I am an ecologist researching invasive species and their impacts on native plants and ecosystem functioning. I am interested in understanding what makes plants invasive and how invasive plant species can be best controlled. I joined the UK Overseas Territories team in December 2014 and am working on conservation projects in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as well as the British Virgin Islands. My PhD student, Adam Devenish, successfully defended his thesis in February 2019, which assessed the impacts of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, on native ants and seed dispersal processes in both Spain and South Africa. I have a strong background in seed ecology in species from the fynbos and temperate woodland ecosystems.
- PhD, University of Reading, 2012
- MSc Botany, University of Cape Town, 2000
- BSc (Hons) Botany, University of Cape Town, 1996
- BSc, University of the Witwatersrand, 1995
- Member of the International Society for Seed Science (ISSS)
- Member of the Royal Society of Biology
- Member of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB)
Devenish, A.J.M., Gomez, C., Bridle, J.R., Newton, R.J. & Sumner, S. (2018).
Biological Invasions 21: 451–466.
Vandelook, F., Newton, R.J. & Carta A. (2018).
Photophobia in Lilioid monocots: photoinhibition of seed germination explained by seed traits, habitat adaptation and phylogenetic inertia.
Annals of Botany 121: 405-413.
Kadereit, G., Newton, R.J. & Vandelook, F. (2017).
Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 29: 1-11.
Newton, R., Budden, A., Petrokofsky, G., Nic Lughadha, E. & Clubbe, C. (2017).
In: State of the World’s Plants 2017. Ed: K.J. Willis. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond. pp. 58-63.
Newton, R.J., Hay, F.R. & Ellis, R.H. (2015).
Ecophysiology of seed dormancy and the control of germination in early spring-flowering Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Amaryllidaceae).
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 177: 246-262.
Newton, R.J., Hay, F.R. & Ellis, R.H. (2013).
Seed development and maturation in early spring-flowering Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus continues post-shedding with little evidence of maturation in planta.
Annals of Botany,111: 945-955.
Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Identifying key sites for plant and habitat conservation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Securing South Georgia’s native habitats
Monitoring vegetation changes, quantifying the soil seed bank, and assessing seed dispersal following non-native species control to inform native plant and habitat management on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.