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Professor Toby Pennington

Professor Toby Pennington

Professor of Tropical Plant Diversity and Biogeography

 3342

 Laver Building 801b

 

Laver Building, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter, EX4 4QE, UK

 Office hours:

Tuesday 22nd October 13:00-14:00

Thursday 24th October 11:00-12:00

 

Overview

**Please visit my personal webpage which give more details of research projects”

I am a Professor of Physical Geography with specialisms in tropical plant diversity and biogeography. My research and teaching interests are broad, ranging from plant biogeography to palaeoecology to conservation. My background is in the tropics, especially Latin America, where I have worked for more than 20 years across 10 countries. In recent years most of my research has focused on biodiversity, biogeography and ecology of dry biomes in the tropics. Much of my work has had clear implications for conservation and livelihoods, and this continues in new projects with focus on agroforestry and ecosystem restoration in some of the world’s most threatened tropical forests.

I have recently (September 2017) joined the University of Exeter from The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where I was Head of Tropical Diversity, responsible for a group of 30 including PhD students, associate researchers and eight core-funded PhD level scientific staff.

Broad research specialisms:

Plant biogeography, plant taxonomy and floristic inventory, phylogenetics, conservation

Qualifications

BA Botany (Oxford)
DPhil Botany (Oxford)

Research

Research interests

My research has aimed to address one of the fundamental questions of tropical biology – how and when did the huge species numbers in the tropics arise? It is grounded in fundamental descriptive taxonomic, inventory and phylogenetic research, which provides the foundation to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions.

Principal areas of recent research include:

Floristic inventory and conservation of neotropical dry forests
Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) occur as fragments throughout Latin America. They are the world's most threatened tropical forest but receive far less scientific and conservation attention than rain forests. I developed and lead the DRYFLOR network that now brings together more than 70 workers in SDTF floristics and conservation from across Latin America and the Caribbean. DRYFLOR has developed the first comprehensive dataset of the flora of neotropical SDTF across their full range. DRYFLOR’s data are freely available online (www.dryflor.info) and they help to pinpoint priority conservation areas.

Biogeography and Phylogeny
My research has focused on legumes, the third largest flowering plant family, which has a global distribution and enormous economic importance (e.g., peas, beans, lentils, soy). I have taken a leading role in the Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG) that aims to develop collaborative research towards a comprehensive phylogeny and classification for legumes. Because legume trees dominate the tropical forests and savannas of Africa and the New World, they are an excellent exemplar to investigate key questions of tropical biogeography and diversification. Recent research has demonstrated that historical dispersal, even across major oceans, is a driving force shaping tropical plant distributions and is a key factor controlling the assembly of the world’s richest tree communities in Amazonia. Another theme has been to investigate whether the distinct ecologies of different major vegetation formations (biomes) lead to distinct patterns of biogeography and evolution over evolutionary timescales.

Other phylogenetic research addresses how plant defences against herbivores have evolved and how have they influenced species radiations in the tropics. This collaboration with University of Utah, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Edinburgh has offered an excellent opportunity to develop expertise in the application of next-generation DNA sequencing to front-line tropical biodiversity problems, and we published one of the first papers on the hybrid-capture technique in plant phylogenetics.

Research projects

An overarching goal is to develop leadership in monitoring of biodiversity, carbon stored in forests, tree growth, and tree mortality in Latin America beyond rain forests and into tropical dry forests. This work is supported by UK (NERC)-Brazil Newton funding and forms a platform for ecological, biogeographic and evolutionary research.

Other research aims to address the challenges of conserving and restoring tropical vegetation in a manner that considers the livelihoods of local populations. One project in this area focuses on the legume tree genus Inga, which has fast growth rates, edible fruits and the ability to fix nitrogen, and so has excellent properties for agroforestry systems. This work will be supported by a recently awarded BBSRC GCRF grant, taking advantage of hybrid-capture phylogenetic techniques to pinpoint species with high potential in agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems. Ultimately, the work aims to enhance emerging agrosystems which integrate sustainable food production with maintenance of ecosystem services, soil fertility and biodiversity across Latin America.

