera
  • Phylogenetic and taxonomic revision of Actaea and Ranunculaceae tribe Actaeeae.
  • A major phylogenetic evaluation of Plectranthus/Coleus ( collaborative project with Alan Paton, Kew).
  • Phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Cyclamen (with James Compton and The Cyclamen Society)
  • The use of molecular markers to study plant populational variation for conservation purposes, such as establishment of genetic diversity in the rare Easter Island endemic Sophora toromiro and the British native Pyrus cordata
  • The development of molecular markers for identification of Fusarium fungi in soil and powdery mildews on leaves to provide rapid diagnostic approaches for plant pathogens.

Member of

  • Centre for Plant Diversity and Systematics
  • Evolution Research Group
Research groups / Centres:

Impact, Enterprise and Outreach:

  • KTP Promoting RHS Excellence in Science
  • sKTP Climate Change and Gardening
  • Catalogue of Life

Esteem Factors:

  • Associate Editor: Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
  • Project Scientific Coordinator for EU FP7 4D4Life Project (from November 2011) completed in July 2012
  • Project Scientific Coordinator for the current EU FP7 i4Life Project
  • Taxonomic expert for the BSBI
  • Editorial Board ISRN Botany


  • BI3EN7 Conservation and Biodiversity: Global and Local Scales (10 credits, Level 6)
  • BIMPB12 Diversity and Identification of Plants (20 credits, Level 7)
  • BIMPJ12 Global Biodiversity and Conservation (20 credits, Level 7)
  • BIMPP60 Research Project (60 credits, Level 7)
  • BI1BA1 The Living Cell (10 credits, Level 4)
  • BI2EWEV Biodiversity Field Course (10 credits, Level 5)
  • BI3EM7 Plants, Animals and Climate Change (10 credits, Level 6)

International Collaborators:

  • Dr. FT (Freek) Bakker, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • Dr Mike Maunder, The National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Hawaii
  • Dr Prashant Mishra, University of California
  • Mr. Markus Döring, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dr. Pedro Crous, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Dr Ir. Vincent A. Robert, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, MIZPAS, Warsaw, Poland
  • Prof. Dr. Walter G. Berendsohn, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (BGBM) Berlin, Germany
  • Mr. Anton Güntsch, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (BGBM) Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. Peter H Schalk, Manager ETI Bionformatics, Naturalis, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Nicolas Bailly, FishBase Information and Research Group Inc (FIN), Los Banos, Philippines
  • Prof. Thierry Bourgoin, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Paris, France
  • Dr. Heimo Rainer, Naturhistorisches Musem Wien (NHMW), Vienna, Austria
  • Dr. Alexander Kroupa, Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity (MfN, Berlin) Germany
  • Dr. Christoph Häuser, Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity (MfN, Berlin) Germany
  • PD Dr. Michael Ohl Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity (MfN, Berlin) Germany
  • Dr. Christian Schmidd-Egger, Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity (MfN, Berlin) Germany
  • Dr. Quentin Groom, Nationale Plantentuin van Belgie (NBGB), Brussels Belgium
  • Dr. Cyrille Chatelain, Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques Ville de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mr. Paul Schoolmeesters, TSJ BVBA, Belgium
  • Dr. Luca Bartolozzi, Museum of Natural History, University of Florence, Italy
  • Sujeevan Ratnasingham, University of Gelph, Canada
  • Dr. Jiri Kvacek, National Museum Prague, Czech Republic
  • Prof. Jan van Tol, Naturalis, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Dr Rafael Govaerts, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
  • Dr Frans Jongejan, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Rainer Froese, Helmholtz Zentrum Fuer Ozeanforschung Kiel (GEOMAR) Kiel Germany
  • Mr Michael Malicky, Linz Museum, Austria
  • Dr Gerard Tavaklian, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Marseille (IRD) &Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Paris, France
  • Dr Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Dr Carlos Aedo, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid CSIC, Spain
  • Dr Carlos Lado, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid CSIC, Spain
  • Dr Joerg Spelda, Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns Generaldirektion, Munich, Germany
  • Dr Dagmar Treibel, Botanische Staatssammlung München, Germany
  • Prof. Alessandro Minellli, Universita Degli Studi Di Padova, Italy
  • Dr Hendrik Segers, Institut Royal Des Sciences Naturelles De Belgique, (RBINS) Brussels, Belgium
  • Dr Thomas Pape, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen
  • Prof. Keping Ma, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Liqiang Ji, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Vanderlei Perez Canhos, Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental (CRIA), Campinas, Brazil
  • Tony Rees, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Canberra, Australia
  • Greg Whitbread, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australian National Herbarium,
  • Jerry Cooper, LandCare Research, New Zealand
  • Mark Costello, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • David Eades, Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Patricia Mergen, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Brussels, Belgium
  • Mr. Richard Pyle, Bishops Museum, Hawaii
  • Dr. Thomas Orrell, Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
  • Mr. D Nicholson, Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
  • Mr. Mike Ruggerio, Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
  • Dr. David Schindel, Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) ), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
  • Ms. Cynthia Simms Parr, Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

