Dr Isabel Larridon

Senior Research Leader Integrated Monography


Accelerated Taxonomy


Integrated Monography


Research into evolution, diversity and conservation of plants with main focus on the Cyperaceae or sedge family.

I lead the Integrated Monography team of the Accelerated Taxonomy department. As a researcher I investigate the evolution, diversity and conservation of plants with main focus on the Cyperaceae or sedge family. Currently, three PhD students are unravelling the evolutionary relationships between species of the taxonomically complex genus Bulbostylis (or hair sedges) with focus on the Neotropics, Africa and Madagascar.

Other projects focus on investigating the megadiverse genus Cyperus:

    1.    diversity of the white-glumes species of Cyperus in Africa,
    2.    evolution and diversity of Cyperus in the Neotropics,
    3.    taxonomic monographs of selected Cyperus sections.

My main geographic focus in on plants from Africa and Madagascar. I currently lead the funded project “Subtribal classification and generic delimitation among Eastern Hemisphere ironweeds (Vernonieae, Compositae)” in collaboration with our partner Botanical Research Institute of Texas and colleagues in the Africa team. I also lead the fieldwork module in Madagascar for the Kew MSc in Plant and fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation. Additionally, I am engaged in Kew’s Tropical Important Plant Areas project in Guinea through the supervision of a PhD student studying the indigenous socio-economic plant species of Guinea.

In my capacity as Initiative Leader Innovating Species Identification, I coordinate the Today’s Flora for Tomorrow project in Madagascar, and co-supervise Jed Arno, a PhD student at Royal Holloway University of London, who is investigating the use of Imaging Processing, AI and Digital Technologies for the Automated Classification and Identification of Plant Specimens at Kew.

  • BSc (Great distinction), Ghent University (Belgium), 2004
  • MSc (Great distinction), Ghent University (Belgium), 2006
  • PhD, Ghent University (Belgium), 2011
  • ​Visiting Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
  • Member of Council Linnean Society of London
  • Member IUCN-SSC Freshwater Plant Specialist Group
  • Member IUCN-SSC West Africa Plant Red List Authority
  • Associate editor, Kew Bulletin
  • Associate editor, Plant Ecology and Evolution

van Kleinwee I, Larridon I, Bauters K, Asselman P, Goetghebeur P, Leliaert F, Veltjen E (2022)

Plastid phylogenomics of the Sansevieria Clade (Dracaena, Asparagaceae) resolves a recent radiation.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 169: 107404.

Shah T, Schneider J, Maurin O, Baker WJ, Forest F, Savolainen V, Darbyshire I, Larridon I (2021)

Joining forces in Ochnaceae phylogenomics: a tale of two targeted sequencing probe kits.

American Journal of Botany 108(7): 1201-1216.

Larridon I, Spalink D, Jiménez-Mejías P, Márquez-Corro JI, Martin-Bravo S, Muasya AM, Escudero M (2021)

The evolutionary history of sedges in Madagascar.

Journal of Biogeography 48: 917-932.

Larridon I, Zuntini A, Léveillé-Bourret É, Barrett RL, et al. (2021)

A new classification of Cyperaceae (Poales) supported by phylogenomic data.

Journal of Systematics and Evolution 59(4): 852-895.

Larridon I, Zuntini AR, Barrett RL, Wilson KL, Bruhl JJ, et al. (2021)

Resolving the generic limits in Cyperaceae tribe Abildgaardieae using targeted sequencing.

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 196: 163-187.

Larridon I, Villaverde T, Zuntini A, Pokorny L, et al. (2020)

Tackling rapid radiations with targeted sequencing.

Front Plant Sci 10: 1655.

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Isabel Larridon