Francis Nge

Francis Nge

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology


Francis is an evolutionary biologist and plant systematist, interested in macroevolutionary patterns and processes across different scales in time and space. Francis’ main research interests include understanding the drivers and mechanisms that have resulted in the uneven distribution of earth’s biodiversity across the Tree of Life. Particularly, he is interested in region-specific diversification dynamics, and understanding the origins and evolution of the Australian flora, as well as tropical rainforest systems.

He engages in interdisciplinary research, and incorporates different approaches across the fields of evolutionary biology, systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, and physiology to address fundamental questions of biology. 

Francis completed his PhD degree (2021) at the University of Adelaide, as part of Michelle Waycott's lab and in association with the State Herbarium of South Australia. In this role, Francis had a research interest in the macro-evolution and systematics of the Australian flora including a selected focus on plant-traits evolution, phylogenomics, biogeography, and phylogeography. His research in plant systematics focuses on a broad range of taxonomic plant groups including Proteaceae, Myrtaceae, and Rhamnaceae.

Francis still maintain active and ongoing research collaborative links with colleagues at the University of Adelaide and State Herbarium of South Australia.

Francis is currently a Systematic Botanist Research Scientist at the National Herbarium of New South Wales, in the Botanic Gardens of Sydney, Australia.

 

  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2017 - 2021 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2013 - 2016 The University of Western Australia Australia BSc. (Hons)
  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Nge, F. J., Kellermann, J., Biffin, E., Thiele, K. R., & Waycott, M. (2024). Rise and fall of a continental mesic radiation in Australia: spine evolution, biogeography, and diversification of Cryptandra (Rhamnaceae: Pomaderreae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 204(4), 327-342.
    DOI
    2024 Lopes, J. C., Fonseca, L. H. M., Johnson, D. M., Luebert, F., Murray, N., Nge, F. J., . . . Couvreur, T. L. P. (2024). Dispersal from Africa to the Neotropics was followed by multiple transitions across Neotropical biomes facilitated by frugivores. Annals of Botany, 133(5-6), 659-676.
    DOI Scopus2 Europe PMC1
    2024 Keppel, G., Nge, F. J., & Ibanez, T. (2024). Slowing taxon cycle can explain biodiversity patterns on islands: Insights into the biogeography of the tropical South Pacific from molecular data. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 62(2), 201-214.
    DOI Scopus2
    2024 Tian, Q., Stull, G. W., Kellermann, J., Medan, D., Nge, F. J., Liu, S. Y., . . . Yi, T. S. (2024). Rapid in situ diversification rates in Rhamnaceae explain the parallel evolution of high diversity in temperate biomes from global to local scales. New Phytologist, 241(4), 1851-1865.
    DOI Scopus1 Europe PMC1
    2024 Zuntini, A. R., Carruthers, T., Maurin, O., Bailey, P. C., Leempoel, K., Brewer, G. E., . . . Duvall, M. R. (2024). Phylogenomics and the rise of the angiosperms. Nature, 629(8013), 843-850.
    DOI Scopus4
    2023 Martínez-Velarde, M. F., Rodrigues-Vaz, C., Soulé, V., Nge, F. J., Schatz, G. E., Couvreur, T. L. P., & Ortiz-Rodriguez, A. E. (2023). Desmopsis terriflora, an extraordinary new species of Annonaceae with flagelliflory. PhytoKeys, 227(227), 181-198.
    DOI Scopus1
    2022 Nge, F. J., Biffin, E., Waycott, M., & Thiele, K. R. (2022). Phylogenomics and continental biogeographic disjunctions - insight from the Australian starflowers (Calytrix).. Am J Bot, 109(2), 291-308.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS6 Europe PMC3
    2022 Thiele, K. R., Keighery, G. J., Nge, F. J., & Rye, B. L. (2022). Three new Western Australian species related to Calytrix violacea (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). Nuytsia, 33(Volume 33, 17 Aug 2022), 221-232.
    DOI Scopus1
    2022 Nge, F. J., & Thiele, K. R. (2022). Calytrix calingiri, a new species from the Calytrix acutifolia species group (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). Nuytsia, 33, 251-261.
    Scopus2
