Doctor Paul Rymer

Paul Rymer

Growing up in the Blue Mountains, Dr Paul Rymer was inspired by nature and the capacity for plants to not only cope with major disasters (e.g. wildfires and drought), but thrive in their wake with an amazing diversity of forms and functions.

He went on to do a BSc majoring in Environmental Science at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury. His Honours research project, supervised by Charles Morris and Barry Richardson, investigated the reproductive biology and population genetics of a rare, Cumberland Plain plant, Dillwynia teniufolia (Fabaceae).

He graduated from a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Wollongong in December 2006 supervised by David Ayre, Rob Whelan, Peter Weston (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney) & Tony Auld (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service). Paul's thesis was titled: Plant rarity: species distributional patterns, population genetics, pollination biology and seed dispersal in Persoonia (Proteaceae).

After submitting his PhD thesis, he went to the UK for four years to obtain some postdoctoral experience in different research groups. At the University of Oxford, he investigated historical and recent population structure in neutral and coding genetic loci and mating patterns in fragmented landscapes for neotropical trees as a post-doctoral researcher on a large EU project (SEEDSOURCE).

He also worked with John Pannell at Oxford on Mercurialis annua (Euphorbiaceae) a sexually variable ruderal weed developing co-dominant SSR markers for this allohexaploid system. He also obtained a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship to work with Vincent Savolainen at RBG Kew & Imperial College London to explore the role of pollinators in the diversification of flowering plants in southern Africa, focusing on the Iridaceae plant family.

This research project had three broad levels of investigation (1) macroevolution of floral characters in the genus Sparaxis, (2) population differentiation (a) parapatric pollinator and habitat shifts in the Gladiolus carinatus species complex (b) Gladiolus longicollis allopatric floral divergence and reinforcement in zone of secondary contract, and (3) assortative mating among morphs: a paternity analysis in a natural hybrid zone.

He returned to Australia to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Section Evolutionary Ecology at The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney with three major lines of research:

  • Next Generation Sequencing of rainforest tree communities
  • Plastic and adaptive response to climatic gradients in NSW Waratahs' (Telopea; Proteaceae)
  • Coevolution of leaf fungi with Eucalyptus (sensu lato) and Proteaceae host plants.

He is currently a Research Lecturer in Environmental Genomics, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. Paul is also a Honorary Research Associate at The Botanic Gardens Trust.

Areas of Research / Teaching Expertise

Paul combines classical and novel ecological and molecular techniques to address outstanding questions in evolutionary ecology. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of organisms in natural populations, in particular plant-animal interactions, mating patterns, hybridisation and local adaptation, and how these factors drive and erode species diversity. His research is applied to understanding the origin of biodiversity hotspots, the evolution of invasiveness, and adaptation to climate change.

Fields Of Research

Ecology: Community Ecology, Population Ecology; Evolutionary Biology: Biogeography and Phylogeography; Biological Adaptations; Evolutionary Impacts of Climate Change, Speciation and Extinction
Genetics: Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics

Socio-Economic Objectives

Environment- Ecosystem adaptation to Climate Change; Ecosystem Control of Pests, diseases, and Exotic Species; Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity.

Grants / Current Projects

Conservation management of clonal and exceptional species, Persoonia hindii
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Department of Planning and Environment
Period: 2022-2024

Mitigating climate change in Western Sydney by maintaining green tree canopies
Co-Researchers: Mark Tjoelker and Renee Prokopavicius
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment [via Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC)]
Period: 2021-2022

Hawkesbury urban forest experiment
Co-Researcher: Mark Tjoelker
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment [via Hawkesbury City Council]
Period: 2021-2022

Determining the physiological underpinnings of eucalypt dieback in NSW
Co-Researchers: Matthias Boer, Belinda Medlyn, Sebastian Pfautsch, Rachael Nolan, Brendan Choat, David Tissue and Mark Tjoelker
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Environmental Trust
Period: 2021-2024

DPIE Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan - Research Strategy and Implementation
Co-Researchers: Uffe Nielsen, Matthias Boer, Rachael Nolan, Elise Pendall, Jeff Powell, Yolima Carrillo, Catriona Macdonald, Ben Moore, Markus Riegler, Neil Perry and Juan Salazar
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Period: 2021-2025