Grants/Funding:

Major grants

£600,000 BBSRC (Global Challenges Research Fund): “Improving agroforestry and silvopastoral systems in Latin America by maximising species and genetic diversity of the multipurpose legume Inga” (PI; 2017).

£2,000,000 UK (RCUK) – Brazil (CONFAP-FAPESP) Newton Fund: “Nordeste: new science for a neglected biome” (co-I; 2016)

£80,760 UK (RCUK) - Brazil (CONFAP) Newton Fund: “Dry forest biomes in Brazil: biodiversity and ecosystem services” (PI; 2015)

£125,000 Leverhulme Trust International Network: “A Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network (DRYFLOR)” (PI; 2012)                                                                          

£589,090 NERC: “Niche evolution of South American trees and its consequences” (PI; 2011)

US$1,999,882 NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity: “Dimensions: Coexistence, herbivore host choice, and plant-herbivore evolution in the recently radiated and speciose Neotropical tree genus, Inga” (PIs Phyllis Coley, Thomas Kursar, University of Utah; funding for 4 years postdoc for Inga/herbivore phylogenetics and Inga functional genomics in Edinburgh; 2011)

£25,000 BBSRC/NERC SynTax: “Chemistry, taxonomy and diversification in tropical plants: a case study of Inga” (PI; 2011)

£78,000 UK Government Darwin Initiative: “Tree diversity, agroforestry development and reafforestation in the Peruvian Andes” (PI; 2004)

£86,000 (191,000 Swiss Francs) Swiss National Science Foundation “South American seasonally dry tropical forests: are they current refugia or the result of long distance dispersal?” (co-PI; 2003)

£166,000 UK Darwin Initiative: “Tree Diversity and Agroforestry Development in the Peruvian Amazon” (PI; 2000)

£100,000 Leverhulme Trust: “Historical Biogeography of South American Seasonal Forests” (PI; 1998)

£125,000 SEERAD Flexible Fund: “Molecular Systematics of the Economically Important Neotropical Legume Genus Inga” (co-PI; 1998)

