Current Positions

  • Senior Researcher and PG Herbarium Curator, Plant Gateway Ltd., Bradford and Kingston (UK) and The Hague (the Netherlands), since 2016
  • Independent consultant, researcher and editor since February 2014
  • Deputy Chief-editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, since 2014
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Curtin University, Western Australia, since 2016
  • Honorary Research Associate, Conservation Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • President of the International Pteridological Society, since 2009 



  • Member of the Society of Authors, since 2013
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, since 2008


Foreign languages

Dutch (mother tongue), English (fluent), Finnish (basic), French, German, Spanish, Swedish (basic)



  • Project officer, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), March 2013–February 2014
  • Scientific curator, The Finnish Museum of Natural History, and Botanical Garden, Helsinki (Finland). May 2010–February 2013
  • Founding editor of Phytotaxa. In 2009, I launched the scientific journal Phytotaxa, which now publishes a quarter of all new scientific plant names.
  • Assistant Researcher, Flora Mesoamericana Project, Natural History Museum, London (UK). September 2008–April 2010.
  • PhD, Biodiversity, Amazon Research Team, University of Turku (Finland). March 2002–November 2007. Specialisation: Evolution of the fern family Marattiaceae.
  • MSc, Biology, Utrecht University (Netherlands). September 1995–October 2001. Specialisation: Taxonomy and Botanical history.


Research interests

Natural history has always grabbed my attention from when I was a little boy. I love growing plants, looking at animal-plant relationships and how people perceive nature and the plants around them, why certain plants are used and others less so. I am a trained plant taxonomist with expertise in classification, taxonomy, nomenclature and plant recognition. I am involved in several projects concerning vascular plant classifications, new species descriptions, genome size and evolution of genomes and habitat preference. I have a strong interest in horticulture and photography, writing books about botany that are of interest to a wide audience.



I have taught numerous courses and field courses in plant taxonomy and biodiversity, at Utrecht University, the University of Turku, The Plant School in London, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for the NERC London Doctoral Training Program and for Plant Gateway. I have been involved with the Institute for Nature Education in the Netherlands and I have mentored three MSc students in Turku University. Also, I taught and assisted several courses during my MSc and PhD studies.



I am a keen photographer of landscapes, architecture, natural history and plants in particular. I have a large collection of plant photographs from all over the world, all with exact identifications and locality information. I strongly believe in the art of nature photography and aim to combine good botanical imagery with artistic composition. Over 3000 of these were used in my recent encyclopedia Plants of the World, which photographically illustrates all 451 vascular plant families. Photographs are available for use for a small fee and proper acknowledgment. Just ask if there is any particular taxon you are looking for.

Field work

I have carried out field work in all six vegetated continents and on many oceanic islands in between. Extensive collections were made in Guatemala, the Lesser Antilles, French Guiana, Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Turkey, Australia and Easter Island, but minor collections were made in many other countries for a variety of projects. I have collected about 7000 herbarium specimens which are well distributed across all major herbaria, the main sets being deposited in BM, H, K, L, PG and TUR.

Public outreach

My recently published book Plants of the World has received some attention in the media. I have provided several interviews for national and regional newspapers and radio and internet podcasts as part of my research. I have closely collaborated with the public engagement department at Kew, providing plant stories and interpreting science to the public. I produced a documentary on natural and cultural history of bananas: ‘Mondo Banana’, which was received very well by the public and the press. An article about Finnish sauna whisks, where different birch species were tested for their strength and scent made the front cover in Helsingin Sanomat, the Finnish national newspaper.