Bushfire Recovery: Endangered dry sclerophyll woodlands, Sydney basin bioregion
Co-Researchers: Elise Pendall, Matthias Boer and Yolima Carrillo.
Partner/Funding Body: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Period: 2020-2021

Eucalyptus camaldulensis GWAS
Partner/Funding Body: Australian National University
Period: 2019

Do hotter and drier regions harbour adaptive variation for climate change?Co-Researcher: David Tissue
Partner/Funding Body: Government of Western Australia Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions
Period: 2019

Adaptive capacity to climate change in rare woody plants: a comparative framework testing model predictions
Co-Researcher: Colin Ahrens
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2019-2021

Expert reports for strategic biodiversity assessment
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2018

Quantifying adaptive capacity to climate change through a multi-faceted approach: habitat suitability, functional traits, physiological tolerance and genetic adaptation
Co-Researchers: David Tissue, Brendan Choat and Belinda Medlyn
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2018-2021

Species distribution limits and local adaption in Acacia along an altitude gradient
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2017

A scientific basis for assisted gene migration under climate change
Co-Researcher: David Tissue
Partner/Funding Body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2017-2019

Which plant where, when and why database for growing urban green space
Co-Researchers: David Ellsworth, Sally Power, Mark Tjoelker and Ian Anderson
Partner/funding body: Horticulture Australia Innovation and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Period: 2016-2021

Healthy bee populations for sustainable pollination in horticulture
Co-Researchers: Ian Anderson, James Cook, Robert Spooner-Hart, Sally Power, Markus Riegler, Brajesh Singh and Catriona Macdonald
Partner/funding body: Horticulture Innovation Australia, Bayer Australia Limited, Syngenta Australia Pty Ltd
Period: 2016-2021

An assessment of root to shoot balance in tree stock for landscape planting in Australia
Co-Researchers: Mark Tjoelker, Sebastian Pfautsch, and Mike Aspinwall
Partner/Funding Body: Horticulture Innovation Australia
Period: 2015-2017

Identifying regions of high drought mortality risk for tree species in NSW
Co-Researchers: Belinda Medlyn, Linda Beaumont, David Tissue, Tony Auld, Brad Evans, Remko Duursma, and Mark Tjoelker
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council Linkage [via Macquarie University]
Period: 2015-2017

Moreton Bay Fig: Distribution of native genetic variation and threats from cultivation
Co-researchers: James Cook and Jane De Gabriel
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Flora Foundation
Period: 2014-2016

Experimental response of functional groups

Telopea Flower"Adaptive and plastic response to climate change: exploring intra-specific variation along environmental gradients"

Understanding the capacity of species in natural populations to respond to changing environmental conditions is of critical importance to conservation managers, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists. Plant functional groups are likely to respond differentially to the same environmental conditions – explaining distributional patterns – however the relative adaptive and plastic response is largely unknown.

This project will focus on Sydney sandstone species from coastal, lower mountains, and upland populations for several functional groups of natural ecosystems (trees, resprouting shrubs, obligate seeders, herbs, C3 and C4 grasses). A multifaceted approach combining ecological, physiological, and genomic experiments with niche modelling will be applied to predict the impact of climate change.Telopea Seedlings

Much work has been carried out on Telopea speciosissima (NSW Waratah).

Co-Researchers: David Tissue (University of Western Sydney), Maurizio Rossetto (Botanic Gardens Trust), David Keith (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service), David Freudenberger (Greening Australia)

Evolution of invasiveness

Comparative phylogenetic approach

Testing "Darwin's naturalization hypothesis" that introduced plant species are more likely to become invasive in the absence of closely related species in the native flora. This study focuses on Australian and New Zealand Senecio species (Asteraceae) where recent taxonomic (Thompson 2006) and phylogenetic (Pelser etal 2007) studies provide the framework for the development of a robust species-level phylogeny. Stages of the invasion, time since introduction, spatial scales, and ecological traits will be investigated to obtain an understanding of the conditions for introduced species to become invasive.

