Dr Isabel Larridon

Research Leader Africa


Accelerated Taxonomy




Research into evolution, biodiversity and conservation of African and Madagascan plants with main focus on the Cyperaceae or sedge family

My role as a researcher in the Identification and Naming department’s Africa and Madagascar team is to investigate the evolution, biodiversity and conservation status of African and Madagascan plants. I am currently involved in several research projects focusing on the Cyperaceae or sedge family. Current research is aimed building a framework to investigate evolution in Cyperaceae using targeted sequencing data obtained using the Angiosperm-353 baits developed for Kew’s Plant and Fungal Trees of Life project. One of the characters studied in the family is C4 photosynthesis.

Other projects focus on investigating:

  1. the historical biogeography and niche evolution of the genus Scleria,
  2. the origins and diversification of Cyperaceae in Madagascar,
  3. the generic limits and relationships in the Cyperaceae tribes Abildgaardieae and Schoeneae.

I am also engaged in Kew’s Tropical Important Plant Areas project, particularly in Guinea. Besides African and Madagascan flora, further research interests include Cactaceae and Neotropical Magnoliaceae.

  • BSc (Great distinction), Ghent University (Belgium), 2004
  • MSc (Great distinction), Ghent University (Belgium), 2006
  • PhD, Ghent University (Belgium), 2011
  • B.A. Krukoff Curator of African Botany
  • ​Visiting Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
  • Member IUCN-SSC Freshwater Plant Specialist Group
  • Associate editor, Kew Bulletin
  • Associate editor, Plant Ecology and Evolution
  • Academic editor, PeerJ

Semmouri, I., Bauters, K., Léveillé-Bourret, É., Starr, J.R., Goetghebeur, P. & Larridon, I. (2019)

Phylogeny and systematics of Cyperaceae, the evolution and importance of embryo morphology.

Botanical Review 85: 1-39. 

Larridon, I., Rabarivola. L., Xanthos. M. & Muasya, A.M. (2019).

Revision of the Afro-Madagascan genus Costularia (Cyperaceae): infrageneric relationships and species delimitation.

PeerJ 7:e6528. 

Veltjen, E., Asselman, P., Palmarola Bejerano, A., Hernández Rodríguez, M., Testé Lozano, E., González-Torres, L.R., Goetghebeur, P., Larridon, I. & Samain, M.S. (2019).

Genetic patterns in Neotropical Magnolia species using de novo developed SSR markers.

Heredity 122: 485-500. 

Larridon, I., Semmouri, I., Bauters, K., Viljoen, J.A., Prychid, C.J., Muasya, A.M., Bruhl, J.J., Wilson, K.A. & Goetghebeur, P. (2018).

Molecular phylogenetics of the genus Costularia (Schoeneae, Cyperaceae) reveals multiple distinct evolutionary lineages.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 126:196-209. 

Larridon, I., Walter, H.E., Rosas, M., Vandomme, V. & Guerrero, P.C. (2018).

Evolutionary trends in the columnar cactus genus Eulychnia (Cactaceae) based on molecular phylogenetics, morphology, distribution and habitat.

Systematics and Biodiversity 16: 643-657. 

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Isabel Larridon

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Isabel Larridon