    2021 Nge, F., Biffin, E., Thiele, K., & Waycott, M. (2021). Reticulate Evolution, Ancient Chloroplast Haplotypes, and Rapid Radiation of the Australian Plant Genus Adenanthos (Proteaceae). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8, 1-15.
    DOI Scopus21 WoS13
    2021 Nge, F. J., Kellermann, J., Biffin, E., Waycott, M., & Thiele, K. R. (2021). Historical biogeography of Pomaderris (Rhamnaceae): continental vicariance in Australia and repeated independent dispersals to New Zealand.. Mol Phylogenet Evol, 158, 1-11.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS10 Europe PMC3
    2021 Hayes, P. E., Nge, F. J., Cramer, M. D., Finnegan, P. M., Fu, P., Hopper, S. D., . . . Lambers, H. (2021). Traits related to efficient acquisition and use of phosphorus promote diversification in Proteaceae in phosphorus‐impoverished landscapes. Plant and Soil, 462(1-2), 67-88.
    DOI Scopus27 WoS19
    2021 Nge, F. J., & Thiele, K. R. (2021). Review of the infrageneric classification of Adenanthos (Proteaceae)- the subsections of Adenanthos are polyphyletic. Nuytsia, 32(Volume 32, 24 Jun 2021), 59-61.
    DOI
    2020 Nge, F. J., Biffin, E., Thiele, K. R., & Waycott, M. (2020). Extinction pulse at Eocene-Oligocene boundary drives diversification dynamics of two Australian temperate floras.. Proc Biol Sci, 287(1919), 20192546-20192553.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS18 Europe PMC2
    2020 Nge, F. J., Cambridge, M. L., Ellsworth, D. S., Zhong, H., & Lambers, H. (2020). Cluster roots are common in daviesia and allies (Mirbelioids; fabaceae). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 103, 111-118.
    Scopus11
    2019 Plachno, B. J., Stpiczynska, M., Swiatek, P., Lambers, H., Miranda, V. F. O., Nge, F. J., . . . Cawthray, G. R. (2019). Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae). Annals of botany, 123(1), 213-220.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS7 Europe PMC5
    2019 Nge, F. J., Ranathunge, K., Kotula, L., Cawthray, G., & Lambers, H. (2019). Strong host specificity of a root hemi-parasite (Santalum acuminatum) limits its local distribution: beggars can be choosers. Plant and Soil, 437(1-2), 159-177.
    DOI Scopus16 WoS11
    2019 Płachno, B. J., Stpiczyńska, M., Świątek, P., Lambers, H., Cawthray, G. R., Nge, F. J., . . . Miranda, V. F. O. (2019). Floral micromorphology and nectar composition of the early evolutionary lineage Utricularia (subgenus Polypompholyx, Lentibulariaceae). Protoplasma, 256(6), 1531-1543.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC6
    2018 Hammer, T. A., Macintyre, P. D., Nge, F. J., Davis, R. W., Mucina, L., & Thiele, K. R. (2018). The noble and the exalted: A multidisciplinary approach to resolving a taxonomic controversy within Ptilotus (Amaranthaceae). Australian Systematic Botany, 31(3), 262-280.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS5
    2018 Nge, F. J., & Lambers, H. (2018). Reassessing protocarnivory-how hungry are triggerplants?. Australian Journal of Botany, 66(4), 325-330.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3
    2017 Thiele, K. R., & Nge, F. J. (2017). Hibbertia sejuncta, a new, rare species from Western Australia, with notes on H. helianthemoides. Nuytsia, 28, 115-117.
    Scopus1
    2017 Nge, F. J., Keighery, G. J., & Thiele, K. R. (2017). A revision of the calytrix acutifolia complex (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). Nuytsia, 28(Volume 28, 26 Oct 2017), 321-337.
    DOI Scopus5
    - Nge, F. J., & Thiele, K. R. (n.d.). <i>Calytrix calingiri</i>, a new species from the <i>Calytrix acutifolia</i> species group (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). Nuytsia—The journal of the Western Australian Herbarium, 33(Volume 33, 17 Aug 2022), 251-261.
    DOI
    - Nge, F. J., & Thiele, K. R. (n.d.). <i>Hibbertia sejuncta</i>, a new, rare species from Western Australia, with notes on <i>H. helianthemoides</i>. Nuytsia—The journal of the Western Australian Herbarium, 28(Volume 28, 16 Mar 2017), 115-117.
    DOI
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2019 Nge, F. J. (2019). Triggerplant (Stylidium) Species Richness at the Proposed Yule Brook Regional Park. In H. Lambers (Ed.), A Jewel in the Crown of a Global Biodiversity Hotspot (pp. 249-260). Kwongan Foundation and the Naturalists' Club Inc.
    2019 Nge, F. J. (2019). New and rare species of Banksia (Proteaceae). In G. Zemunik (Ed.), Kwongan Matters Newsletter (Vol. 8, pp. 18-23). the University of Western Australia.
  • Preprint

