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William Purvis below Carn Liath, Beinn a'Ghlo, Blair Atholl, Scotland. Photo Credit: Ana-Maria Rusu
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Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Career History

Employment history

1980                    Vacation Studentship British Museum (Natural History) [BM(NH)]

1986 - 1988        Research Fellow, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Reading

1988 - 1992        Researcher and curator of lichens BM(NH)

1992 - current     Researcher, Lichens, Natural History Museum

Qualifications

1981                     University of Sheffield -B.Sc. (Sp Hons)

1986                     Imperial College of Science and Technology London - Ph.D.

1986                     Imperial College of Science and Technology London - D.I.C.

Awards

1999                    Honorary member Italian Lichenological Society

1999                    Visiting Professor, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Research

Interests

Interdisciplinary lichen research involving taxonomic, ecological and phylogenetic approaches.

  • Lichen-mineral studies
  • Biomonitoring using lichens, mosses and other cryptogams in terrestrial environments
  • Taxonomic and evolutionary studies in Acarospora and other genera

Project: Lichens and Minerals

Department of Botany: O.W. Purvis
Department of Mineralogy: G. Cressey, A. Kearsley & J. Najorka

External Collaborators: P. Convey, M. Flowerdew, H. Peat (British Antarctic Survey), L. Burgio (Victoria and Albert Museum), M. Wedin & M. Westberg (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden), D. Jenkins (Bangor).

Objective: To understand how lichens respond to minerals and other factors under global climate change.

Publications

Selected Publications

Lichens


Books

Purvis, O.W. 2000. Lichens. Natural History Museum, London / Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 112 pp. [reprinted 2010 with updates in UK]

Purvis, O.W., Coppins, B.J., Hawksworth, D.L., James, P.W. & Moore, D.M., eds .1992. Lichen Flora of Great Britain and Ireland. Natural History Museum, London. 710 pp.

Reviews

Purvis, O.W. & Halls, C. 1996. A review of lichens of metalliferous rocks. Lichenologist 28: 571-601.

Purvis, O.W. 1996. Interactions of lichens with metals. Science Progress 79: 283-309.

Purvis, O.W. 1997. The species concept in lichens. In Species: Units of Biodiversity. Systematics Association Special Volume Series 54 (M.F. Claridge, H.A. Dawah and M.R. Wilson). Chapman & Hall, London. 109-134.

Whiting S.N., Reeves, R.D., Richards, D, Johnson, M.S., Cooke, J.A., Malaisse, F., Paton, A., Smith, J.A.C.,  Angle, J.S., Chaney, R.L. Ginocchio, R., Jaffré, T., Johns, R. McIntyre, T., Purvis, O.W., Salt, D.E., Schat, H., Zhao, F.J. & A.J.M. Baker. 2005. Use of plants to manage sites contaminated with metals.  Plant Nutritional Genomics (Broadley, M.R. & White, P.J., eds): 287-315. Blackwell and CRC, US.

Whiting S.N., Reeves, R.D., Richards, D, Johnson, M.S., Cooke, J.A., Malaisse, F., Paton, A., Smith, J.A.C.,  Angle, J.S., Chaney, R.L., Ginocchio, R., Jaffré, T., Johns, R. McIntyre, T., Purvis, O.W., Salt, D.E., Schat, H., Zhao, F.J. & A.J.M. Baker. 2004. Research priorities for conservation of metallophyte biodiversity and its sustainable uses in ecological restoration and site remediation. Restoration Ecology 12: 106-116.

Haas, J.R. & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Chapter 15. Lichen Biogeochemistry. In: Gadd, G.M., Ed. Fungi in Biogeochemical Cycles. Cambridge University. Pp 344-376

Purvis, O.W. & Pawlik-Skowrońska, B. 2008. Chapter 12. Lichens and Metals. In: S. Avery, M. Stratford & P. van West, Eds. Stress in Yeasts and Filamentous Fungi. British Mycological Society Symposium Series. Elsevier & Academic Press, Amsterdam. Pp 175-200.

