Skip to main content

You are here

Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Wearn, James

Job title: 

Research Assistant to the Keeper

Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Joined Kew: 
Foreign languages: 
Spanish (basic)
Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. London (2002)
  • PhD, Univ. London (2006)
  • Elected Recorder of Lichens, Berkshire, England (2008 – present)
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (2010)
  • Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve Steering Group, London (2010 – present)

Responsibilities include systematic research in Southeast Asia, coordination of the international Vascular Plant Classification Committee (VPCC), and supporting HLAA Directorate strategic planning.

My main activity is botanical research (ecological and taxonomic), currently focusing on Lamiaceae, Meliaceae and Rutaceae. Since starting at Kew, my principal research project has been the preparation of a revision of the large and previously confused genus Clerodendrum for Flora Malesiana (now almost completed). This project is being undertaken with Prof. David Mabberley, and from it a number of additional lines of enquiry have arisen, allowing research on the genus to be taken further within Asia. I am also working on an account of naturalised Citrus taxa for the Flora of North America and I am a collaborator on a phylogenetic Dysoxylum project, which is being led by Dr Alexandra Muellner at the Senckenberg Research Institute, Germany.

I am the Secretary of the international Vascular Plant Classification Committee (responsible for synchronisation and promotion of agreed family circumscriptions and linear sequences among herbaria globally – the Vascular Plant Classification Committee) and Secretary of the Kew HLAA Directorate Strategic Planning Committee.

Outside my current position I work, where possible, with the Mycology section at Kew, to increase inter-departmental research, and to pursue my fungal/lichenological research interests.

Selected recent publications: 

Currie, A.F., Wearn, J., Hodgson, S., Wendt, H., Broughton, S. & Jin, L. (2014 [2013]) Foliar fungal endophytes in herbaceous plants: a marriage of convenience? Pp. 61-81 in Verma, V. & Gange, A.C. (eds.), Advances in Endophytic Research. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg [book chapter]. Available online

Wearn, J.A. & Schuiteman, A. (2013) Plant conservation in Thailand: Dokmai Garden and the Orchid Ark. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 59: 5-14. Available online

Wearn, J.A., Chase, M.W.C., Mabberley, D.J. & Couch, C. (2013) Utilizing a phylogenetic plant classification for systematic arrangements in botanic gardens and herbaria. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 127-141. Available online

Wearn, J.A., Sutton, B.C., Morley, N.J. & Gange, A.C. (2012) Species and organ specificity of fungal endophytes in herbaceous grassland plants. Journal of Ecology 100: 1085-1092. Available online

Wearn, J.A. & Leeratiwong, C. (2012) A reassessment of the identity and rarity of Clerodendrum chlorisepalum (Lamiaceae) in Thailand and Vietnam. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) 40: 121-124. 


Wearn, James