To request a pdf of any of these publications, please write me:

For more recent overview: google scholar profile


  1. Barratt, CD, Lester, JD, Gratton, P, Onstein, RE, et al. (accepted) “Late Quaternary habitat suitability models for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) since the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP)”. American Journal of Primatology. Preprint available from here.
  2. Onstein, RE, Vink, DN, Veen, J, Barratt, CD, Flantua, S, Wich, SA, Kissling, WD (2021) “Understanding the relationship between fruit colour and primate vision requires multiple lines of evidence. A reply to Heymann & Fuzessy”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 20202981. [ABSTRACT].
  3. Onstein, RE (2020) “Darwin’s second ‘abominable mystery’: trait flexibility as the innovation leading to angiosperm diversity” New Phytologist 228: 1741-174. [ABSTRACT].
  4. Ten Brink, H, Onstein, RE, de Roos, AM (2020) “Habitat deteroriation promotes the evolution of direct development in metamorphosing species”. Evolution 74: 1826-1850. [ABSTRACT].
  5. Nürk, N, Linder, HP, Onstein, RE, Larcombe, M, Hughes, C.; Piñeiro Fernández, L, Schlüter, P, Valente, L, Beierkuhnlein, C, Cutts, V, Donoghue, M, Edwards, E, Field, R, Flantua, S, Higgins, S, Jentsch, A, Liede-Schumann, S, Pirie, M (2020) “Diversification in evolutionary arenas – assessment and synthesis”. Ecology & Evolution 10: 6163– 6182. [ABSTRACT].
  6. Ferreira do Nascimento, L, Guimarães, PR, Onstein, RE, Kissling, WD, Pires, MM (2020) “Associated evolution of fruit and defensive traits in Neotropical palms”. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 33: 858– 868. [ABSTRACT].
  7. Alzate Vallejo, A, Onstein, RE, Etienne, R; Bonte, D (2020) “The role of preadaptation, propagule pressure and competition in the colonization of new habitats”. Oikos 00: 1-10. [ABSTRACT].
  8. Onstein, RE, Vink, DN, Veen, J, Barratt, CD, Flantua, S, Wich, SA, Kissling, WD (2020) “Palm fruit colour are linked to the broad-scale distribution and diversification of primate colour vision systems”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 20192731. [ABSTRACT] [DATA] [PRESS RELEASE].
  9. Kattge, J, Bönisch, G, Díaz, S, et al. (2020) TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology 26: 119– 188. [ABSTRACT].
  10. Han, T, Zheng, Q, Onstein, RE, Rojas‐Andrés, BM, Hauenschild, F, Muellner‐Riehl, AN, Xing, Y (2019) “Polyploidy promotes species diversification of Alliumthrough ecological shifts.” New Phytologist 225: 571-583 [ABSTRACT].
  11. Kissling, WD, Balslev, H, Baker, WJ, Dransfield, J, Göldel, B, Lim, JY, Onstein, RE, Svenning, J-C (2019) “PalmTraits 1.0, a species-level functional trait database of palms worldwide” Scientific Data 6(1): 178. [ABSTRACT][DATA].
  12. Nyman, T, Onstein, RE, Silvestro, D, Wutke, S, Taeger, Wahlberg, N, Blank, SM, Malm, T (2019) “Early wasp plucks the flower: disparate extant diversity of sawfly superfamilies (Hymenoptera: ‘Symphyta’) may reflect asynchronous switching to angiosperm hosts.Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 128: 1 – 19. [ABSTRACT].
  13. Hagen, O, Vaterlaus, L, Albouy, C, Brown, A, Leugger, F, Onstein, RE, Novae de Santana, C, Scotese, C, Pellissier, L. “Mountain building, climate cooling and the richness of cold-adapted plants in the northern hemisphere” (2019) Journal of Biogeography 46: 1792– 1807. [ABSTRACT].
  14. Flantua, SGA, O’dea, A, Onstein, RE, Giraldo, C, Hooghiemstra, H (2019) “The flickering connectivity system of the north Andean páramos.” Journal of Biogeography 46: 1808– 1825. [ABSTRACT] [PRESS RELEASE].
  15. Onstein, RE, Kissling, WD, Chatrou, LW, Couvreur, TLP, Morlon, H, Sauquet, H (2019) “Which frugivory‐related traits facilitated historical long‐distance dispersal in the custard apple family (Annonaceae)?” Journal of Biogeography 46: 1874– 1888 [ABSTRACT] [DATA].
  16. Zhang, Q, Onstein, RE, Little, S, Sauquet, H (2019) “Estimating divergence times and ancestral breeding systems in Ficus and Moraceae”. Annals of Botany: 123: 191–204. [ABSTRACT].