Co-Researcher: Pieter Pelser (Canterbury University), Elisabeth Brown (Botanic Gardens Trust)

Experimental transcriptomic approach

Introduced species are a major threat to global biodiversity. They also represent an excellent experimental system for studying the response to novel environments and evolution in action. We will address the following fundamental evolutionary questions:

  • Are there common genomic processes involved in invasion?
  • What is the source of genetic variation for adaptive traits?
  • What is the role of phenotypic plasticity and trait adaptation?

Our innovative approach combines ecological and physiological experiments with population transcriptomics, utilising next-generation sequencing, to understand evolutionary processes. It will determine the source of invasiveness genes associated with the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and adaptive divergence.

Senecio Madagascariensis Field

This work focuses large on Senecio madagascariensis (Fire Weed).

Co-Researchers: Peter Prentis (Queensland University of Technology), Stephen Bonser (University of New South Wales)

Diversification of flowering plants

Mediterranean biodiversity hotspots

Species are not distributed evenly across the globe – creating areas with high and low diversity – as seen in the reduction in species diversity from the tropics to the poles. Mediterranean biodiversity hotspots buck this trend, indicating other processes are in play. The Western Cape of South Africa and South Western Australian represent excellent comparative systems with similar evolutionary histories, climates, geography and high levels of plant diversity. Using a combination of phylogenetic and population genetic approaches this project aims to determine the drivers of this amazing diversity.Sparaxis Elegans

My work in the Western cape explored diversification in the Iridaceae.

Co-Researchers: Vincent Savolainen (Kew & ICL), John Manning (South African National Biodiversity Institute), Peter Goldblatt (Missouri Botanic Gardens), Peter Weston (Botanic Gardens Trust), Marcel Cardillo (Australian National University)

Geographic mosaic of coevolution

Species occurring in the same geographic and environmental conditions will tend to converge on the similar optimal phenotypes given stable conditions and enough time. This line of research aims at understanding the convergence of traits in disparate lineages and the role plant interactions play. Case studies under investigation (i) hawkmoth pollination in sub-Saharan Africa (ii) Geographic floral colour convergence in the Iridaceae (iii) leaf spot fungi with Eucalyptus and Proteaceae hosts. A array of approaches are being applied – from spatial modelling, ecological experiments, population genetics to phylogenetic analyses – to gain an understanding of the mechanisms involved in genetic and trait convergence.Gladiolus longicollis

Hawkmoth pollination provides a direct association of traits with fitness.

Co-Researchers: Stephen Johnson (University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal), Bruce Anderson (Stellenbosch University), Ian Kitching (Nature History Museum, London), Brett Summerell (Botanic Gardens Trust)

Selected Publications

Ahrens CW, Rymer PD, Tissue DT, (2021) 'Intra‐specific trait variation remains hidden in the environment', New Phytologist, vol.229, no.3, pp 1183-1185

Andres SE, Powell JR, Emery NC, Rymer PD, Gallagher RV, (2021) 'Does threatened species listing status predict climate change risk? A case study with Australian Persoonia (Proteaceae) species', Global Ecology and Conservation, vol.31, Article no.e01862

Esperon-Rodriguez M, Power SA, Tjoelker MG, Marchin RM, Rymer PD, (2021) 'Contrasting heat tolerance of urban trees to extreme temperatures during heatwaves', Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, vol.66, Article no.127387

