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Lewis, Gwilym P.

Job title: 

Research Leader, Integrated Monography

Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Brazilian Portuguese (spoken), Spanish (spoken).

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. London, 1973.
  • PhD, Univ. St Andrews, 1994.
  • Commission, Flora Neotropica.
  • Founder of the UK legume working group
  • Founder member of the Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG)
  • Founder member of the Legume Morphology Working Group (LMWG)

My research focuses on the systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, diversity and comparative biology of neotropical (mainly South American) Leguminosae, especially Caesalpinioideae (particularly Caesalpinia) and Mimosoideae. Floristic studies focus on the drylands and wet tropics of Brazil and the Andes of Ecuador, including monographic work on the large genus Caesalpinia. My research and publication is multidisciplinary (including: taxonomic revision, phylogenetic studies, reproductive biology, floral anatomy, phytochemistry and biogeography) and involves international networks and capacity-building through training and data repatriation. I provide specialist legume identification services which facilitate legume work in conservation and sustainable use, both within Kew and globally. My higher level systematic studies contribute to an improved legume phylogeny from which the legume research community is preparing a new classification of the family.

Selected publications: 

E. Gagnon, G.P. Lewis, J. Solange Sotuyo, C. E. Hughes and A.Bruneau (2013). A molecular phylogeny of Caesalpinia sensu lato: Increased sampling reveals new insights and more genera than expected, in Van Wyk, B.-E. & Boatwright, J.S. (Eds.). Advances in Legume Systematics 12. South African Journal of Botany 89, Special Edition on Legumes: 111 – 127. Available online

Lewis, G.P., Schrire, B.D., Mackinder, B.A., Rico, L. & Clark, R. (2013). A 2013 linear sequence of legume genera set in a phylogenetic context - A tool for collections management and taxon sampling. In: Van Wyk B.-E. & Boatwright, J.S. (Eds.) Advances in Legume Systematics 12. South African Journal of Botany 89, Special Edition on Legumes: 76 – 84.

Pennington, R. T., Lewis, G.P. & Ratter, J. A. (eds.) (2006). Neotropical savannas and dry forests: plant diversity, biogeography and conservation. The Systematics Association Special Volume Series 69. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Florida, 484 pp.

Lewis, G., Schrire, B., Mackinder, B. & Lock, M. (eds.) (2005). Legumes of the World, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, xiv + 577 pp.

Lewis, G.P. (1998). Caesalpinia, A revision of the Poincianella-Erythrostemon Group, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 233 pp.