    Year Citation
    2023 Tian, Q., Stull, G. W., Kellermann, J., Medan, D., Nge, F. J., Liu, S., . . . Yi, T. -S. (2023). Rapid<i>in</i>-<i>situ</i>diversification rates in Rhamnaceae explain the parallel evolution of high diversity in temperate biomes from global to local scales.
    DOI

Francis has been awarded more than $49,000 in funding through six different competitive student grants in assisting his PhD research. He has also received a number of awards, including a $1500 ABRS international travel grant, three poster prizes, and 3Minute Talk winner at UoA.

2021                                                                                                                              

  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Grant, Ecological Society of Australia ($6695)
  • Hansjörg Eichler Scientific Research Fund, Australasian Systematic Botany Society ($5000) on the systematics, evolution, and diversification of Isopogon-Petrophile (Proteaceae) and allies

2019                                                                                                                              

  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Grant, Ecological Society of Australia ($6570)
  • Lirabenda Endowment Fund Research Grant, Field Naturalists Society of South Australia ($2956)
  • Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) Student Travel Grant ($1500)

2018

  • Hansjörg Eichler Scientific Research Fund, Australasian Systematic Botany Society ($5000on species delimitation in Banksia (Proteaceae): revisiting the unified species concept                         
  • National Taxonomy Research Grant on Rhamnaceae, Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS); listed as primary PhD student involved in the project ($210,000)
  • Plant Systematics PhD Grant, South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources ($23,000)

Francis has six years of experience in teaching, having been involved in teaching undergraduate courses at two different universities, with a focus on plant systematics and evolution.

2021

Demonstrator in the Botany II course (ENV BIOL 2500) at the University of Adelaide.

2020

Demonstrator in the intensive Plant Identification course (ENV BIOL 2510) at the University of Adelaide.

2019   

Demonstrator in the Plant II course (ENV BIOL 2500) at the University of Adelaide.                                                                                                                                      

2018                                                                                                                                                            

Demonstrator in the Evolutionary Biology III course (ENV BIOL 3590) at the University of Adelaide.   

Demonstrator in the intensive Plant Identification course (ENV BIOL 2510) at the University of Adelaide.

2017

Demonstrator in the intensive Plant Identification course (ENV BIOL 2510) at the University of Adelaide.

2016

Demonstrator during the field trip of the 3rd year Plant Eco-physiology course (PLNT3301) at the University of Western Australia.

  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2021 - ongoing Member Ecological Society of Australia Australia
    2021 - ongoing Member Society of Systematic Biologists United States
    2021 - ongoing Member Society for the Study of Evolution United States
    2021 - ongoing Member Botanical Society of America United States
    2020 - ongoing Member The Systematics Association United Kingdom
    2019 - ongoing Member Biological Society of South Australia Australia
    2019 - ongoing Member School of Biological Sciences Postgraduate association Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Systematic Botany Society Australia

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