Falster DS, Gallagher RV, Wenk E, Wright IJ, Indiarto D, Andrew SC, Baxter C, Lawson J, Allen S, Fuchs A, Monro A, Kar F, Adams MA, Ahrens CW, Alfonzetti M, Angevin T, Apgaua DMG, Arndt A, Atkin OK, Atkinson J, Auld TD, Baker A, von Balthazar M, Bean A, Blackman CJ, Bloomfield K, Bowman DMJS, Bragg J, Brodribb TJ, Buckton G, Burrows G, Caldwell E, Camac J, Carpenter R, Catford JA, Cawthray GR, Cernusak LA, Chandler G, Chapman AR, Cheal D, Cheesman AW, Chen S-C, Choat B, Clinton B, Clode PL, Coleman H, Cornwell WK, Cosgrove M, Crisp M, Cross E, Crous KY, Cunningham S, Curran T, Curtis E, Daws MI, DeGabriel JL, Denton MD, Dong N, Du P, Duan H, Duncan DH, Duncan RP, Duretto M, Dwyer JM, Edwards C, Esperon-Rodriguez M, Evans JR, Everingham SE, Farrell C, Firn J, Fonseca CR, French BJ, Frood D, Funk JL, Geange SR, Ghannoum O, Gleason SM, Gosper CR, Gray E, Groom PK, Grootemaat S, Gross C, Guerin G, Guja L, Hahs AK, Harrison MT, Hayes PE, Henery M, Hochuli D, Howell J, Huang G, Hughes L, Huisman J, Ilic J, Jagdish A, Jin D, Jordan G, Jurado E, Kanowski J, Kasel S, Kellermann J, Kenny B, Kohout M, Kooyman RM, Kotowska MM, Lai HR, Laliberté E, Lambers H, Lamont BB, Lanfear R, van Langevelde F, Laughlin DC, Laugier-Kitchener B-A, Laurance S, Lehmann CER, Leigh A, Leishman MR, Lenz T, Lepschi B, Lewis JD, Lim F, Liu U, Lord J, Lusk CH, Macinnis-Ng C, McPherson H, Magallón S, Manea A, López-Martinez A, Mayfield M, McCarthy JK, Meers T, van der Merwe M, Metcalfe DJ, Milberg P, Mokany K, Moles AT, Moore BD, Moore N, Morgan JW, Morris W, Muir A, Munroe S, Nicholson A, Nicolle D, Nicotra AB, Niinemets Ü, North T, O’Reilly-Nugent A, O’Sullivan OS, Oberle B, Onoda Y, Ooi MKJ, Osborne CP, Paczkowska G, Pekin B, Guilherme Pereira C, Pickering C, Pickup M, Pollock LJ, Poot P, Powell JR, Power SA, Prentice IC, Prior L, Prober SM, Read J, Reynolds V, Richards AE, Richardson B, Roderick ML, Rosell JA, Rossetto M, Rye B, Rymer PD, Sams MA, Sanson G, Sauquet H, Schmidt S, Schönenberger J, Schulze E-D, Sendall K, Sinclair S, Smith B, Smith R, Soper F, Sparrow B, Standish RJ, Staples TL, Stephens R, Szota C, Taseski G, Tasker E, Thomas F, Tissue DT, Tjoelker MG, Tng DYP, de Tombeur F, Tomlinson K, Turner NC, Veneklaas EJ, Venn S, Vesk P, VlasveldC , Vorontsova MS, Warren CA, Warwick N, Weerasinghe LK, Wells J, Westoby M, White M, Williams NSG, Wills J, Wilson PG, Yates C, Zanne AE, Zemunik G, Ziemińska K, (2021) 'AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora', Scientific Data, vol.8, no.1, Article no.254

Flores‐Rentería L, Rymer PD, Ramadoss N, Riegler M (2021), ‘Major biogeographic barriers in eastern Australia have shaped the population structure of widely distributed Eucalyptus moluccana and its putative subspecies’, Ecology and Evolution, vol.11, no.21, pp 14828-14842

Oyanoghafo OO, O'Brien C, Choat B, Tissue D, Rymer PD, (2021) 'Vulnerability to xylem cavitation of Hakea species (Proteaceae) from a range of biomes and life histories predicted by climatic niche', Annals of Botany, vol.127, no.7, pp 909 - 918

Ahrens CW, James EA, Miller AD, Scott F, Aitken NC, Jones AW, Lu-Irving P, Borevitz JO, Cantrill DJ, Rymer PD, (2020) 'Spatial, climate and ploidy factors drive genomic diversity and resilience in the widespread grass Themeda triandra', Molecular Ecology, vol.29, no.20, pp 3872-3888