Purvis, O.W. Chapter 3. Lichens and Industrial Pollution. 2010. In: Ecology of Industrial Pollution, Cambridge University Press, UK. (L.C. Batty & K. Hallberg  eds). Pp 41-69.

 


Lichens and Mineralization

Purvis, O.W. 1984. The occurrence of copper oxalate in lichens growing on copper sulphide-bearing rocks in Scandinavia. Lichenologist 16: 197-204.

Purvis, O.W., Gilbert, O.L. & James, P.W. 1985. The influence of copper mineralization on Acarospora smaragdulaLichenologist 17: 111-114.

Chisholm, J.E., Jones, G.C. & Purvis, O.W. 1987. Hydrated copper oxalate, moolooite, in lichens. Mineralogical Magazine. 51: 715-718.

Elix, J.A., Gaul, Kim L., James, P.W. & Purvis, O.W. 1987. Three new lichen depsidones.  Australian Journal of Chemistry 40: 417-423.

Purvis, O.W., Elix, J.A., Broomhead, J.A. & Jones, G.C. 1987. The occurrence of copper-norstictic acid in lichens from cupriferous substrata.  Lichenologist 19: 193-203.

Purvis, O.W., Elix, J.A. & Gaul, K.L. 1990. The occurrence of copper-psoromic acid in lichens from cupriferous substrata.  Lichenologist 22: 345-354.

McLean, J., Purvis, O.W., Williamson, B. & Bailey, E.H. 1998. Role for lichen melanins in uranium remediation Nature: 391: 650-651.

Haas, J., Bailey, E.H. & Purvis, O.W. 1998. Bioaccumulation of metals by lichens: uptake of aqueous uranium by Peltigera membranacea as a function of time and pH.  American Mineralogist 83: 1494-1502.

Williamson, B.J., McLean, J. & Purvis, O.W. 1998. X-ray element mapping of the lichen-rock interface. Journal of microscopy 191: 91-96.

Purvis, O.W., Williamson, B. & Bartok, K. & Zoltani, N. 2000. Bioaccumulation of lead by the lichen Acarospora smaragdula from smelter emissions. New Phytologist 147: 591-599.

Purvis, O.W., Bailey, E.H., McLean, E.H., Kasama, T. & Williamson, B.J. 2003. Uranium biosorption by the lichen Trapelia involuta at a uranium mine. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67, Special Supple. (Abs. Goldschmidt Conf.), A385.

Purvis, O.W., Bailey, E.H., McLean, J., Kasama, T. & Williamson, B.J. 2004. Uranium biosorption by the lichen Trapelia involuta at a uranium mine.  Geomicrobioloy 21: 159-167.

Pawlik-Skowrońska, B., Purvis, O.W., Pirszel, J. & Skowroński, T. 2006. Cellular mechanisms of Cu-tolerance in the epilithic lichen Lecanora polytropa growing at a copper mine. Lichenologist 38: 267-275.

Purvis, O. W. & Pawlik-Skowronska, B. 2006. Mineral phases and element composition of the Cu hyperaccumulator lichen Lecanora polytropa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: A507-A507 [Goldschmidt 2006, conference abstract].

Crewe, A.T., Wedin, M. & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Molecular phylogeny of Acarosporaceae (Ascomycota) with focus on the proposed genus Polysporinopsis. Mycological Research 110: 521-526.

Crewe, A.T., Wedin, M.  & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Mineralization and evolution in rust-coloured Acarospora from a Swedish mine. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: A118-A118 [Goldschmidt 2006, conference abstract].

Rusu, A. M. & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Evaluating metal accumulation in lichens. The Romanian experience. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: A549-A549 [Goldschmidt 2006, conference abstract].

Purvis, O.W., Crewe, A.T., Kearsley, A., Cressey, G. & Wedin, M. 2008. Mineralization in rust-coloured Acarospora. Geomicrobiology 25:142-148.

