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Forest, Félix

Photo of Felix Forest
Job title: 

Head of Molecular Systematics

Molecular Systematics
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

French (mother tongue)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Univ of Montréal, Canada, 1995
  • MSc, Univ. of Montréal, Canada, 1999
  • PhD, Univ. of Reading, UK, 2004
  • Editorial Board, Kew Bulletin
  • Associate Editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society

Molecular systematics, evolutionary biology and biogeography research.

  • molecular systematics of numerous plant groups, particularly from the Cape Region of South Africa (e.g. Iridaceae, Asparagaceae, Tecophilaeaceae, Polygalaceae, Fabaceae)
  • evolutionary questions, including the evolution of pollination syndromes, the processes responsible for modern biogeographical patterns and the biotic and abiotic factors promoting diversification
  • use of phylogenetic diversity measurements in conservation planning and the understanding of environmental pressures on biomes (Cape and Southwestern Australia Floristic Region)
  • identification of the most evolutionary distinct and globally endangered species of gymnosperms using phylogenetic information and IUCN Categories and Criteria, the EDGE-Gymnosperm project
  • barcoding projects such as TreeBOL-Europe which aims at producing barcodes for all native trees of Europe
Selected publications: 

Forest, F., Goldblatt, P., Manning, J. C., Baker, D., Colville, J.F., Devey, D.S., Jose, S., Kaye, M., Buerki, S. (2014). Pollinator shifts as triggers of speciation in painted petal irises (Lapeirousia: Iridaceae). Annals of Botany 113: 357-371. Available online

Buerki, S., Manning, J.C., Forest, F. (2013). Spatio-temporal history of the disjunct family Tecophilaeaceae: a tale involving the colonization of three Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Annals of Botany 111: 361-373. Available online

Buerki, S., Jose, S., Yadav, S.R., Goldblatt, P., Manning, J.C., Forest, F. (2012). Contrasting biogeographic and diversification patterns in two Mediterranean-type ecosystems. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39377. Available online

Forest, F., Chase, M.W., Persson, C., Crane, P.R., Hawkins, J.A. (2007). The role of biotic and abiotic factors in the evolution of ant-dispersal in the milkworth family (Polygalaceae). Evolution 61: 1675–1694. Available online

Forest, F., Grenyer, R., Rouget, M., Davies, T.J., Cowling, R.M., Balmford, A., Faith, D.P., Manning, J.C., Procheş, Ş., van der Bank, M., Reeves, G., Hedderson, T.A.J., Savolainen, V. (2007). Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots. Nature 445: 757-760. Available online