Asao S, Hayes L, Aspinwall MJ, Rymer PD, Blackman C, Bryant CJ, Cullerne D, Egerton JJG, Fan YZ, Innes P, Millar AH, Tucker J, Shah S, Wright IJ, Yvon-Durocher G, (2020) 'Leaf trait variation is similar among genotypes of Eucalyptus camaldulensis from differing climates and arises in plastic responses to the seasons rather than water availability', New Phytologist, vol.27, no.3, pp 780-793

Esperon-Rodriguez M, Rymer PD, Power SA, Challis A, Marchin RM, Tjoelker MG, (2020) 'Functional adaptations and trait plasticity of urban trees along a climatic gradient', Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, vol.54, Article no.126771

Jiang M, Medlyn BE, Drake JE, Duursma RA, Anderson IC, Barton CVM, Boer MM, Carrillo Y, Castaneda-Gomez L, Collins L, Crous KY, De Kauwe MG, dos Santos BM, Emmerson KM, Facey SL, Gherlenda AN, Gimeno TE, Hasegawa S, Johnson SN, Kannaste A, Macdonald CA, Mahmud K, Moore BD, Nazaries L, Neilson EHJ, Nielsen UN, Niinemets U, Noh NJ, Ochoa-Hueso R, Pathare VS, Pendall E, Pihlblad J, Pineiro J, Powell JR, Power SA, Reich PB, Renchon AA, Riegler M, Rinnan R, Rymer PD, Salomon RL, Singh BK, Smith B, Tjoelker MG, Walker JKM, Wujeska-Klause A, Yang JY, Zaehle S, Ellsworth DS, (2020) 'The fate of carbon in a mature forest under carbon dioxide enrichment', Nature, vol.580, no.7802, pp 227-231

Tierney DA, Ahrens C, Rymer P, Auld TD, (2020) 'The interaction of clonality, breeding system and genomics for a highly threatened plant species and the management implications', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol.29, no.s 9-10, pp 3009-3029

Ahrens CW, Byrne M, Rymer PD, (2019) 'Standing genomic variation within coding and regulatory regions contributes to the adaptive capacity to climate in a foundation tree species', Molecular Ecology, vol.28, no.10, pp 2502-2516

Ahrens CW, Mazanec RA, Paap T, Ruthrof KX, Challis A, Hardy G, Byrne M, Tissue DT, Rymer PD, (2019) 'Adaptive variation for growth and resistance to a novel pathogen along climatic gradients in a foundation tree', Evolutionary Applications, vol.12, no.6, pp 1178-1190

Aspinwall MJ, Pfautsch S, Tjoelker MG, Varhammar A, Possell M, Drake JE, Reich PB, Tissue DT, Atkin OK, Rymer PD, Dennison S, Van Sluyter SC, (2019) 'Range size and growth temperature influence Eucalyptus species responses to an experimental heatwave', Global Change Biology, vol.25, no.5, pp 1665-1684

Blackman CJ, Li XM, Choat B, Rymer PD, De Kauwe MG, Duursma RA, Tissue DT, Medlyn BE, (2019) 'Desiccation time during drought is highly predictable across species of Eucalyptus from contrasting climates', New Phytologist, vol.224, no.2, pp 632-643

Hoffmann AA, Rymer PD, Byrne M, Ruthrof KX, Whinam J, McGeoch M, Bergstrom DM, Guerin GR, Sparrow B, Joseph L, Hill SJ, Andrew NR, Camac J, Bell N, Riegler M, Gardner JL, Williams SE, (2019) 'Impacts of recent climate change on terrestrial flora and fauna: Some emerging Australian examples', Austral Ecology, vol.44, no.1, pp 3-27

Li XM, Blackman CJ, Choat B, Rymer PD, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2019) 'Drought tolerance traits do not vary across sites differing in water availability in Banksia serrata (Proteaceae)', Functional Plant Biology, vol.46, no.7, pp 624-633

Li XM, Blackman CJ, Peters JMR, Choat B, Rymer PD, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2019) 'More than iso/anisohydry: Hydroscapes integrate plant water use and drought tolerance traits in 10 eucalypt species from contrasting climates', Functional Ecology, vol.33, no.6, pp 1035-1049