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Pennington T, Griffith DM, Lehmann CER, Stromberg CER, Parr CL, Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Still CJ, Powell RL, Hanan NP, et al (In Press). Comment on “The extent of forest in dryland biomes” Griffith, D.M. Lehmann, C.E.R. Strömberg, C.A.E. Parr, C.L. PENNINGTON, R.T. Sankaran, M. Ratnam, J. Still, C.J. Powell, R.L. Hanan, N.P. Nippert, J.B. Osborne, C.P. Good, S.P. Anderson, M. Holdo, R.M. Veldman, J.W. Durigan, G. Tomlinson, K.W. Hoffmann, W.A. Archibald, S. Bond, W.J. Science
Françoso R, Dexter KG, Machado RB, Pennington T, Pinto JRR, Brandao RA, Ratter JA (In Press). Delimiting floristic biogeographic districts in the Cerrado and assessing their conservation status. Biodiversity and Conservation Full text.
Honorio Coronado EN, Dexter KG, Hart ML, Phillips OL, Pennington RT (2019). Comparative phylogeography of five widespread tree species: Insights into the history of western Amazonia. Ecology and Evolution, 9(12), 7333-7345. Abstract.  Full text.
Coley PD, Endara M-J, Ghabash G, Kidner CA, Nicholls JA, Pennington T, Mills AG, Soule AJ, Stone GN, Lemes MR, et al (2019). Macroevolutionary patterns in overexpression of tyrosine: an anti‐herbivore defence in a speciose tropical tree genus, Inga (Fabaceae). Journal of Ecology Full text.
da Cruz DT, Idarraga A, Banda K, Cogollo A, van den Berg C, de Queiroz L, Pennington T, Lavin M, Cardoso D (2018). Ancient speciation of the papilionoid legume Luetzelburgia jacana, a newly discovered species in an inter-Andean seasonally dry valley of Colombia. Taxon Full text.
Pennington T, de Lima HC, Inches F, Watherston N (2018). Andira anthelmia. Curtis Botanical Magazine, 35, 125-133. Full text.
Endara M-J, Coley PD, Wiggins NL, Forrister DL, Younkin GC, Nicholls JA, Pennington RT, Dexter KG, Kidner CA, Stone GN, et al (2018). Chemocoding as an identification tool where morphological- and DNA-based methods fall short: Inga. as a case study. New Phytologist, 218(2), 847-858. Full text.
Lavin M, Pennington T, Hughes CE, Lewis GP, Delgado-Salinas A, Duno de Stefano R, de Queiroz LP, Cardoso D, Wojciechowski MF (2018). DNA Sequence Variation among Conspecific Accessions of the Legume Coursetia caribaea Reveals Geographically Localized Clades Here Ranked as Species. Systematic Botany, 43, 664-675. Full text.
Dexter KG, Pennington T, Oliveira-Filho AT, Bueno ML, Silva de Miranda PL, Neves D (2018). Inserting Tropical Dry Forests into the Discussion on Biome Transitions in the Tropics. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Gomes VHF, IJff SD, Raes N, Amaral IL, Salomão RP, de Souza Coelho L, de Almeida Matos FD, Castilho CV, de Andrade Lima Filho D, López DC, et al (2018). Species Distribution Modelling: Contrasting presence-only models with plot abundance data. Sci Rep, 8(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Nazre M, Newman MF, Pennington T, Middleton D (2018). Taxonomic Revision of Garcinia Section Garcinia (Clusiaceae). Phytotaxa Full text.
Bueno ML, Dexter KG, Pennington RT, Pontara V, Neves DM, Ratter JA, de Oliveira-Filho AT (2018). The environmental triangle of the Cerrado Domain: Ecological factors driving shifts in tree species composition between forests and savannas. Journal of Ecology, 106(5), 2109-2120. Full text.
Endara M-J, Nicholls J, Coley PD, Forrister DL, Younkin GC, Dexter KG, Kidner CA, Pennington T, Stone G, Kursar TA, et al (2018). Tracking of host defenses and phylogeny during the radiation of neotropical Inga-feeding sawflies. Frontiers in Plant Science Full text.
Pennington RT, Lehmann CER, Rowland LM (2018). Tropical savannas and dry forests. Current Biology, 28(9), R541-R545. Abstract.  Full text.
Silva de Miranda P, Oliveira Filho A, Pennington T, Neves D, Baker T, Dexter KG (2018). Using tree species inventories to map biomes and assess their climatic overlaps in lowland tropical South America. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27, 899-912. Full text.
Pennington RT, Quintana C, Ulloa Ulloa C, Balslev H (2017). BIOGEOGRAPHIC BARRIERS IN THE ANDES: IS THE AMOTAPE – HUANCABAMBA ZONE a DISPERSAL BARRIER FOR DRY FOREST PLANTS?. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 102, 542-550. Full text.
Endara M-J, Coley PD, Ghabash G, Nicholls JA, Dexter KG, Donoso DA, Stone GN, Pennington RT, Kursar TA (2017). Coevolutionary arms race versus host defense chase in a tropical herbivore–plant system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(36), E7499-E7505. Full text.
Griffith DM, Lehmann CER, Stromberg CAE, Parr CL, Pennington T, Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Still CJ, Powell RL, Hanan NP, et al (2017). Comment on “The extent of forest in dryland biomes”. Science Full text.
Dexter KG, Lavin M, Torke BM, Twyford AD, Kursar TA, Coley PD, Drake C, Hollands R, Pennington RT (2017). Dispersal assembly of rain forest tree communities across the Amazon basin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(10), 2645-2650. Full text.
Toby Pennington R, Lavin M (2017). Dispersal, isolation and diversification with continued gene flow in an Andean tropical dry forest. Mol Ecol, 26(13), 3327-3329. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
DRYFLOR, Pennington RT, Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Linares-Palomino R, Olivera-Filho A, Prado D, Quintana C, Riina R, et al (2017). Forest conservation: Humans' handprints—Response. Science, 355(6324), 467-467. Full text.
DRYFLOR, Pennington RT, Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Galetti L, Linares-Palomino R, Maturo HM, Mogni V, Oakley L, et al (2017). Forest conservation: Remember Gran Chaco—Response. Science, 355(6324), 465.2-466. Full text.
Gómez-Gutiérrez MC, Pennington RT, Neaves LE, Milne RI, Madriñán S, Richardson JE (2017). Genetic diversity in the Andes: variation within and between the South American species of Oreobolus R. Br. (Cyperaceae). Alpine Botany, 127(2), 155-170. Full text.
Baker TR, Pennington RT, Dexter KG, Fine PVA, Fortune-Hopkins H, Honorio EN, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco I, Klitgård BB, Lewis GP, de Lima HC, et al (2017). Maximising Synergy among Tropical Plant Systematists, Ecologists, and Evolutionary Biologists. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32(4), 258-267. Full text.
Heckenhauer J, Abu Salim K, Chase MW, Dexter KG, Pennington RT, Tan S, Kaye ME, Samuel R (2017). Plant DNA barcodes and assessment of phylogenetic community structure of a tropical mixed dipterocarp forest in Brunei Darussalam (Borneo). PLOS ONE, 12(10), e0185861-e0185861. Full text.
Dunning LT, Liabot A-L, Olofsson JK, Smith EK, Vorontsova MS, Besnard G, Simpson KJ, Lundgren MR, Addicott E, Gallagher RV, et al (2017). The recent and rapid spread of Themeda triandra. Botany Letters, 164(4), 327-337. Full text.
Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Linares-Palomino R, Oliveira-Filho A, Prado D, Pullan M, Quintana C, Riina R, Rodriguez M. GM, et al (2016). Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications. Science, 353(6306), 1383-1387. Full text.
Baker TR, Pennington RT, Magallon S, Gloor E, Laurance WF, Alexiades M, Alvarez E, Araujo A, Arets EJMM, Aymard G, et al (2014). Fast demographic traits promote high diversification rates of Amazonian trees. Ecol Lett, 17(5), 527-536. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Barlow J, Ewers RM, Anderson L, Aragao LEOC, Baker TR, Boyd E, Feldpausch TR, Gloor E, Hall A, Malhi Y, et al (2011). Using learning networks to understand complex systems: a case study of biological, geophysical and social research in the Amazon. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc, 86(2), 457-474. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by year


