Dr Neil Brummitt

Dr Neil Brummitt

Researcher, Botanical Diversity

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Plants Division
Contact: email

Specialisms

Plant taxonomy and biogeography, biodiversity modelling and monitoring, conservation assessments and prioritisation

Summary

My research focuses on understanding the distribution of plant diversity, both at very large (global) scales and at regional and more local scales. I also have a long-standing commitment to plant conservation, and I co-ordinate the plants side of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index (SRLI) together with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which is undertaking conservation assessments for a representative sample of 7,000 species worldwide, based largely on herbarium specimen data; as part of this role I have completed and submitted approximately 1,000 assessments. The SRLI was an official CBD indicator for the 2010 Biodiversity Target, and now forms the basis for assessing Target 12 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; it has already produced a scientifically-rigorous baseline of the current global conservation status of plants, and from this an index of extinction risk can be calculated and, by periodically re-assessing the same species, tracked over time to see if “a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biodiversity” has been achieved. Much of my current research is linked to my central role on the Sampled Red List Index for Plants, including a thorough investigation of conservation assessment methodology, applying novel GIS and modelling techniques to conservation assessments and characterising functional and phylogenetic attributes of threatened plant species. I am also part of the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) and sit on the Terrestrial Species Monitoring and the Indicators working groups, and am helping to develop Essential Biodiversity Variables for monitoring trends in global biodiversity change. My career to date has given me a very broad knowledge of plants from around the world – both in the field and in the herbarium – and this strong basis in taxonomy and plant identification skills is a great strength underpinning the more analytical work I now do.

Qualifications

Degrees

PhD (Patterns in the Diversity and Distribution of Flowering Plant Genera), University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 1999 - 2014

MSc, Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 1997 - 1998

BA (Hons), Biological Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, 1992 - 1995

Employment history

Academic

Member, Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, University of Glasgow, UK, 2014 - ongoing

Publications

Affonso RA, Zanin A, Brummitt NA, Araujo AC (2015) Diversity of Scleria (Cyperaceae) in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Rodriguesia, 62 (2): 353 - 367.

Schmeller DS, Julliard R, Bellingham PJ, Böhm M, Brummitt N, Chiarucci A, Couvet D, Elmendorf S, Forsyth DM, Moreno JG, Gregory RD, Magnusson WE, Martin LJ, McGeoch MA, Mihoub J-B, Pereira HM, Proença V, van Swaay CAM, Yahara T, Belnap J (2015) Towards a global terrestrial species monitoring program. Journal for Nature Conservation, 25 : 51 - 57. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2015.03.003

Geijzendorffer IR, Regan EC, Pereira HM, Brotons L, Brummitt N, Gavish Y, Haase P, Martin CS, Mihoub J-B, Secades C, Schmeller DS, Stoll S, Wetzel FT, Walters M (2015) Bridging the gap between biodiversity data and policy reporting needs: An Essential Biodiversity Variables perspective. Journal of Applied Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12417

Brummitt NA, Bachman SP, Aletrari E, Chadburn H, Griffiths J, Lutz M, Moat J, Rivers MC, Syfert MM, Nic Lughadha EM (2015) The Sampled Red List Index for Plants, Phase II: ground-truthing specimen-based conservation assessments.. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 370 (1662): 20140015 - 20140015. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0015

Brummitt NA (2014) Richard Kenneth Brummitt, 1937 – 2013. Taxon, 62 (2): 453 - 460.

Rivers MC, Brummitt NA, Niclughadha EM, Meagher TR (2014) Do species conservation assessments capture evolutionary potential?. Global Ecology and Conservation, 2 : 82 - 87.

Syfert MM, Joppa LN, Smith MJ, Coomes DA, Bachman SP, Brummitt NA (2014) Using species distribution models to inform IUCN Red List assessments. Biological Conservation, 177 : 174 - 184.

Pereira HM, Ferrier S, Walters M, Geller GN, Jongman RHG, Scholes RJ, Bruford MW, BRUMMITT N, Butchart SHM, Cardoso AC, Coops NC, Dulloo E, Faith DP, Freyhof J, Gregory RD, Heip C, Hoft R, Hurtt G, Jetz W, Karp DS, McGeoch MA, Obura D, Onoda Y, Pettorelli N, Reyers B, Sayre R, Scharlemann JPW, Stuart SN, Turak E, Walpole M, Wegmann M (2013) Essential Biodiversity Variables. Science, 339 (6117): 277 - 278. doi: 10.1126/science.1229931

Araujo AC, BRUMMITT NA (2011) Scleria rubrostriata (Cyperaceae), a new species from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Kew Bulletin, 66 (4): 517 - 520. doi: 10.1007/s12225-012-9321-4

Rivers MC, BRUMMITT NA, Lughadha EN, Meagher TR (2011) Genetic variation in Delonix s.l. (Leguminosae) in Madagascar revealed by AFLPs: fragmentation, conservation status and taxonomy. Conservation Genetics, 12 (5): 1333 - 1344. doi: 10.1007/s10592-011-0234-9

Rivers MC, Taylor L, BRUMMITT NA, Meagher TR, Roberts DL, Lughadha EN (2011) How many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species?. Biological Conservation, 144 (10): 2541 - 2547. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.014

Pereira HM, Proença V, Belnapp J, BRUMMITT NA, Collen B, Ding H, Gonzalez M, Gregory RD, Honrado J, Jongman RHG, Julliard R, McRae L, Opige M, Rodrigues P, Rodriguez JP, Schmeller DS, van Swaay C, Vieira C (2010) Global biodiversity monitoring: filling the gaps where it counts the most. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8

Rivers MC, Bachman SP, Meagher TR, Nic Lughadha EM, BRUMMITT NA (2010) Subpopulations, locations and fragmentation: applying IUCN Red List criteria to herbarium specimen data. Biodiversity & Conservation, 19 : 2071 - 2085.

