Plant Evolutionary Biologist
- Large-Scale Syntheses
- Monocots I: General Alismatids & Lilioids
Joined Kew:December 2010
Foreign Language(s):French (mother tongue), German
Qualifications & Appointments
MSc, Univ. of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2005
PhD, Univ. of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2009
Postdoc fellow funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid, Spain, 2010
Postdoc fellow funded by the Marie Curie action programme, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2010-present
Research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint-Louis, USA, 2010-present
Molecular systematics, evolutionary biology and biogeography
My research lies in the investigation of the evolutionary history of various groups of plants and insects – at small and large spatio-temporal scales – with a focus on systematic and biogeographic questions. I am contributing to the development and comparison of new methods in biogeography (in collaboration with Prof. Isabel Sanmartin, Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid, Spain) and have skills in bioinformatics. Part of my research is devoted to taxonomy and I had the opportunity to publish several generic revisions of families especially in Madagascar and New Caledonia (e.g. Gentianaceae, Pandanaceae, Rhamnaceae, Sapindaceae). This work was mainly done in collaboration with researchers from the Missouri Botanical Garden (USA).
- Biodiversity and Evolutionary Patterns in Mediterranean-type Ecosystems
- Drivers of speciation in large Myrtaceae genera (Eugenia, Syzygium)
- Investigating the Cradle of the Angiosperms Based on State-of-the-Art Parametric Biogeographic Methods
- Origin and Evolution of the New Caledonian Flora
- Phylogenetic Diversity of the Malagasy Legumes: New Insights for the Conservation of the Malagasy Flora
- Development of best practices for rehabilitation after mining – plants and their associated mycorrhizas and implications for soil regeneration
- Systematics and Conservation Genetics of Asparagales
- Systematics and biogeography of the Pandanaceae family
Selected Recent Publications
Buerki S, Forest F, Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Callmander MW, Nylander JAA, Harrington M, Sanmartin I, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. (2009). Plastid and nuclear DNA markers reveal intricate relationships at subfamilial and tribal levels in the soapberry family (Sapindaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 51: 238-258.
Burnier J, Buerki S, Arrigo N, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. (2009). Genetic structure and evolution of Alpine polyploid complexes: Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae) as a case study. Molecular Ecology, 18: 3730-3744.
Buerki S, Forest F, Salamin N, Alvarez N. (2011). Comparative performance of supertree algorithms in large data sets using the soapberry family (Sapindaceae) as a case study. Systematic Biology, 60: 32-44.
Buerki S, Forest F, Alvarez N, Nylander JAA, Arrigo N, Sanmartín I. (2011). An evaluation of new parsimony-based versus parametric inference methods in biogeography: a case study using the globally distributed plant family Sapindaceae. Journal of Biogeography, 38: 531-550.
Triponez Y, Buerki S, Borer M, Naisbit R, Rahier M, Alvarez N. (2011). Discordances between phylogenetic and morphological patterns of alpine leaf beetles attest to intricate history of lineages in postglacial Europe. Molecular Ecology, 20: 2442-2463.
Selected Earlier Publications
Buerki S, Callmander MW, Schüpfer F, Ravokatra M, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. (2009). Malagasy Dracaena Vand. ex L. (Ruscaceae): an investigation of discrepancies between morphological features and spatial genetic structure at a small evolutionary scale. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 280: 15-28.
Espindola A, Buerki S, Bedalov M, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. (2010). New insights into the phylogenetics and biogeography of Arum (Araceae): unravelling its evolutionary history. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 163: 14-32.
Arrigo N, Felber F, Parisod C, Buerki S, Alvarez N, David J, Guadagnuolo R. (2010). Origin and expansion of the allotetraploid Aegilops geniculata Roth, a wild relative of wheat. New Phytologist, 187: 1170-1180.
Borer M, Alvarez N, Buerki S, Margraf N, Rahier M, Naisbit R. (2010). The phylogeography of an alpine leaf bettle: divergence within Oreina elongata spans several ice ages. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57: 703-709.
Buerki S, Lowry II PP, Andriambololonera S, Phillipson PB, Vary L, Callmander, MW. (2011). How to kill two genera with one tree: clarifying generic circumscriptions within an endemic Malagasy clade of Sapindaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 165: 223-234.
Arrigo N, Buerki S, Béguin A, Guadagnuolu R., Kozlowski G. (2011). Phylogenetic relationships in Baldellia (Alismataceae) inferred from AFLP markers, nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58: 33-42.