In Press

Pennington T, Griffith DM, Lehmann CER, Stromberg CER, Parr CL, Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Still CJ, Powell RL, Hanan NP, et al (In Press). Comment on “The extent of forest in dryland biomes” Griffith, D.M. Lehmann, C.E.R. Strömberg, C.A.E. Parr, C.L. PENNINGTON, R.T. Sankaran, M. Ratnam, J. Still, C.J. Powell, R.L. Hanan, N.P. Nippert, J.B. Osborne, C.P. Good, S.P. Anderson, M. Holdo, R.M. Veldman, J.W. Durigan, G. Tomlinson, K.W. Hoffmann, W.A. Archibald, S. Bond, W.J. Science
Françoso R, Dexter KG, Machado RB, Pennington T, Pinto JRR, Brandao RA, Ratter JA (In Press). Delimiting floristic biogeographic districts in the Cerrado and assessing their conservation status. Biodiversity and Conservation Full text.

2019

Honorio Coronado EN, Dexter KG, Hart ML, Phillips OL, Pennington RT (2019). Comparative phylogeography of five widespread tree species: Insights into the history of western Amazonia. Ecology and Evolution, 9(12), 7333-7345. Abstract.  Full text.
Coley PD, Endara M-J, Ghabash G, Kidner CA, Nicholls JA, Pennington T, Mills AG, Soule AJ, Stone GN, Lemes MR, et al (2019). Macroevolutionary patterns in overexpression of tyrosine: an anti‐herbivore defence in a speciose tropical tree genus, Inga (Fabaceae). Journal of Ecology Full text.