National Collaborators:

  • Dr. Guy Cochrane, European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge
  • Mr. Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN, Global Species Programme, Cambridge
  • Prof. William Alexander Gray, Cardiff University
  • Dr. Andrew Jones, Cardiff University
  • Mr Alex Hardisty, Cardiff University
  • Dr. Alan Paton, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
  • Dr David Simpson, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
  • Dr. Paul Kirk, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
  • Dr Bob Allkin, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew
  • Professor Peter Hollingsworth, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
  • Dr Mark Watson, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
  • Prof. Mary Gibby, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
  • Dr. Christopher H C Lyal, Natural History Museum, London
  • Dr Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum, London
  • Dr. Vincent S Smith, Natural History Museum, London
  • Dr Ellinor Michel, ICZN, Natural History Museum, London
  • Sara Oldfield, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Kew, London
  • Dr Jeyaraney Kathirithamby, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
  • Dr Johan David, RHS Wisley
  • Dr Alistair Griffiths, RHS Wisley

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1998
Number of items: 66.


  • Christodoulou, M. D., Battey, N. H. and Culham, A. (2018) Can you make morphometrics work when you know the right answer? Pick and mix approaches for apple identification. PLoS ONE, 13 (10). e0205357. ISSN 1932-6203 doi:
  • Zulu, D., Ellis, R. and Culham, A. (2018) Collection, consumption and sale of lusala (Dioscorea hirtiflora), a wild yam, by rural households in the Southern Province of Zambia. Economic Botany. ISSN 0013-0001 (In Press)
  • Thomson, S. A., Pyle, R. L., Ahyong, S. T., Alonso-Zarazaga, M., Ammirati, J., Araya, J. F., Ascher, J. S., Audisio, T. L., Azevedo-Santos, V. M., Bailly, N., Baker, W. J., Balke, M., Barclay, M. V. L., Barrett, R. L., Benine, R. C., Bickerstaff, J. R. M., Bouchard, P., Bour, R., Bourgoin, T., Boyko, C. B., Breure, A. S. H., Brothers, D. J., Byng, J. W., Campbell, D., Ceríaco, L. M. P., Cernák, I., Cerretti, P., Chang, C.-H., Cho, S., Copus, J. M., Costello, M. J., Cseh, A., Csuzdi, C., Culham, A., D'Elía, G., d'Udekem d'Acoz, C., Daneliya, M. E., Dekker, R., Dickinson, E. C., Dickinson, T. A., van Dijk, P. P., Dijkstra, K.-D. B., Dima, B., Dmitriev, D. A., Duistermaat, L., Dumbacher, J. P., Eiserhardt, W. L., Ekrem, T., Evenhuis, N. L., Faille, A., Fernández-Triana, J. L., Fiesler, E., Fishbein, M., Fordham, B. G., Freitas, A. V. L., Friol, N. R., Fritz, U., Frøslev, T., Funk, V. A., Gaimari, S. D., Garbino, G. S. T., Garraffoni, A. R. S., Geml, J., Gill, A. C., Gray, A., Grazziotin, F. G., Greenslade, P., Gutiérrez, E. E., Harvey, M. S., Hazevoet, C. J., He, K., He, X., Helfer, S., Helgen, K. M., van Heteren, A. H., Hita Garcia, F., Holstein, N., Horváth, M. K., Hovenkamp, P. H., Hwang, W. S., Hyvönen, J., Islam, M. B., Iverson, J. B., Ivie, M. A., Jaafar, Z., Jackson, M. D., Jayat, J. P., Johnson, N. F., Kaiser, H., Klitgård, B. B., Knapp, D. G., Kojima, J.