Linder Lab

Research Interests

My research focusses around a fascination with plant diversity. I describe the diversity (taxonomy, anatomy, ecology), worry about its genesis (macro-evolution, niche diversification), persistence (community assembly, limiting niche similarity), and spatial patterns (biogeography). Geographically my research is focussed on the Cape flora of South Africa, although sometimes I do work globally. Systematically my research is focussed on the Poales, specifically Poaceae and Restionaceae.

It is remarkable how much is still left to discover, and how little we know about plants, how they vary, interact, persist, evolve.

Currently our research can be organized into three “boxes”:

  • The Cenozoic Angiosperm Radiations project, a broad-scale analysis of the interrelation between plant functional traits, diversification rate shifts and bioclimatic changes. read more...
  • The biology and evolution of Restionaceae, a project focussing on niche evolution as a means to explore the origin and persistence of taxonomic diversity in the African Restionaceae. read more...
  • Intercontinental diversification in the Southern Hemisphere, using the wide southern trans-oceanic disjunctions in the grass subfamily Danthonioideae to explore the controls of geographical isolation, parallel continental radiations, and niche evolution on diversificaiton rates. read more...