Qualifications & Appointments
BA, Natural Sciences, Cambridge, 1987
MSc, Pure & Applied Plant Taxonomy, Univ. Reading, 1988
PhD, Univ. Reading, 1993.
Fellow of the Linnaean Society and Member of Palynology Specialist Group
Member of Systematics Association (SA), on SA Council, Newsletter Editor Jan 2002-Aug 2005
Member of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists Dec 2002-
Editorial Board Member, Kew Bulletin, March 2005-,
Contribution Editor, Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany), July 2006-September 2010
Subject Editor for Dioscoreales, PhytoKeys, July 2011-
Team leader, Lilioid & Alismatid Monocots/Systematics, conservation and sustainable use of Dioscoreales(yams and their allies) and other lilioid & alismatid monocots
My main research focus is Dioscoreales, the yams and their allies. The importance of these plants as a starch source, especially in the seasonally dry tropics, has lead to a programme in diversity, domestication and ethnobotany in the c. 70 species which provide edible tubers. Taxa on which I am undertaking research include the cultivated guinea yams (Dioscorea cayenensis complex) in SW Ethiopia and the many wild edible yams of Thailand and Madagascar. Phylogenetics of Dioscoreales, including floral, pollen, seed, vegetative and underground organ morphology and its development have also been involved. This programme is underpinned by baseline diversity research especially in Madagascar and Thailand. These two relatively small countries both have about 10% of the world’s Dioscorea species. Other monocot research work or taxa on which students are being/have been supervised include Dracaena and Sansevieria (Asparagaceae subfam. Nolinoideae), Gagea and Erythronium (Liliaceae), Sternbergia (Amaryllidaceae) and Tigridieae (Iridaceae) of Bolivia.
I manage the Lilioid & Alismatid monocot and Fern section of the Herbarium. Since 2007 I have had an interest in biodiversity informatics and I am currently the PI of the eMonocot project.
- Consider the Lilies
- Flora Zambesiaca
- Guinea Yams of Ethiopia
- Monocot Checklist-Project Completed
- Monocot Pollen Evolution
- Electronic cataloguing and imaging of monocot type specimens
- Morphometrics of Lilioid & Alismatid monocots
- Phylogenetics of the Monocots
- Plant Diversity and Conservation in Bolivia
- Pollen Evolution
- Significant Trade in CITES Plants
- Synthesis of Systematic Resources 2
- Systematics and Conservation Genetics of Asparagales
- Systematics and Genetics of Liliales
- Systematics of Dioscoreales
- Yams of Madagascar: systematics, conservation and sustainable use
Selected Recent Publications
Wilkin, P. & Thapyai, C. (2009). Dioscoreaceae. In Santsuk, T. & Larsen, K (eds), Flora of Thailand 10(1): 1–140.
Wilkin, P., Hladik, A., Jeannoda, V. & Weber, O. (2009). The threatened edible yams of the Dioscorea sambiranensis R.Knuth species complex: a new species and subspecies. Adansonia, sér. 3, 31(2): 249–266.
Zarrei, M. Wilkin, P., Fay, M., Zarre, S., Ingrouille, M.J. & Chase, M.W. (2009). Molecular systematics of Gagea and Lloydia (Liliaceae; Liliales): implications of analyses of nuclear ribosomal and plastid DNA sequences for infrageneric classification. Annals of Botany 104: 125–142.
Wilkin, P., Muasya, A.M., Banks, H., Furness, C.A., Vollesen, K, Weber, O. & Demissew, S. (2009). A new species of yam (Dioscorea) from Kenya: pollen morphology, conservation status, and speciation. Systematic Botany 34(4): 652–659
Gage, E., Wilkin, P., Chase, M.W. & Hawkins, J.A. (2011). Phylogenetic systematics of Sternbergia L. (Amaryllidaceae) based on plastid and ITS sequence data. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 149–162.
Selected Earlier Publications
Schols, P., Wilkin, P., Furness, C.A., Huysmans, S. & Smets, E. (2005). Pollen evolution in yams (Dioscorea, Dioscoreaceae). Systematic Botany 30(4) 750–758.
Wilkin, P., Schols, P., Chase, M.W., Chayamarit, K., Furness, C.A., Huysmans, S., Rakotonasolo, F., Smets, E. & Thapyai, C. (2005). A plastid gene phylogeny of the yam genus, Dioscorea: roots, fruits and madagascar. Systematic Botany 30 (4):736–749.
Caddick, L.R., Rudall, P.J., Wilkin, P., Hedderson, T.A.J. & Chase, M.W. (2002). Phylogenetics of Dioscoreales Based on Combined Analyses of Morphological and Molecular Data. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 138(2): 123-144.
Caddick, L.R., Wilkin, P., Rudall, P.J., Hedderson, T.A.J. & Chase, M.W. (2002). Yams reclassified: a recircumscription of Dioscoreaceae and Dioscoreales. Taxon 51(1) 103-114.
Schols, P., Furness, C.A., Wilkin, P., Smets, E., Cielen, V. & Huysmans, S. (2003). Pollen morphology of Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae) and its relation to systematics. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 143(4): 375–390.