2018

da Cruz DT, Idarraga A, Banda K, Cogollo A, van den Berg C, de Queiroz L, Pennington T, Lavin M, Cardoso D (2018). Ancient speciation of the papilionoid legume Luetzelburgia jacana, a newly discovered species in an inter-Andean seasonally dry valley of Colombia. Taxon Full text.
Pennington T, de Lima HC, Inches F, Watherston N (2018). Andira anthelmia. Curtis Botanical Magazine, 35, 125-133. Full text.
Endara M-J, Coley PD, Wiggins NL, Forrister DL, Younkin GC, Nicholls JA, Pennington RT, Dexter KG, Kidner CA, Stone GN, et al (2018). Chemocoding as an identification tool where morphological- and DNA-based methods fall short: Inga. as a case study. New Phytologist, 218(2), 847-858. Full text.
Lavin M, Pennington T, Hughes CE, Lewis GP, Delgado-Salinas A, Duno de Stefano R, de Queiroz LP, Cardoso D, Wojciechowski MF (2018). DNA Sequence Variation among Conspecific Accessions of the Legume Coursetia caribaea Reveals Geographically Localized Clades Here Ranked as Species. Systematic Botany, 43, 664-675. Full text.
Dexter KG, Pennington T, Oliveira-Filho AT, Bueno ML, Silva de Miranda PL, Neves D (2018). Inserting Tropical Dry Forests into the Discussion on Biome Transitions in the Tropics. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Gomes VHF, IJff SD, Raes N, Amaral IL, Salomão RP, de Souza Coelho L, de Almeida Matos FD, Castilho CV, de Andrade Lima Filho D, López DC, et al (2018). Species Distribution Modelling: Contrasting presence-only models with plot abundance data. Sci Rep, 8(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Nazre M, Newman MF, Pennington T, Middleton D (2018). Taxonomic Revision of Garcinia Section Garcinia (Clusiaceae). Phytotaxa Full text.
Bueno ML, Dexter KG, Pennington RT, Pontara V, Neves DM, Ratter JA, de Oliveira-Filho AT (2018). The environmental triangle of the Cerrado Domain: Ecological factors driving shifts in tree species composition between forests and savannas. Journal of Ecology, 106(5), 2109-2120. Full text.
Endara M-J, Nicholls J, Coley PD, Forrister DL, Younkin GC, Dexter KG, Kidner CA, Pennington T, Stone G, Kursar TA, et al (2018). Tracking of host defenses and phylogeny during the radiation of neotropical Inga-feeding sawflies. Frontiers in Plant Science Full text.
Pennington RT, Lehmann CER, Rowland LM (2018). Tropical savannas and dry forests. Current Biology, 28(9), R541-R545. Abstract.  Full text.
Silva de Miranda P, Oliveira Filho A, Pennington T, Neves D, Baker T, Dexter KG (2018). Using tree species inventories to map biomes and assess their climatic overlaps in lowland tropical South America. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27, 899-912. Full text.