Purvis, O.W., Kearsley, A., Cressey, G., Batty, L.C., Jenkins, D.A., Crewe, A.T. & Wedin, M. 2008. Mineralization in rust-coloured Acarospora, pp. 472-474. In Z.-S. Chen, D.-Y. Lee, T.-S. Lin (eds) Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Taipei, Taiwan, November 16-23, 2008. Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Purvis, O.W., Pawlik-Skowrońska, B., Cressey, G., Jones, G.C., Kearsley, A. & Spratt, J. 2008. Mineral phases and element composition of the copper hyperaccumulator lichen Lecanora polytropa. Mineralogical Magazine 72: 539–548.

Wedin, M., Westberg, M., Crewe, A.T., Tehler, A. & Purvis, O.W. 2009. Species delimitation and evolution of metal-bioaccumulation in the lichenized Acarospora smaragdula (Ascomycota, Fungi) complex. Cladistics 25: 1-12.

Westberg, M., Crewe, A.T., Purvis, O.W. & Wedin, M. 2011. Silobia, a new genus for the Acarospora smaragdula complex (Ascomycota, Acarosporales) and a revision of the group in Sweden. Lichenologist 43: 7–25.

Purvis, O.W., Bennett, J. & Spratt, J. 2011. Copper localization, elemental content, and thallus colour in the copper hyperaccumulator lichen Lecanora sierrae from California. Lichenologist 43: 165 -173.


Biomonitoring

Rusu, A.M., Bartok, K., Har, N, Dubbin, W., Purvis, O.W., Willliamson, B.J., Bárthá, C. and Vizitiu, A. 1999. Monitorizare multielementală a solului in Zona industrială Zlatna. Studii si cercetari biologie, Bistrita  5: 117-122

Bartok, K., Rusu, A.M. & Purvis, O.W. 2000. Long term biomonitoring of pollutant elements employing lichen species in Transylvania, Romania in Proceedings of the 9th International Trace Element Symposium, Budapest, Sept. 2000. (Ed.: I. Pais): 60-70.

Asta, J., Erhardt, W., Ferretti, M., Fornasier, F., Kirschbaum, U., Nimis, P.L., Pirintsos, S., Purvis, O.W., Scheidegger, C., Van Haluwyn, C. & Wirth, V. 2002.  Mapping Lichen Diversity as an Indicator of Environmental Quality.  In Nimis, P.L., Scheidegger, C. & Wolseley, P.A. (eds), Monitoring with lichens – Monitoring Lichens. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 273-279.

Nimis, P.L. & Purvis, O.W. 2002. Monitoring lichens as indicators of pollution. An introduction. In: Nimis, P.L., Scheidegger, C. and Wolseley, P.A. (eds), Monitoring with lichens – Monitoring Lichens. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 7-10.

Purvis, O.W., Erotokritou, L., Wolseley, P.A., Williamson, B. & Read, H. 2002. A photographic quadrat recording method employing digital analysis of lichens as an indicator of environmental change.  In: Nimis, P.L., Scheidegger, C. & Wolseley, P.A. (eds), Monitoring with lichens – Monitoring Lichens. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 337-341.

Spiro, B., Morrisson, J. & Purvis, O.W. 2002. Sulphur isotopes in lichens as indicators of sources. In: Nimis, P.L., Scheidegger, C. & wolseley, P.A. (eds), Monitoring with lichens – Monitoring Lichens. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 311-315.