Davis AP, Govaerts R, Bridson DM, Ruhsam M, Moat JF, Brummitt NA (2009) A global analysis of distribution, diversity, endemism and taxonomic effort in Rubiaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 96 : 68 - 78.

Marsh N, Brummitt NA, de Kok RPJ, Utteridge TMA (2009) Large-scale patterns of plant diversity and conservation priorities in SE. Asia. Blumea, (54): 103 - 108.

Baillie JEM, Collen B, Amin R, Akcakaya HR, Butchart SHM, Brummitt NA, Meagher TR, Ram M, Hilton-Taylor C, Mace G (2008) Toward monitoring global biodiversity. Conservation Letters, 1 : 18 - 26.

Brummitt NA, Bachman SP, Moat JF (2008) Applications of the IUCN Red List: towards a global barometer for plant diversity. Endangered Species Research, 6 : 127 - 135.

Murray-Smith C, Brummitt NA, Bachman SP, Oliveira-Filho AT, Nic Lughadha EM, Moat JF, Lucas EJ (2008) Plant diversity hotspots in the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil. Conservation Biology, 23 (1): 151 - 163. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01075.x

Paton AJ, Brummitt NA, Govaerts R, Harman K, Hinchcliffe S, Allkin R, Nic Lughadha EM (2008) Towards Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: a working list of all known plant species – progress and prospects. Taxon, 57 (2): 602 - 611.

Brummitt NA, Roberts DL (2006) The influence of geometric constraints on the colonisation, speciation and range expansion of orchids. , Ghazanfar SA, Beentje HJ, Taxonomy and ecology of African plants, their conservation and sustainable use., pp. 361 - 372.

Brummitt NA, Vollesen K (2006) Pavonia blepharicarpa (Malvaceae), a new species from East Africa. Kew Bulletin, 61 (4): 1 - 4.

Brummitt NA (2005) Patterns in the global distribution of flowering plant genera. , Friis I, Balslev H, Plant Diversity and Complexity Patterns: local, regional and global dimensions., pp. 539 - 564.

Nic Lughadha EM, Baillie JEM, Barthlott W, Brummitt NA, Cheek MR, Farjon A, Govaerts R, Hardwick KA, Hilton-Taylor C, Meagher TR, Moat JF, Mutke J, Paton AJ, Pleasants LJ, Savolainen V, Schatz GE, Smith PM, Turner I, Wyse-Jackson P, Crane PR (2005) Measuring the fate of plant diversity: towards a foundation for future monitoring and opportunities for urgent action. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B Biological Sciences, 360 (1454): 359 - 372. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2004.1596

Bachman SP, Baker WJ, Brummitt NA, Dransfield J, Moat JF (2004) Elevational gradients, area and tropical island diversity: an example from the palms of New Guinea. Ecography, 27 (3): 299 - 310.

Brummitt NA, Cheek M (2004) Monimiaceae. , Cheek M, Pollard BJ, Darbyshire I, Onana J-M, Wild C, The Plants of Kupe, Mwanenguba and the Bakossi Mountains, Cameroon – a conservation checklist..

Brummitt NA (2003) Biodiversity – where’s hot and where’s not. Conservation Biology, 17 (5): 1442 - 1448.

Brummitt NA (2003) A second species of Distyliopsis (Hamamelidaceae) from New Guinea. Kew Bulletin, 58 (4): 727 - 731.

Brummitt RK, Pando F, Hollis S, Brummitt NA. , (2001) World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, Edition 2. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh.

Highlighted publications

Brummitt NA, Bachman SP, Aletrari E, Chadburn H, Griffiths J, et al (2015) The Sampled Red List Index for Plants, Phase II: ground-truthing specimen-based conservation assessments.. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 370 (1662): 20140015 - 20140015. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0015

Rivers MC, Brummitt NA, Niclughadha EM, Meagher TR (2014) Do species conservation assessments capture evolutionary potential?. Global Ecology and Conservation, 2 : 82 - 87.

Syfert MM, Joppa LN, Smith MJ, Coomes DA, Bachman SP, et al (2014) Using species distribution models to inform IUCN Red List assessments. Biological Conservation, 177 : 174 - 184.

Pereira HM, Ferrier S, Walters M, Geller GN, Jongman RHG, et al (2013) Essential Biodiversity Variables. Science, 339 (6117): 277 - 278. doi: 10.1126/science.1229931

Rivers MC, Taylor L, BRUMMITT NA, Meagher TR, Roberts DL, et al (2011) How many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species?. Biological Conservation, 144 (10): 2541 - 2547. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.014