• Director and Researcher, Plant Gateway Ltd., Bradford and Kingston (UK) and The Hague (the Netherlands), since 2014
  • Research Fellow, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (Netherlands), since 2017



  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, since 2015



English (mother tongue), Spanish



  • Subject Editor, Phytokeys, since 2016
  • Subject Editor, Check List: Journal of Species Lists and Distributions, 2012-2014
  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, 2015-2017
  • PhD, Biological Science, University of Aberdeen (with Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh), 2015
  • MSc, Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, University of Edinburgh (with Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh), 2009
  • BSc (Hons), Tropical Environmental Science, University of Aberdeen, 2008 (FIRST-CLASS)
  • ERASMUS Exchange, University of Joensuu (Finland), 2006


Research interests

My research focuses on the classification of vascular plants, in particular angiosperms. This includes reconstruction of their phylogenetic relationships and preparing morphological revisions and flora treatments. In addition, I am developing automated species recognition (‘deep learning’) technology to expediate identification of herbarium specimens using digitised images. Research groups include, but are not limited to: Syzygium and Eugenia (Myrtaceae), Icacinaceae, Metteniusaceae, Dioscoreales and Malpighiales.



  • MSc. course in Tropical Biodiversity, Leiden University, since 2016
  • BSc. Minor course in Biodiversity and the Natural Environment, Leiden University, since 2016
  • Plant Gateway summer Plant ID courses at universities of Aberdeen, Durham, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield, 2014-2015
  • Gatsby Plant Summer School, 2011-2012
  • BSc course Natural World, University of Aberdeen, 2011
  • Summer Plant ID courses, University of Aberdeen, 2010-2012


Field experience

I have carried out botanical field work across the tropics and on several islands in the Indian Ocean, notably Australia, Belize, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Peru, South Africa and Zambia.


Public outreach

  • Species description workshop, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, 18 November 2017: Describing new plant species with students and members of the public from across the Netherlands.
  • Species description workshop, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, 18 February 2017: Describing new plant species with students and members of the public.



  • Byng, J. W. (2015). The Gymnosperms Handbook: A practical guide to extant families and genera of the world. Plant Gateway: Hertford. 36 pp.
  • Byng, J. W. (2014[2015]). The Flowering Plants Handbook: A practical guide to families and genera of the world. Plant Gateway: Hertford. 619 pp.
  • Byng, J. W. (2014). Interactive e-version of The Flowering Plants Handbook: A practical guide to families and genera of the world. Plant Gateway: Hertford. 619 pp.
Journal articles
  • Xiang, K.-L., Aytac, Z., Liu, Y., Espinosa, F., Jabbour, F., Byng, J.W., Zhang, C.-F., Erst, A.S. and Wang, W. (2017). Recircumscription of Delphinium subg. Delphinium (Ranunculaceae) and implications for its biogeography. Taxon 66: 554-566.
  • Espinosa, F., Deroin, T., Xiang, K.-L., Wang, W., Castro, M.P., Byng, J.W., Aytac, Z., Nadot, S. and Jabbour, F. (2017). The Turkish endemic Pseudodelphinium turcicum (Ranunculaceae): an unusual population of Delphinium with peloric flowers that has persisted in the wild for 20 years. International Journal of Plant Sciences 178: 546-555.
  • Brambach, F., Byng, J.W. and Culmsee, H. (2017). Five new species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from Sulawesi. Phytokeys 81: 47-78.
  • Snow, N., Byng, J. W., Munzinger, J., Callmander, M. and Dawson, J.W. (2017). New Caledonian Piliocalyx transferred to Syzygium (Myrtaceae), with an updated conspectus of the species. Candollea 72: 239-248.
  • Byng, J.W. and Snow, N. (2016). A new name and a new combination for Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from tropical Africa. Phytotaxa 278: 173-175.
  • Byng, J.W. and Pahladsingh, F. (2016). Syzygium komatiense (Myrtaceae), a new species from South Africa. Phytotaxa 272: 97-100.
  • SYZWG (2016). (alphabetically: Ahmad, B., Baider ,C., Bernardini, B., Biffin, E., Brambach, F., Burslem, D., Byng, J.W……). ​Syzygium (Myrtaceae): Monographing a taxonomic giant via 22 coordinated  regional revisions. PeerJ. Preprints 4:e1930v1 [not peer-reviewed].
  • Christenhusz, M.J.M. and Byng, J.W. (2016). The number of known plant species in the world and its annual increase. Phytotaxa 261: 201-217.
  • Byng, J.W., Bernardini, B., Christenhusz, M.J.M. and Chase, M.W. (2016). Systematics of Irvingiaceae and Ixonanthaceae (Malpighiales): phylogenetic analysis based on three plastid DNA loci. Phytotaxa. 157-166.
  • Byng, J.W.(2016). Icacinaceae. In: Watson, M.F., Ikeda, H., Rajbhandari, K.R., Akiyama, S., Pendry, C.A. and Shrestha, K.K. (eds.). Flora of Nepal. RBGE.
  • APG IV (2016). An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society. 181: 1-20.
  • Byng, J.W., Barthelat, F., Snow, N. and Bernardini, B. (2016). Revision of Eugenia and Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from the Comoros Archipelago. Phytotaxa. 252(3):163-184.
  • Byng, J.W. (2016). Syzygium humbertii and S. mortonianum spp. nov. (Myrtaceae) from Madagascar. Nordic Journal of Botany. 34: 355-359.
  • Byng, J.W. (2015). Review of East African Plant Collectors. Phytotaxa. 234: 100.
  • Byng, J.W. (2015). Picrodendraceae. In: Sosef, M. (ed.). Flore d’Afrique Centrale. Meise Botanic Garden.
  • Byng, J.W. (2015). Ixonanthaceae. In: Sosef, M. (ed.). Flore d’Afrique Centrale. Meise Botanic Garden.
  • Byng, J.W., Phillipson, P.B. and Snow, N. (2015). Nomenclatural notes on Malagasy Syzygium Gaertn. (Myrtaceae). Candollea. 70: 151-155.
  • Byng, J.W., Wilson, P.G. and Snow, N. (2015). Typifications and nomenclatural notes on Indian Myrtaceae. Phytotaxa 217 (2): 101–116.
  • Byng, J.W., Florens, F.B.V. and Baider, C. (2015). Syzygium pyneei (Myrtaceae), a new critically endangered endemic species from Mauritius. PhytoKeys 46: 61–66.
  • Byng, J.W., Bernardini, B., Joseph, J.A., Chase, M.W. and Utteridge, T.M.A. (2014). Phylogenetic relationships of Icacinaceae, focusing on viney genera. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society. 176: 277-294.
  • Byng, J. W., Racey, P. A. and Swaine, M. D. (2010). The ecological impacts of a migratory bat population on their seasonal roost in Kasanka National Park, Zambia. African Journal of Ecology. 48: 29-36.