Leistel, T., Augé, T., Bourgeois, B. Bretteville, V. Coste, B. Leistel, J.M., Lerouge, C., Orgeval, J.J.,  Koroteev, V., Ivanov, K.S., Sazonov, V.N., Maslennikov, V. Zaykov, V., Telenkov, O., Udachin, V., Tesalina, S., Belenki, A., Williamson, B.J., Herrington, R., Spiro, B.,  Purvis, O.W.,  Dubbin, W., Brooks, S., Buschmann, B.,  Bourdon, B., Omenetto, P., Nimis, P., Tatarko, N., Puchkov, V., Salikhov, D., Seravkin, I., Kruglov, V. & Ignatieva, M. 2003. MinUrals: Mineral resources of the Urals - Origin, development and environmental impacts. In Eliopoulous, D.G., et al., eds., Mineral Exploration and Sustainable Development, MillPress, Rotterdam, Netherlands, p. 37-40.

Purvis, O.W., Chimonides, J., Din, V.K., Erotokritou, L., Jeffries, T., Jones, G.C., Louwoff, S., Read, H. & Spiro, B. 2003. Which factors are responsible for the changing lichen floras of London?  Science of the Total Environment.310:179-189.

Udachin, V., Williamson,B.J., Purvis,O.W., Spiro, B., Dubbin, W., Brooks,S., Coste, B., Herrington, R.J. & Mikhailova, I. 2003.  Assessment of environmental impacts of active smelter operations and abandoned mines in Karabash, Ural Mountains of Russia.  Sustainable Development 11: 133-142.

Purvis, O.W., Chimonides, P.J., Jones, G.C., Mikhailova, I.N., Spiro, B., Weiss, D.J., & Williamson, B.J. 2004. Lichen biomonitoring near Karabash Smelter Town, Ural Mountains, Russia, one of the most polluted areas in the world. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B  271: 221 - 226.

Spiro, B., Weiss, D. J., Purvis, O. W., Mikhailova, I., Williamson, B. J., Coles, B. J. & Udachin, V. 2004. Lead isotopes in lichen transplants around a Cu smelter in Russia determined by MC-ICP-MS reveal transient records of multiple sources. Environmental Science & Technology 38: 6522-6528.

Williamson, B.J., Udachin, V., Purvis, O.W., Spiro, B., Cressey, G. & Jones, G.C. 2004. Characterisation of airborne particulate pollution in the Cu smelter and former mining town of Karabash, south Ural Mountains of Russia. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 98: 235-259.

Williamson B.J., Mikhailova I., Purvis O.W. & Udachin V. 2004. SEM-EDX analysis in the source apportionment of particulate matter on Hypogymnia physodes lichen transplants around the Cu smelter and former mining town of Karabash, South Urals, Russia. The Science of the Total Environment322: 139-154.

Purvis, O.W., Chimonides, P.J., Jeffries, T.E.R., Jones, G.C., Read, H. & Spiro, B. 2005. Investigating biogeochemical signatures in the lichen Parmelia sulcata at Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire, England, Lichenologist 37: 329-344.

Purvis, O.W., Longden, J., Shaw, G., Chimonides, P.D.J., Jeffries, T.E., Jones, G.C., Mikhailova, I.N. & Williamson, B.J. 2006. Biogeochemical signatures in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes in the mid Urals. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 90: 151-162.

Purvis, O. W. & Read, H. 2006. Investigating biogeochemical signatures in lichens, soil, bark and historical herbarium samples as indicators of global climate change. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: A508-A508 [Goldschmidt 2006, conference abstract].

Rusu, A.-M., Chimonides, P. D.J., Jones, G.C., Garcia-Sanchez, R. & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Multi-element including rare earth content of lichens, bark, soils and waste following industrial closure. Environmental Science and Technology 40: 4599-4604. 

Rusu, A.-M., Jones, G.C., Chimonides, P.D.J. & Purvis, O.W. 2006. Biomonitoring using the lichen Hypogymnia physodes and bark samples near Zlatna, Romania immediately following closure of a copper ore-processing plant. Environmental Pollution 143: 81-88.

Rusu, A. M., Williamson, B. J. & Purvis, O. W.  2006. SEM-EDX analysis of particulate matter on sticky pads and lichens immediately following closure of a Cu smelter in Romania. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70: A549-A549 [Goldschmidt 2006, conference abstract].