2017

Pennington RT, Quintana C, Ulloa Ulloa C, Balslev H (2017). BIOGEOGRAPHIC BARRIERS IN THE ANDES: IS THE AMOTAPE – HUANCABAMBA ZONE a DISPERSAL BARRIER FOR DRY FOREST PLANTS?. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 102, 542-550. Full text.
Endara M-J, Coley PD, Ghabash G, Nicholls JA, Dexter KG, Donoso DA, Stone GN, Pennington RT, Kursar TA (2017). Coevolutionary arms race versus host defense chase in a tropical herbivore–plant system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(36), E7499-E7505. Full text.
Griffith DM, Lehmann CER, Stromberg CAE, Parr CL, Pennington T, Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Still CJ, Powell RL, Hanan NP, et al (2017). Comment on “The extent of forest in dryland biomes”. Science Full text.
Dexter KG, Lavin M, Torke BM, Twyford AD, Kursar TA, Coley PD, Drake C, Hollands R, Pennington RT (2017). Dispersal assembly of rain forest tree communities across the Amazon basin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(10), 2645-2650. Full text.
Toby Pennington R, Lavin M (2017). Dispersal, isolation and diversification with continued gene flow in an Andean tropical dry forest. Mol Ecol, 26(13), 3327-3329. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
DRYFLOR, Pennington RT, Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Linares-Palomino R, Olivera-Filho A, Prado D, Quintana C, Riina R, et al (2017). Forest conservation: Humans' handprints—Response. Science, 355(6324), 467-467. Full text.
DRYFLOR, Pennington RT, Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Galetti L, Linares-Palomino R, Maturo HM, Mogni V, Oakley L, et al (2017). Forest conservation: Remember Gran Chaco—Response. Science, 355(6324), 465.2-466. Full text.
Gómez-Gutiérrez MC, Pennington RT, Neaves LE, Milne RI, Madriñán S, Richardson JE (2017). Genetic diversity in the Andes: variation within and between the South American species of Oreobolus R. Br. (Cyperaceae). Alpine Botany, 127(2), 155-170. Full text.
Baker TR, Pennington RT, Dexter KG, Fine PVA, Fortune-Hopkins H, Honorio EN, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco I, Klitgård BB, Lewis GP, de Lima HC, et al (2017). Maximising Synergy among Tropical Plant Systematists, Ecologists, and Evolutionary Biologists. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32(4), 258-267. Full text.
Heckenhauer J, Abu Salim K, Chase MW, Dexter KG, Pennington RT, Tan S, Kaye ME, Samuel R (2017). Plant DNA barcodes and assessment of phylogenetic community structure of a tropical mixed dipterocarp forest in Brunei Darussalam (Borneo). PLOS ONE, 12(10), e0185861-e0185861. Full text.
Dunning LT, Liabot A-L, Olofsson JK, Smith EK, Vorontsova MS, Besnard G, Simpson KJ, Lundgren MR, Addicott E, Gallagher RV, et al (2017). The recent and rapid spread of Themeda triandra. Botany Letters, 164(4), 327-337. Full text.

2016

Banda-R K, Delgado-Salinas A, Dexter KG, Linares-Palomino R, Oliveira-Filho A, Prado D, Pullan M, Quintana C, Riina R, Rodriguez M. GM, et al (2016). Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications. Science, 353(6306), 1383-1387. Full text.

2014

Baker TR, Pennington RT, Magallon S, Gloor E, Laurance WF, Alexiades M, Alvarez E, Araujo A, Arets EJMM, Aymard G, et al (2014). Fast demographic traits promote high diversification rates of Amazonian trees. Ecol Lett, 17(5), 527-536. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2011

Barlow J, Ewers RM, Anderson L, Aragao LEOC, Baker TR, Boyd E, Feldpausch TR, Gloor E, Hall A, Malhi Y, et al (2011). Using learning networks to understand complex systems: a case study of biological, geophysical and social research in the Amazon. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc, 86(2), 457-474. Abstract.  Author URL.

Toby_Pennington Details from cache as at 2019-10-23 01:20:00

Refresh publications

External Engagement and Impact

Awards/Honorary fellowships

International Association for Plant Taxonomy Stebbins Award for outstanding publication in systematics and/or evolution (with lead author Tiina Sarkinen (ex-PhD student) and coauthors Matt Lavin, Marcelo Simon, Colin Hughes; 2016)

Visiting Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh (2010-present)

Linnean Society of London Bicentenary Medal (awarded annually to a biologist under 40 for research achievement; 2003)


Committee/panel activities

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, evaluation of grants for Biology (2012-2015)

UK Natural Environment Research Council, Peer Review College (2008-2011)

Council, International Association for Plant Taxonomy (2005-2011)


