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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Plant Systematics: Angiosperm Working Group - Prof. Dr. Sigrid Liede-Schumann

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Nicolai M. NürkDr.

Nicolai M. Nürk

Akademischer Rat a.Z.

Phone: +49(0)921-55 2466
Fax: +49(0)921-55 2786
Room: NW I, 7.0 00.33
e-Mail: nuerk(at)uni-bayreuth.de



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 comparative phylogenetics and the Hypericum genus as a model to study biodiversity hotspots and the evolutionary dynamics of species diversification in South American high Andean cloud grasslands. 

                                                               Google scholar | ORCiD | ResearchGate

Páramo Cumbal Colombia


2017 Researcher, Plant Systematics, University of Bayreuth

2016 Researcher, Systematic & Evolutionary Botany, University of Zürich (DFG NU 292/2)

2012 Researcher, Biodiversity & Plant Systematics, University of Heidelberg (DFG NU 292/1)

2011 Ph.D., Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research (IPK) Gatersleben

2007 Diploma Biology, FU Berlin                                                 




  • Andean HYPEVOL | Evolution of Hypericum in South America (DFG)
  • Erica abietina / viscaria clade phylogenomics: Origins of hyper-diversity (DFG)
  • Phylogenomics and a clade-based classification of Hypericum
  • see also my page at BayCEER




Sky Islands: A time travel of the Andes Mountains

Plants Are Cool, Too: Fossilized Forests!

Travels in the Great Tree of Life (Yale University)




Some publications

Nürk NM, Atchison GW & Hughes CE (2019). Island woodiness underpins accelerated disparification in plant radiations. New Phytol 224(1):518–531(doi)

See also the Commentary on this article by Baldwin, 224: 8–10.

Nürk NM*, Linder HP*, Onstein RE, Larcombe M, Hughes CE, Piñeiro Fernández L, Schlüter PM, Valente LM, Beierkuhnlein C, Cutts V, Donoghue MJ, Edwards EJ, Field R, Flantua SGAHiggins SI, Jentsch A, Liede-Schumann S, Pirie MD (2019). Diversification in evolutionary arenas — assessment and synthesis

Nürk NM, Michling F & Linder P (2018). Are the radiations of temperate lineages in tropic-alpine ecosystems pre-adapted? Glob Ecol Biogeogr 27(1): 334–345 (doi)

Pirie MD, Kandziora M, Nürk NM, Le Maitre NC, de Kuppler M, Gehrke B, Oliver EGH & Bellstedt DU (2018). Leaps and bounds: geographical and ecological distance constrained the colonisation of the Afrotemperate by Erica

Scheriau C, Nürk NM, Sharbel TF & Koch MA (2017). Cryptic gene pools in the Hypericum perforatum—H. maculatum complex: diploid persistence versus trapped polyploid melting. Ann Bot 120(6): 955–966 (doi)

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)

 (all publ



I see my role as an instructor mainly in supporting students’ own understanding of systems behind the processes encountered in evolution. Courses offered include introduction to the major plant groups and their evolutionary relationships, plant identification, and applied research courses.

nmn teaching

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