Selected major publications

  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Fay, M. F. & Chase, M. W. 2017. Plants of the World – an illustrated encyclopaedia of vascular plant families. Kew Publishing, Richmond.
  • Chase, M. W., Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Mirenda, T. 2017. The Book of Orchids. Ivy Press, Brighton.
Journal articles
  • Hidalgo, O., Pellicer, J., Christenhusz, M.J.M., Schneider, H., Leitch, I.J. 2017. Genomic gigantism in the whisk-fern family (Psilotaceae): Tmesipteris obliqua challenges record holder Paris japonica. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 183: 509–514.
  • Hidalgo, O., Pellicer, J., Christenhusz, M., Schneider, H., Leitch, A.R., Leitch, I.J. 2017. Is there an upper limit to genome size? Trends in Plant Science 22(7). DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.04.005.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. & 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. & Chase, M. W. 2016. Systematics of Irvingiaceae and Ixonanthaceae (Malpighiales): phylogenetic analysis based on three plastid DNA loci. Phytotaxa 260: 157–166.
  • Clark, J., Hidalgo, O., Pellicer, J., Liu, H., Marquardt, J., Robert, Y., Christenhusz, M. J. M., Zhang, S., Gibby, M., Leitch, I. J. & Schneider, H. 2016. Genome evolution of ferns: evidence for relative stasis of genome size across the fern phylogeny. New Phytologist 210: 1072–1082. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13833.
  • Fay, M. F. & Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2016. Plant conservation and botanic gardens. In: eLS. Wiley, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023748].
  • Lehtonen, S., Christenhusz, M. J. M., & Falck, D. 2016. Sensitive phylogenetics of Clematis and its position in Ranunculaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 182: 825–867.
  • 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 Linnean Society 181: 1–20.
  • Zona, S. & Christenhusz, M. J. M., 2015. Litter‐trapping plants: filter‐feeders of the plant kingdom. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 179: 554–586.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Vorontsova, M. S., Fay, M. F. & Chase, M.W. 2015. Results from an online survey of family delimitation in angiosperms and ferns: recommendations to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group for thorny problems in plant classification. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 178: 501–528.
  • Senterre, B., Rouhan, G., Fabre, I., Morel, C., Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2014. Revision of the fern family Marattiaceae in the Seychelles with two new species and a discussion of the African Ptisana fraxinea complex. Phytotaxa 158: 57–75.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Chase, M. W. 2014. Trends and concepts in fern classification. Annals of Botany 113: 571–594. (invited review).
  • Zhang, Z.-Q., Christenhusz, M. J. M., Esser, H.-J., Chase, M. W., Vorontsova, M. S., Lindon, H., Monro, A., Lumbsch, H.T. 2014. The making of world’s largest journal in systematic botany. Phytotaxa 191: 1–9.
  • Wang, F.-G., Barratt, S., Falcón, W., Fay, M. F., Lehtonen, S., Tuomisto, H., Xing, F.-W., Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2014. On the monophyly of subfamily Tectarioideae (Polypodiaceae) and the phylogenetic placement of some associated fern genera. Phytotaxa 164: 1–16.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Brockington, S. F., Christin, P. A., Sage, R. F. 2014. On the disintegration of Molluginaceae: a new genus and family (Kewa, Kewaceae) segregated from Hypertelis and the placement of Macarthuria in Macarthuriaceae. Phytotaxa 181: 238–242.
  • Merckx, V. S. F. T., Freudenstein, J. V., Kissling, J., Christenhusz, M. J. M., Stotler, R. E., Crandall-Stotler, B., Wickett, N., Rudall, P. J., Maas-van de Kamer, H. & Maas, P. J. M. 2013. Taxonomy and Classification, pp. 19–101. In: Merckx, V. S. F. T. (ed.) Mycoheterotrophy. Springer, New York.
  • Lehtonen, S., Tuomisto, H., Rouhan, G., Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2013. Taxonomic revision of the fern genus Osmolindsaea (Lindsaeaceae). Systematic Botany 38: 887–900.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2013. Twins are not alone: a recircumscription of Linnaea (Caprifoliaceae). Phytotaxa 125: 25–32.
  • Rankou, H., Culham, A., Jury, S. L., Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2013. The endemic flora of Morocco. Phytotaxa 78: 1–69.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Jones, M. M., Lehtonen, S. 2013. Phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic genus DracoglossumAmerican Fern Journal 103: 131–138.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Govaerts, R., Hall, T., Borland, K., Stranc, P., Tuomisto, A., Chase, M. W., & Fay, M. F. 2013. Tiptoe through the tulips: cultural history, molecular phylogenetics and classification of Tulipa (Liliaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 280–328.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Chase, M. W. 2013. Biogeographical patterns of plants in the Neotropics – dispersal rather than plate tectonics is most explanatory. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 277–286.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2012. On African violets and Cape primroses—towards a monophyletic Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae). Phytotaxa 46: 3–9.