-I., Kõljalg, U., Kontschán, J., Krell, F.-T., Krisai-Greilhuber, I., Kullander, S., Latella, L., Lattke, J. E., Lencioni, V., Lewis, G. P., Lhano, M. G., Lujan, N. K., Luksenburg, J. A., Mariaux, J., Marinho-Filho, J., Marshall, C. J., Mate, J. F., McDonough, M. M., Michel, E., Miranda, V. F. O., Mitroiu, M.-D., Molinari, J., Monks, S., Moore, A. J., Moratelli, R., Murányi, D., Nakano, T., Nikolaeva, S., Noyes, J., Ohl, M., Oleas, N. H., Orrell, T., Páll-Gergely, B., Pape, T., Papp, V., Parenti, L. R., Patterson, D., Pavlinov, I. Y., Pine, R. H., Poczai, P., Prado, J., Prathapan, D., Rabeler, R. K., Randall, J. E., Rheindt, F. E., Rhodin, A. G. J., Rodríguez, S. M., Rogers, D. C., Roque, F. d. O., Rowe, K. C., Ruedas, L. A., Salazar-Bravo, J., Salvador, R. B., Sangster, G., Sarmiento, C. E., Schigel, D. S., Schmidt, S., Schueler, F. W., Segers, H., Snow, N., Souza-Dias, P. G. B., Stals, R., Stenroos, S., Stone, R. D., Sturm, C. F., Štys, P., Teta, P., Thomas, D. C., Timm, R. M., Tindall, B. J., Todd, J. A., Triebel, D., Valdecasas, A. G., Vizzini, A., Vorontsova, M. S., de Vos, J. M., Wagner, P., Watling, L., Weakley, A., Welter-Schultes, F., Whitmore, D., Wilding, N., Will, K., Williams, J., Wilson, K., Winston, J. E., Wüster, W., Yanega, D., Yeates, D. K., Zaher, H., Zhang, G., Zhang, Z.-Q. and Zhou, H.-Z. (2018) Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation. PLoS biology, 16 (3). e2005075. ISSN 1545-7885 doi:
  • Gawhari, A. M. H., Jury, S. L. and Culham, A. (2018) Towards an updated checklist of the Libyan flora. Phytotaxa, 338 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1179-3155 doi:
  • Könyves, K., Bilsborrow, J., David, J. and Culham, A. (2018) The complete chloroplast genome of Narcissus poeticus L. (Amaryllidaceae: Amaryllidoideae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 3 (2). pp. 1137-1138. ISSN 2380-2359 doi:



















This list was generated on Mon Oct 22 10:07:09 2018 UTC.


Other publications

(# indicates reprints available on request)

Grant, M., Toomey, N.H. and Culham, A. Kalmia x Rhododendron Debunked. In: Maughan, S. (ed.) Rhododendrons with Camellias and Magnolias, London: Royal Horticultural Society, 2005, 25-31.

Maunder, M., Hughes, C., Hawkins, J. and Culham, A. 2004. Hybridization in ex situ Plant Collections: Conservation, Concerns, Liabilities and Opportunities. In: Guerrant, E.O., Havens, K. & Maunder, M. Ex situ Plant Conservation, Supporting Species Survival in the Wild (Island Press, Washington, Covelo, London).

Mishra, P.K. Fox R.T.V. and Culham, A. Combination and characterisation of mating type genes in asexual phyto-pathogenic fungus Fusarium culmorum. Ninth International Fusarium Workshop, 27-30 January 2003, University of Sydney, Australia, 2003.

Compton, J.A. and Culham, A. Phylogeny and circumscription of tribe Actaeeae Ranunculaceae. Systematic Botany, 27 (3) July-September, 2002, 502-511.

