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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. NürkPD Dr.

Nicolai M. Nürk

Akademischer Rat a.Z.

Phone: +49(0)921-55 2459
Fax: +49(0)921-55 2786
Room: NW I, 7.0 00.31
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 ecosystems, biomes, and continents. As such, I use phylogenetic comparative methods and model plant lineages (e.g., Hypericum, Erica) to study the evolutionary dynamics of species diversification in biodiversity hotspots such as the Páramos, high Andean cloud grasslands in South America, and the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa. 

                                                               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                                                 




    • OrthoTAX | Taxonomics of Andean Apocynaceae: Neutral vs adaptive processes (DFGSPP1991) Details
    • Erica abietinaviscaria clade phylogenomics: Origins of hyper-diversity (DFG)
    • Vincetoxicum temperate radiation in a tropical plant family (DFGDetails
    • Andean HYPEVOL | Evolution of Hypericum in South America (DFG)
my page at BayCEER




Some publications (all)

Schweiger AH, Nürk NM, Beckett H, Liede‐Schumann S, Midgley GF & Higgins SI (2021). The eco‐evolutionary significance of rainfall constancy for facultative CAM photosynthesis. New Phytol (doi)

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 (2020). Diversification in evolutionary arenas — Assessment and synthesis

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 by Bruce Baldwin, 224: 8–10.

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) (pdf)


 (all publications





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

nmn teaching



Sky Islands: A time travel of the Andes Mountains

Plants Are Cool, Too: Fossilized Forests!



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