Davies, L., Bates, J.W., Bell, J.N.B., James, P.W. & Purvis, O.W. 2007 Diversity and sensitivity of epiphytes to oxides of nitrogen in London. Environmental Pollution 146: 299-310.

Larsen, R.S., Bell, J.N.B., James, P.W., Chimonides, P.D., Rumsey, F.J, Tremper, A. & Purvis, O.W. 2007. Lichen and bryophyte distribution on oaks in London in relation to air pollution and bark acidity. Environmental Pollution 146: 332-340.

Purvis, O.W., Chimonides, P.D.J., Jeffries, T.E., Jones, G.C., Rusu, A.-M.  & Read, H. 2007. Multi-element composition of historical lichen collections and bark samples, indicators of changing atmospheric conditions. Atmospheric Environment 41: 72-80.

Purvis, O.W., Seaward, M.R.D. & Loppi, S. 2007. Lichens in a changing pollution environment: An introduction.  Environmental Pollution 146: 291-292.

González-Miqueo, L., Unsworth, C. & Purvis, O.W. 2008. Rare earth element patterns in lichens and other environmental samples, pp. 396-399. In Z.-S. Chen, D.-Y. Lee, T.-S. Lin (eds) Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Taipei,Taiwan, November 16-23, 2008. Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Purvis, O.W., Dubbin, W., Chimonides, P.D.J., Jones, G.C. & Read, H. 2008. The multi-element content of the lichen Parmelia sulcata, soil and oak bark in relation to acidification and climate. Science of the Total Environment 390: 558–568.

Purvis, O.W., González-Miqueo, L., Unsworth, C., Dubbin, W., Spiro, B., Chimonides, P.D.J., Mackie, R. & Read, H. 2008. 20 years investigating lichen biodiversity under globally changing atmospheric conditions, pp. 46-49. In Z.-S. Chen, D.-Y. Lee, T.-S. Lin (eds) Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. Taipei,Taiwan, November 16-23, 2008. Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Williamson, B.J., Purvis, O.W., Mikhailova, I., Spiro, B. & Udachin, V. 2008. The lichen transplant methodology in the source apportionment of metal deposition around a copper smelter in the former mining town of Karabash, Russia. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 141: 227-236.

Purvis, O.W., Tittley, I., Chimonides, P.D.J., Bamber, R., Hayes, P.A., James, P.W., Rumsey, F.J. & Read, H. 2010. Long-term biomonitoring of lichen and bryophyte biodiversity at Burnham Beeches SAC and global environmental change. Systematics and Biodiversity 8: 193-208.

Purvis, O.W., González-Miqueo, L., Dolgopolova, A., Dubbin, W.  & Unsworth, C. 2010. Use of rare earth element signatures in lichen, bark and adjacent soils as indicators of sources of geological materials. In Biology of Lichens, Symbiosis, Ecology, Environm. Monitoring, Systematics, Cyber Applications, Nash, T.H. III, (ed).  J. Cramer in der Gebrüder Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Bibliotheca Lichenologica 105: 65-74.

Purvis, O.W. & Simkin,  J.M. 2011. The Lichens of Moorbank Botanical Garden, Newcastle upon Tyne. Transactions of the Natural History Society of Northumbria 70: 269-277.


Azores Biodiversity

Purvis, O.W. & James, P.W. 1993. Studies on the lichens of the Azores. Part 1.  Caldeira do Faial.  Arquipelago 1: 1-15.

Purvis, O.W., James, P.W. & Smith, C.W. 1994. Studies in the lichens of the Azores. Part 2. Lichens of the upper slopes of Pico Mountain. A comparison between the lichen floras of the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands at high altitudes. Arquipelago 12: 35-50.

Purvis, O.W., James, P.W. & Smith, C.W. (1996)[‘1995’] Studies in the lichens of the Azores. Part 3. Macrolichens of relict cloud forests. Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal 4: 599-619.

