Current fern research

Our fern research is addressing several major questions about the origin and conservation of fern diversity through time.

  • Harald Schneider collecting ferns in the Mascarenes
    The evolution of fern diversity

    This project aims to explore the origin of fern diversity by integrating a variety of information such as geographic distribution and physiological variation.

  • Ophioglossum azoricum
    Fern diversity on oceanic islands

    Oceanic islands are often valued as Darwinian laboratories. In this project we investigate the evolution of fern diversity by studying specimens on Mauritius and RĂ©union.

  • Forest in Madagascar
    Ferns and diversity hotspots

    Collaborative research addresses the assemblage and conservation of fern species diversity in biodiversity hotspots such as Madagascar and southwest China.

  • The fern Asplenium aethiopicum
    Taxonomy and classification

    Aspleniaceae, Polypodiaceae, Cyatheaceae and Pteridaceae are among the selected fern families and genera that Museum staff are currently conducting taxonomic studies on.

  • Leaves of the royal fern, Osmunda regalis
    Phylogeography of European ferns

    These studies are primarily aimed at understanding how central European fern diversity recovered after the last maximum glaciations.

  • Copper plate of single-sorus spleenwort, Asplenium monanthes
    Apomixis in ferns

    This project investigates the evolution of apomixis in the Asplenium monanthes complex, with a view to understanding the role of apomixis in assembling modern fern diversity.

  • View from Bica da Cana in Madeira
    Plant diversity of the Macaronesian region

    Patterns of diversity in the flora of the Macaronesian volcanic oceanic archipelagos will be investigated and used to explore general plant systematics and biogeography questions.