  • Fay, M. F. & Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2012. Ranunculales – buttercups, poppies and their relatives. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 29: 222–234.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2012. An overview of Lardizabalaceae. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 29: 235–276.
  • Lehtonen, S., Wahlberg, N., Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2012. Diversification of lindsaeoid ferns and phylogenetic uncertainty of early polypod relationships. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 170: 489–503.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Chase, M. W. & Fay, M. F. (eds.) 2011. Linear sequence, classification, synonymym and bibliography of vascular plants. Phytotaxa volume 19.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Reveal, J., Farjon, A., Gardner, M. F., Mill, R. R. & Chase, M. W. 2011. A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms. Phytotaxa 19: 55–70.
  • Fay, M. F., Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Chase, M. W. 2010. Celebrating Darwin, the botanist. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 1–3.
  • Vorontsova, M., Christenhusz, M. J. M., Kirika, P. & Muthoka, P., 2010. Three new species of Solanum from Kenya: using herbarium specimens to document environmental change. Systematic Botany 35: 894–906.
  • Lehtonen, S. & Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2010. Historical herbarium specimens in plant molecular systematics: an example from the fern genus Lindsaea (Lindsaeaceae). Biologia 65: 204–208.
  • Fay, M. F., Bennett, J. R., Dixon, K. W. & Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2010. Parasites, their relationships and the disintegration of Scrophulariaceae sensu lato. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 26: 286–313.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2010. Revision of the Neotropical genus Eupodium (Marattiaceae). Kew Bulletin 65: 1–7.
  • Lehtonen, S., Tuomisto, H., Rouhan, G. & Christenhusz, M. J. M., 2010. Phylogenetics and classification of the pantropical fern family Lindsaeaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 305–359.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2010. Danaea (Marattiaceae) revisited: biodiversity, a new classification and ten new species of a Neotropical fern genus. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 360–385.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Fay, M. F., Clarkson, J. J., Gasson, P., Morales Can, J., Jimenez Barrios, J. & Chase, M. W., 2010. Petenaeaceae, a new angiosperm family in Huerteales, with a distant relationship to Gerrardina (Gerrardinaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 164: 16–25.
  • Hennequin, S., Hovenkamp, P., Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Schneider, H., 2010, Phylogeny and biogeography of Nephrolepis – A tale of old settlers and young tramps. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 164: 113–127.
  • Fay, M.F. & Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2010. Brassicales – An order of plants characterized by shared chemistry. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 27: 156–196.
  • Chase, M. W., Christenhusz, M. J. M., Sanders, D. & Fay, M. F. 2009. Murderous Plants: Victorian gothic, Darwin and modern insights into vegetable carnivory. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 329–356.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2009. Index Pteridophytorum Guadalupensium or a checklist to the ferns and club mosses of Guadeloupe (French West Indies). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 213–277.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Chase, M. W., Fay, M. F., Lumbsch, T., Monro, A., Vorontsova, M. and Zhang, Z.-Q., 2009. A new international journal for rapid publication of botanical taxonomy. Phytotaxa 1: 1–2.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2008. Florula of Lime Cay, an account of the vascular flora on a small Jamaican islet. Schlechtendalia 7: 1–25.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Toivonen, T. K., 2008. Giants invading the tropics: the oriental vessel fern, Angiopteris evecta (Marattiaceae). Biological Invasions 10: 1215–1228.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M., Tuomisto, H., Metzgar, J., & Pryer, K. M., 2008. Evolutionary relationships within the Neotropical, eusporangiate fern genus Danaea (Marattiaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 34–48.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2007. Dracoglossum, a new Neotropical fern genus (Pteridophyta). Thaiszia Journal of Botany 17: 1–10.
  • Christenhusz, M. J. M. 2004. The hortus siccus (1566) of Petrus Cadé: a description of the oldest known collection of dried plants made in the Low Countries. Archives of Natural History 31: 30–43.