Purvis, O.W., Jørgensen, P.M. & James, P.W. 1995. The lichen genus Thelotrema Ach. in Europe. Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Cramer, Lehre 58: 335-360.

Moberg, R. & Purvis, O.W. 1997 Studies on the lichens of the Azores. Part 4. The genus Heterodermia Symbolae Botanicae Upsalienses 32: 187-194.

Purvis, O.W., James, P.W., Smith, C.W. & Dias, E. 1998. Studies in the lichens of the Azores. Part 5. A comparison between the lichen floras associated with Juniperus brevifolia in relict woodland in selected sites on Terceira and Flores. Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal 5: 333-348.

UK Biodiversity

Coppins, B.J. & Purvis, O.W. 1987. A review of PsilolechiaLichenologist 19: 29-42.

Gilbert, O.L., Fox, B.W. & Purvis, O.W. 1982. The lichen flora of a high-level limestone-epidiorite outcrop in the Ben Alder range, Scotland.  Lichenologist 14: 165-174.

Purvis, O.W., Jørgensen, P.M. & Coppins, B.J. 1994. Ochrolechia szatalaënsis Vers., new to Great Britain and Ireland. Lichenologist 26: 394-397.

Purvis, O.W., Gilbert, O.L. & Coppins, B.J. 1994. Lichens of the Blair Atholl limestone. Lichenologist 26: 367-382.

Purvis, O.W. & James, P.W. 1985. Lichens of the Coniston Copper Mines.  Lichenologist 17: 221-237.

Douglas, G.E., John, D.M. & Purvis, O.W. 1995. The identity of phycobionts from lichens in the Acarosporion sinopicae alliance. The Phycologist 40: 33.

Gilbert, O.L. & Purvis, O.W. 1996. Teloschistes flavicans in Great Britain: distribution and ecology. Lichenologist 28: 493-506.

Wolseley, P.A., James, P.W., Coppins, B.J. & Purvis, O.W. 1996. The lichens of Skomer, West Wales. Lichenologist 28: 543-570.

The following co-authored accounts:

Acarospora, Acrocordia, Agonimia, Agyrium, Alectoria, Allantoparmelia, Anaptychia, Aphanopsis, Arctomia, Arthrorhaphis, Aspicilia, Blarneya, Brigantiaea, Bryonora, Bryophagus, Calicium, Cavernularia, Cetraria, Cetrelia, Chaenotheca, Chrysothrix, Collema, Cornicularia, Cresponea, Cyphelium, Degelia, Dimerella, Diploicia, Diplotomma, Dirina, Evernia, Fuscidea, Heterodermia, Hymenelia, Hypocenomyce, Imshaugia, Lasallia, Lecanactis, Lecania, Lecidella, Lecidoma, Leprocaulon, Lichina, Lithographa, Lobaria, Lopadium, Massalongia, Miriquidica, Mycocalicium, Ochrolechia, Orphniospora, Pannaria, Parmelia, Parmeliella, Peltigera, Pertusaria, Phaeocalicium, Phyllopsora, Pilophorus, Placopsis, Placynthiella, Platismatia, Polyblastia, Porina, Protothelenella, Pseudephebe, Pseudevernia, Pseudocyphellaria, Psilolechia, Psora, Psoroma, Pterygiopsis, Pycnothelia, Ramalina, Ramonia, Rinodina, Roccella, Ropalospora, Sarcosagium, Schadonia, Sclerophora, Scoliciosporum, Siphula, Solenopsora, Sphinctrina, Staurothele, Steinia, Stenocybe, Stereocaulon, Sticta, Teloschistes, Tephromela, Thamnolia, Thelenella, Thelomma, Thrombium, Tornabea, Trapelia, Trapeliopsis, Umbilicaria, Usnea & Vezdaea.

in ‘The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland', Smith, C.W., Aptroot, A., Coppins, B.J., Fletcher, A., Gilbert, O.L., James, P.W. & Wolseley, P.A. 2009. 

British Lichen Society