Ahrens CW, Rymer PD, Stow A, Bragg J, Dillon S, Umbers KDL, Dudaniec RY, (2018) 'The search for loci under selection: trends, biases and progress', Molecular Ecology, vol.27, no.6, pp 1342-1356

Aspinwall MJ, Blackman CJ, de Dios VR, Busch FA, Rymer PD, Loik ME, Drake JE, Pfautsch S, Smith RA, Tjoelker MG, Tissue DT, (2018) 'Photosynthesis and carbon allocation are both important predictors of genotype productivity responses to elevated CO2 in Eucalyptus camaldulensis', Tree physiology, vol.38, no.9, pp 1286-1301

Fromont C, Rymer PD, Riegler M, Cook JM, (2018) 'An ancient and a recent colonization of islands by an Australian sap-feeding insect', Journal of Biogeography, vol.45, no.10, pp 2389-2399

Hasegawa S, Pineiro J, Ochoa-Hueso R, Haigh AM, Rymer PD, Barnett KL, Power SA, (2018) 'Elevated CO2 concentrations reduce C-4 cover and decrease diversity of understorey plant community in a Eucalyptus woodland', Journal of Ecology, vol.106, no.4, pp 1483-1494

Li XM, Blackman CJ, Choat B, Duursma RA, Rymer PD, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2018) 'Tree hydraulic traits are coordinated and strongly linked to climate-of-origin across a rainfall gradient', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.41, no.3, pp 646-660

Li XM, Blackman CJ, Rymer PD, Quintans D, Duursma RA, Choat B, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2018) 'Xylem embolism measured retrospectively is linked to canopy dieback in natural populations of Eucalyptus piperita following drought', Tree Physiology, vol.38, no.8, pp 1193-1199

Aspinwall MJ, Varhammar A, Blackman CJ, Tjoelker MG, Ahrens C, Byrne M, Tissue DT, Rymer PD, (2017) 'Adaptation and acclimation both influence photosynthetic and respiratory temperature responses in Corymbia calophylla', Tree Physiology, vol.37, no.8, pp 1095-1112

Blackman CJ, Aspinwall MJ, Tissue DT, Rymer PD, (2017) 'Genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to greater leaf hydraulic tolerance in response to drought in warmer climates', Tree Physiology, vol.37, no.5, pp 583-592

Caddy-Retalic S, Andersen AN, Aspinwall MJ, Breed MF, Byrne M, Christmas MJ, Dong N, Evans BJ, Fordham DA, Guerin GR, Hoffmann AA, Hughes AC, van Leeuwen SJ, McInerney FA, Prober SM, Rossetto M, Rymer PD, Steane DA, Wardle GM, Lowe AJ, (2017) 'Bioclimatic transect networks: Powerful observatories of ecological change', Ecology and Evolution, vol.7, no.13, pp 4607-4619

Flores-Rentería L, Rymer PD, Riegler M, (2017) 'Unpacking boxes: Integration of molecular, morphological and ecological approaches reveals extensive patterns of reticulate evolution in box eucalypts', Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, vol.108, pp 70-87

Drake JE, Aspinwall MJ, Pfautsch S, Rymer PD, Reich PB, Smith RA, Crous KY, Tissue DT, Ghannoum O, Tjoelker MG, (2015) 'The capacity to cope with climate warming declines from temperate to tropical latitudes in two widely distributed Eucalyptus species', Global Change Biology, vol.21, no.1, pp 459-472

Huang G, Rymer PD, Duan H, Smith RA, Tissue DT, (2015) 'Elevated temperature is more effective than elevated [CO2] in exposing genotypic variation in Telopea speciosissima growth plasticity: Implications for woody plant populations under climate change', Global Change Biology, vol.21, no.10, pp 3800-3813

Rymer PD, Sandiford M, Harris SA, Billingham MR, Boshier DH, (2015) 'Remnant Pachira quinata pasture trees have greater opportunities to self and suffer reduced reproductive success due to inbreeding depression', Heredity, vol.115, no.2, pp 115-124, SI

Rymer PD, Harris S, Boshier D, (2014) 'Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for the neotropical tree, Pachira quinata (Malvaceae)', Conservation Genetics Resources, vol.6, no.2, pp 375-382

