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Schrire, Brian D.

Job title: 

Honorary Research Associate

Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Dicot Systematics
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. Witwatersrand, 1976
  • MSc, Univ. Durban-Westville, 1985
  • PhD, Univ. Natal, 1991.

Systematics, phylogeny, biogeography, databasing, mapping, utilisation and conservation of legumes focussed on southern Africa.

Monographic research in tribe Indigofereae, including the 3rd largest legume genus Indigofera (750 spp.). Mobile application and computer development of identification guide to Indigofera in southern Africa (c. 320 spp.). This will integrate a fully verified species database, digitised vegetation type maps derived from range occurrences of each species, and LUCID interactive keys and images, to provide for rapid identification of this large and difficult genus in the field. The aim is to limit the number of species requiring identification to those that only occur in one quarter degree square (c. 220 km2).

Global ‘Legumes of the World Online’ project: development of an electronic publication with online editing to search, maintain and update data published in the original book Legumes of the World (2005). Biogeographical analysis of Leguminosae, focusing on clades largely endemic to the semi-arid to arid Succulent Biome. Floristics of dryland legumes in Africa (Indigofereae for the Flora of Southern Africa and final editing of Flora Zambesiaca treatment (180 spp.)). Advisory Member of Woody Plants Trial Panel for cultivated legume trials at RHS, Wisley.

Selected publications: 

Davies, T.J., Smith G.F.., Bellstedt, D.U., Boatwright, J.S., Bytebier, B., Cowling, R.M., Forest, F., Harmon, L.J., Muasya, A.M., Schrire, B.D., Steenkamp, Y., Van der Bank, M., Savolainen, V. (2011). Extinction Risk and Diversification Are Linked in a Plant Biodiversity Hotspot. PLoS Biol. 9(5): e1000620 Available online

Schrire, B.D., Lavin, M., Barker, N.P. & Forest, F. (2009). Phylogeny of the tribe Indigofereae (Leguminosae–Papilionoideae): Geographically structured more in succulent-rich and temperate settings than in grass-rich environments. American Journal of Botany 96(4): 816 – 852.

Ireland, H.E., Kite, G.C., Veitch, N.C., Chase, M.W., Schrire, B., Lavin, M., Linares, J. & Pennington, R.T. (2010). Biogeographical, ecological, and morphological structure in a phylogenetic analysis of Ateleia (Swartzieae-Fabaceae) derived from combined molecular, morphological and chemical data. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 162: 39–53.

Gao, X. & Schrire B.D. (2010). 16. Tribe Indigofereae. In Z. Wu, P. Raven & D. Hong (eds.), Flora of China (Fabaceae) 10: 137–164. Science Press, Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Warren, B.H., Bakker, F.T., Bellstedt, D.U., Bytebier, Benny, Claßen-Bockhoff, R.,Dreyer, L.L., Edwards, D., Forest, F., Galley, C., Hardy, C.R., Linder, H.P., Muasya, A M., Mummenhoff, K., Oberlander, K.C., Quint, M., Richardson, J.E., Savolainen, V., Schrire, B.D., Van der Niet, T., Verboom, G.A., Yesson, C, Hawkins, J.A. (2011). Consistent phenological shifts in the making of a biodiversity hotspot: the Cape flora. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:39 (1–11) Available online