  17. Barratt, CD, Bwong, BA, Jehle, R, Liedtke, HC, Nagel, P, Onstein, RE, Portik, DM, Streicher, JW, Loader, SP. (2018) “Vanishing refuge? Testing the forest refuge hypothesis in coastal East Africa using genome‐wide sequence data for seven amphibians.” Molecular Ecology 27: 4289-4308. [ABSTRACT] [PRESS RELEASE].
  18. Onstein, RE, Baker, WJ, Couvreur, TLP, Faurby, S, Herrera-Alsina, L, Svenning, J-C & Kissling, WD (2018) “To adapt or go extinct? The fate of megafaunal palm fruits under past global change”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20180882.[ABSTRACT] [PRESS RELEASE].
  19. Onstein RE, Baker WJ, Couvreur TLP, Faurby S, Svenning J-C, Kissling WD. (2017) “Frugivory-related traits promote speciation of tropical palms.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:1903–1911. [ABSTRACT] [DATA & CODE] [PRESS RELEASE][BLOG].
  20. Barratt CD, Bwong BA, Onstein RE, Rosauer DF, Menegon M, Doggart N, Nagel P, Kissling WD, Loader SP (2017) “Environmental correlates of phylogenetic endemism in amphibians and the conservation of refugia in the coastal forests of Eastern Africa.” Diversity and Distributions 23 (8): 875–887. [ABSTRACT].
  21. Onstein, RE, Jordan, GJ, Sauquet, H, Weston, PH, Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y, Carpenter, RJ, Linder, HP (2016) “Evolutionary radiations of Proteaceae are triggered by the interaction between traits and climates in open habitats.” Global Ecology and Biogeography 25 (10):1239–1251. [ABSTRACT].
  22. Xing, Y, Gandolfo, MA, Onstein, RE, Cantrill, DJ, Jacobs, BF, Jordan, GJ, Lee, DE, Popova, S, Srivastava, R, Su, T, Vikulin, SV, Yabe, A, Linder, HP (2016) “Testing the biases in the rich Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record”. International Journal of Plant Sciences 177 (4):371-388. [ABSTRACT].
  23. Onstein, RE, Linder, HP (2016) “Beyond climate: convergence in fast evolving sclerophylls in Cape and Australian Rhamnaceae predates the mediterranean climate.” Journal of Ecology 104:665-677. [ABSTRACT].
  24. Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y*, Onstein, RE*, Xing, Y, Schwery, O, Linder, HP (2015) “On the complexity of triggering evolutionary radiations”. New Phytologist 207: 313-326. *authors contributed equally[ABSTRACT].
  25. Schwery, O, Onstein, RE, Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y, Xing, Y, Carter, R, Linder, HP (2015) “As old as the mountains: the radiations of the Ericaceae”. New Phytologist 207: 355-367.[ABSTRACT]. 
  26. Breitkopf, H, Onstein, RE, Cafasso, D, Schlüter, PM, Cozzolino, S (2015) “Multiple shifts to different pollinators fuelled rapid diversification in sexually deceptive Ophrys orchids”. New Phytologist. 207: 377-389. [ABSTRACT].
  27. Onstein, RE, Carter, RJ, Xing, Y, Richardson, J, Linder, HP (2015) “Do Mediterranean-type ecosystems have a common history? – Insights from the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae)”. Evolution 69:756-771. [ABSTRACT].
  28. Van Velzen, R, Wahlert, GA, Sosef, MSM, Onstein, RE, Bakker, FT (2015) “Phylogenetics of Rinorea (Violaceae); elucidating infrageneric relationships using plastid and nuclear DNA sequences”. Systematic Botany 40:174-184.  [ABSTRACT].
  29. Onstein, RE, Carter, RJ, Xing, Y, Linder, HP (2014) “Diversification rate shifts in the Cape Floristic Region: the right traits in the right place at the right time.” Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 16:331-340. [ABSTRACT].
  30. Xing, Y, Onstein, RE, Carter, RJ, Stadler, T, Linder, HP (2014) “Fossils and a large molecular phylogeny show that the evolution of species richness, generic diversity and turn-over rates are disconnected.” Evolution 68:2821-2932. [ABSTRACT].


  1. Ackerly, D, Onstein, RE (2018) “Assembly of mediterranean-type floras – convergence,


Onstein, RE (2015) “The role of plant functional traits in Cenozoic angiosperm radiations.” PhD thesis. Institute for systematic Botany, University of Zurich, Zurich.

Onstein, RE (2011) “The evolution of Rinorea (Violaceae) as host plant for Cymothoe (Nymphalidae): new insights from extended sampling of Ghanaian populations, and development of a new nuclear phylogenetic marker.” MSc thesis. Biosystematics group, Wageningen University, Wageningen.