Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Biodiversity and Plant Systematics

Dr. Nicolai Nürk

Nicolai moved few weeks ago to Bayreuth University (oct. 2016)

Dr. Nicolai Nürk
Dr. Nicolai Nürk
Im Neuenheimer Feld 345
69120 Heidelberg
Fon +49 6221 54-4683
Fax +49 6221 54-5508
nicolai.nuerk AET



2012   Postdoc, Biodiversity & Plant Systematics, University of Heidelberg
2011   PhD, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research (IPK) Gatersleben
2007   Diploma Biology, FU Berlin
cv pdf
"I think" first evolutionary tree by Charles Darwin, in: red transmutational notebook B, 1936
Research Interests

My research focuses on plant systematics and diversity; the multitude of forms and functions which evolved on earth. I’m particularly interested in the unevenness of species richness and the extent to which diversity varies between biomes. As such, I use the Hypericum genus as a model to study biodiversity hotspots and the evolutionary dynamics of species diversification in South American high Andean cloud grasslands.




• Andean HYPEVOL | Evolution of Hypericum in South America (DFG)

• Phylogenomics and a clade-based classification of Hypericum

• Flower & Seed morphology in Hypericum (Bachelor or Master thesis available)

• Hypericum online (explore)




Plants Are Cool, Too: Fossilized Forests!

Travels in the Great Tree of Life (Yale University)




Nürk NM, Uribe-Convers S, Gehrke B, Tank DC & Blattner FR (2015). Oligocene niche shift, Miocene diversification – Cold tolerance and accelerated speciation rates in the St. John’s Worts (Hypericum, Hypericaceae). BMC Evol Biol  15:80, doi: 10.1186/s12862-015-0359-4 (link)

Nürk NM, Scheriau C & Madriñán S (2013). Explosive radiation in high Andean Hypericum – Rates of diversification among New World lineages. Front Genet 4:175, doi: 10.3389/fgene.2013.00175 (link)

Nürk NM, Madriñán S, Carine MA, Chase MW & Blattner FR (2013). Molecular phylogenetics and morphological evolution of St. John's wort (Hypericum; Hypericaceae). Mol Phyl Evol 66(1): 1–16 (linkpdf)

Nürk NM & Crockett SL (2011). Morphological and phytochemical diversity among Hypericum species of the Mediterranean basin. Medicinal Aromatic Plant Sci Biotech 5 (specially issue 1): 14–28 (linkpdf)

Nürk NM & Blattner FR (2010). Cladistic analysis of morphological characters in Hypericum (Hypericaceae). Taxon 59(5): 1495–1507 (linkpdf)

Weigend M, Gottschling M, Hilger HH & Nürk NM (2010). Five new species of Lithospermum L. (Boraginaceae tribe Lithospermeae) in Andean South America: Another radiation in the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone. Taxon 59(4): 1161–1179 (link, pdf)


Diversity within Hypericum (St. John's wort), (C) by Nicolai M. Nürk & Berit Gehrke


Other publications

Nürk NM (2011). Phylogenetic analyses in St. John’s wort (Hypericum) – Inferring character evolution and historical biogeography. Ph.D. Thesis. FU Berlin, Berlin (pdf)

Nürk NM (2011). Johanniskraut – von seiner Wirkung zum Namen und zur Botanik. Sommerausgabe Aromareport: Johanniskraut. Aromareport, 5, 8–10 (pdf)

Nürk NM (2010). Das Doktorandenprogram. IPK Jahresbericht 2010, 194–195 (pdf)



A note on links and pdfs

For some of the papers above, you will see both a link to the paper on the journals homepage and a pdf file hosted somewhere else. If you have institutional access to the journal in question, please try the "link" first; only download the pdf if that doesn't work. Journals are starting to use web hits as an index of scientific impact, so using these links helps us all.


/var/www/cos/ / Dr. Nicolai Nürk _e