Henricot, B. and Culham, A. Cylindrocladium buxicola, a new species affecting Buxus spp., and its phylogenetic status. Mycologia, 94(6), 2002, 980-997.#

Mishra, P. K., Fox, R. T. V. and Culham, A. Restriction analysis of PCR amplified nrDNA regions revealed intraspecific variation within populations of Fusarium culmorum. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 215, (2) 2002, 291-296. #

Mishra, P. K., Fox, R. T. V. and Culham, A. Development of a PCR-based method for rapid and reliable identification of pathogenic Fusaria. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 10793, 2002,1-4.

Toomey, N., Cubey, J. and Culham, A. Identification and diagnosis of Erodium x variabile Leslie based on DNA sequence markers. The Plantsman (New Series), 1(3), 2002, 166-172.

Dunwell J.M., Culham, A., Carter, C.E., Sosa-Aguirre, C.R. and Goodenough, P.W. Evolution of functional diversity in the cupin superfamily. Trends In Biochemical Sciences , 26 (12), 2001, 740-746.

Maunder, M., Higgens, S. and Culham, A. The effectiveness of botanic garden collections in supporting plant conservation: a European case study. Biodiversity and Conservation, 10, 2001, 383-401.

Muasya, A.M, Simpson D.A, Chase, M.W. and Culham, A. A phylogeny of Isolepis (Cyperaceae) inferred using plastid rbcL and trnL-F sequence data, Systematic Botany, 26 (2), 2001, 342-353.

Bakker, F.T. Culham, A., Gomez-Martinez, R., Carvalho, J., Compton, J.A., Dawtrey, R., and Gibby, M. Patterns of nucleotide substitution in Angiosperm cpDNA trnL (UAA) ­ trn F (GAA) regions. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 17(8), 2000, 1146-1155.#

Bakker, F.T., Culham, A., Pankhurst, C.E., & Gibby, M. Mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA-based phylogeny of Pelargonium (Geraniaceae). American Journal of Botany. 87(5), 2000, 727-734 #

Gomez-Martinez, R. and Culham, A. Phylogeny of the Subfamily Panicoideae with emphasis on the Tribe Paniceae: evidence frm the trnL-F cpDNA region. In Grasses: systematics and evolution, Jacobs, S.W.L. & Everett, J. (eds), 2000, CSIRO Publishing, Australia.

Maunder, M., Culham, A., Alden, B., Zizka, G., Orliac, C., Lobin, W., Bordeu, A., Ramirez, J.M. and Glissmann-Gough, S. Conservation of the toromiro tree: Case study in the management of a plant extinct in the wild. Conservation Biology, 14(5), 2000, 1341-1350.

Muasya, A.M., Simpson, D.A., Chase, M.W. and Culham, A., 2000. Phylogenetic relationships within the heterogeneous Scirpus s. lat. (Cyperaceae) inferred from rbcL and trnL-F sequence data. In: Monocots: systematics and evolution, Jacobs, S.W.L. & Everett, J. (eds), 2000, CSIRO Publishing, Australia, 610-614.

 Public Understanding of Science

Compton, J.A. and Culham, A. The name is the game. The Garden, 125(1), 2000, 48-52

Culham, A. and Grant, M.L. DNA markers for cultivar identification and classification. In: Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants, Andrews, S., Leslie, A. & Alexander, C. (eds). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1999 [2000], 183-198.

Maunder, M. and Culham, A. Plant Diversity - Distribution, Measurement and Conservation. In: Bowes, B.G., A Colour Atlas of Plant Propagation and Conservation. (Manson Publishing, London), 1999, 25-36.

Maunder, M., Higgens, S. and Culham, A., 1998. Neither Common nor Garden: the garden as a refuge for threatened plant species. Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 15(2), 1998, 124-132.

Grant, M. and Culham, A. DNA fingerprinting and the identification of cultivars. The New Plantsman, 4, 1997a, 85-87.

Grant, M. and Culham, A. DNA fingerprinting and the identification of ornamental cultivars: Part 2. The New Plantsman, 4, 1997b, 157-168.

Alastair Culham

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 6390
101 Harborne Building

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