Editorial responsibilities

Senior editor, Plant Diversity, Plants, People, Planet (2017-present)

Editorial Advisory Board, Kew Bulletin (2003-present)

Editorial Board, Taxon (2009-2017)

Editorial Board, BMC Evolutionary Biology (2010-2014)


Invited lectures

International Congress of Conservation Biology, Cartagena, Colombia (2017)

Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; Montpellier, France (2016)

10th Biennial Conference of the Systematics Association; Oxford (2015)

Latin American Botanical Congress, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (2014)

UK Plant Evolution, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2014)

Plant evolutionary radiations, University of Zurich, Switzerland (2014)

Biodiversity and  the BioEconomy in Brazil, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas de Amazonia, Brazil (2014)

64th Brazilian Botanical Congress, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2013; plenary speaker)

The Prince’s Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, Critical Challenges and Opportunities for Tropical Forest Science, The Royal Society and State Apartments, St. James’s Palace, Clarence House (2013)

International Botanical Congress, Melbourne, Australia (2011; 2 presentations)

British Ecological Society Annual Symposium, “Forests and global change” (2011; plenary speaker)

DIVERSITAS International Open Science Conference, Cape Town, South Africa (2009)

International Biogeography Society, Merida, Mexico, invited speaker (2009)

Jean Andrews Visiting Fellow, University of Texas, Austin (3 lecture series, 2009)

III Congreso de ecosistemas secos, Santa Marta, Colombia, plenary speaker (in Spanish, 2008)


Media Coverage

Coverage of recent papers in Science and PNAS on BBC website:

Live fast, die young strategy spawned Amazon tree boom (2014). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26434264

Dry tropical forests 'overlooked and under threat'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37440485

History sheds light on Amazon's rich tree diversity. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38969249

Live interviews:

John Bachelor Show, USA, 20 minute live interview covering tropical dry forests (2016: https://audioboom.com/posts/5163235-dry-forests-climate-change-toby-pennington-thebotanics-royal-botanical-garden-edinburgh-scotland-sciencemagazine)

BBC Radio Scotland, live interview covering the evolutionary history and use of cocoa (2015)

BBC Radio Scotland and BBC news 24, live interviews covering why plant species extinctions matter (2010)


Significant Impact

Animated film to raise awareness of tropical dry forest (http://www.dryflor.info/page/movies), which has received > 40,000 youtube views, exceptional for a scientific film, and which was selected for screening at a series of international environmental film festivals in Europe and Latin America.

Teaching

  • GEO2331 - Research Design in Physical Geography

Modules

2019/20


Supervision / Group

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Peter Moonlight (NERC Newton PDRA 2017-2020): Newton funded project on Brazilian caatinga dry forests

Postgraduate researchers

  • Hannah Atkins University of Edinburgh (2015-2020) 'Systematics and biogeography of Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae)' Supervisors: Mark Hughes, Toby Pennington
  • Flávia Pezzini University of Edinburgh (2015-2018) 'Systematics and biogeography of Ceiba (Malvaceae-Bombacoideae)' Supervisors: Toby Pennington, Catherine Kidner
  • Jessica Rickenback University of Edinburgh (2017-2021) 'Savannas at the forest boundary: an understudied and at risk biome with an uncertain future' Supervisors: Caroline Lehmann, Toby Pennington

Alumni

  • Ms Alexandra Clark (NERC technician, 2012-2016): Lab technician (niche evolution of South American trees)
  • Dr Kyle Dexter (US NSF Overseas Postdoctoral Fellow; 2011) Phylogeny and biogeography (niche evolution of South American trees)
  • Dr Danilo Neves (NERC PDRA 2012-2015): Niche evolution of South American trees.
  • Dr James Nicholls (US-NSF funded postdoc based at University of Edinburgh and RBGE 2012-2017): Plant herbivore interactions in Inga
  • Ms Julia Weintritt (2012-2016): Floristic inventory and conservation of neotropical dry forests (network facilitator for Leverhulme-funded DRYFLOR International Network)

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