Dr James J Clarkson

Postdoctoral Researcher

James Clarkson

Ecosystem Stewardship


Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology


Phylogenomics, Tree of Life, High-Throughput DNA Sequencing, Time-Calibrated Phylogenetic Trees, Apiaceae, Proteaceae, Angiosperm Evolution

My role as a Research Fellow in the Conservation Genetics section involves utilising genetic and genomic datasets to inform conservation management. I am involved in many conservation genetics projects including studying endangered, threatened and vulnerable species living in Australian desert environments using RAD Seq (generously funded by Kew Foundation). I also have a particular interest in the role that polyploidy has played in the success of invasive species. Another of my projects investigates how polyploidy and hybridisation effect the evolution and classification of the allotetraploid marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza). I supervise a NERC DTP student (PhD) studying the population genetics of endangered orchids (started March 2017). I’m a co-investigator on a project funded by The Harding Foundation entitled Plant-fungal interactions in Alpine ecosystems. Our aim is to determine the population structure of ectomycorrhizal plants in alpine environments to evaluate the threats facing fragile alpine ecosystems.

  • BSc (Upper second class (2:1) Hons), De Montfort Univ. (Leicester, England), 1998
  • PhD, Univ. London (Queen Mary College), 2006
  • Awarded Manton prize for best PhD thesis in plant sciences 2006
  • Awarded Menzel prize for best genetics talk at Botany 2010 conference
  • Elected Fellow of Linnean Society 2014
  • Elected to Systematics Association Council 2017

Baker, W.J., Bailey, P., Barber, V., et al. (2022).

A Comprehensive Phylogenomic Platform for Exploring the Angiosperm Tree of Life.

Systematic Biology 71: 301–319.

Clarkson, J. J., Zuntini, A.R., Maurin, O., et al (2021).

A higher-level nuclear phylogenomic study of the carrot family (Apiaceae).

American Journal of Botany 108: 1252-1269.

Antonelli, A., Clarkson, J.J., Kainulainen, K., et al. (2021).

Settling a family feud: a high-level phylogenomic framework for the Gentianales based on 353 nuclear genes and partial plastomes.

American Journal of Botany 108: 1143–1165.

Brewer, G.E., Clarkson, J.J., Maurin, O., et al. (2019).

Factors Affecting Targeted Sequencing of 353 Nuclear Genes From Herbarium Specimens Spanning the Diversity of Angiosperms.

Frontiers in Plant Science 10:1102.

Clarkson, J.J., Dodsworth, S. & Chase, M.W. (2017).

Time-calibrated phylogenetic trees establish a lag between polyploidisation and diversification in Nicotiana (Solanaceae).

Plant Systematics and Evolution 303: 1001–1012.

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