McPherson H, van der Merwe M, Delaney SK, Edwards MA, Henry RJ, McIntosh E, Rymer PD, Milner ML, Siow J, Rossetto M, (2013) 'Capturing chloroplast variation for molecular ecology studies: a simple next generation sequencing approach applied to a rainforest tree', BMC Ecology, vol.13, article no.8

Rymer PD, Dick CW, Vendramin GG, Buonamici A, Boshier D, (2013) 'Recent phylogeographic structure in a widespread 'weedy' Neotropical tree species, Cordia alliodora (Boraginaceae)', Journal of Biogeography, vol.40, no.4, pp 693-706

Rymer PD, Manning JC, Goldblatt P, Powell MP, Savolainen V, (2010) 'Evidence of recent and continuous speciation in a biodiversity  hotspot: a population genetic approach in southern African gladioli (Gladiolus; Iridaceae)', Molecular Ecology, vol.19, no.21, pp 4765–4782 * Perspectives article by Peter Linder

Rymer PD, Johnson SD, Savolainen V, (2010) 'Pollinator behaviour and plant speciation: can assortative mating and disruptive selection maintain distinct floral morphs in sympatry?', New Phytologist, vol.188, no.2, pp 303–306 * Special issue 'Pollinator-Mediated Selection'

Audigeos D, Buonamici A, Belkadi L, Rymer PD, Boshier D, Scotti-Saintagne C, Vendramin GG, Scotti I, (2010) 'Aquaporins in the wild: natural genetic diversity and selective pressure in the PIP gene family in five Neotropical tree species', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol.10, article.202

Korbecka G*, Rymer PD*, Harris SA, Pannell JR, (2010) 'Solving the problem of ambiguous paralogy for marker loci: microsatellite markers with diploid inheritance in allohexaploid Mercurialis annua (Euphorbiaceae)', Journal of Heredity, vol.101, no.4, pp 504-511 * Equal contribution.

Yakimowski SB, Rymer PD, Stone H, Dorken ME, Barrett SCH, (2009) 'Isolation and characterization of 11 microsatellite markers from Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae)', Molecular Ecology Resources, vol.9, no.2, pp 579-581

Mcpherson H, Porter C, Rymer PD, Crayn DM, Rossetto M, (2008) 'Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci from Tetratheca ericifolia (Elaeocarpaceae)', Molecular Ecology Resources, vol.8, no.4, pp 867-869

Rossetto M, Crayn D, Ford A, Ridgeway P, Rymer PD, (2007) 'The comparative study of range-wide genetic structure across related, co-distributed rainforest trees reveals contrasting evolutionary histories', Australian Journal of Botany, vol.55, no.4, pp 416-424

Porter C, Rymer PD, Rossetto M, (2006) 'Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for the waratah, Telopea speciosissima (Proteaceae)', Molecular Ecology Notes, vol.6, no.2, pp 446-448

Rymer PD, Ayre DJ, (2006) 'Does genetic diversity and gene flow vary with rarity in obligate seeding Persoonias (Proteaceae)?', Conservation Genetics, vol.7, no.6, pp 919-930

Rymer PD, (2006) 'Are seed dispersal and predation in fire-sensitive shrubs associated with rarity?', International Journal of Plant Sciences, vol.167, no.6, pp 1151-1160

Rymer PD, Whelan RJ, Ayre DJ, Weston PH, Russell KG, (2005) 'Reproductive success and pollinator effectiveness differ in common and rare Persoonia species (Proteaceae)', Biological Conservation, vol.123, no.4, pp 521-532

Rymer PD, Morris EC, Richardson BJ, (2002) 'Breeding system and population genetics of the vulnerable plant Dillwynia tenuifolia (Fabaceae)', Austral Ecology, vol.27, no.3, pp 241-248

Student Supervision

Honours and PhD research projects are available for qualified and enthusiastic students. Feel free to approach me if you are interested in pursuing research in any of the areas listed above. Post-doctoral research candidates are invited to contact me with regard to potential research projects.

Contact Details

»Telephone: (02) 4570 1094     
»E-mail :

Eucalyptus Leaf