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In press

Ten Brink, H, Onstein, RE, de Roos, AM (in press) “Habitat deteroriation promotes the evolution of direct development in metamorphosing species”. Evolution [ABSTRACT]

Onstein, R.E. (in press). “Darwin’s second ‘abominable mystery’: trait flexibility as the innovation leading to angiosperm diversity” New Phytologist. [ABSTRACT].


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 (accepted) “Diversification in evolutionary arenas – assessment and synthesis”. Ecology & Evolution 10: 6163– 6182. [ABSTRACT].

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]

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]

Onstein R.E., Vink D.N., Veen J., Barratt C.D., Flantua S.G.A., Wich S.A., Kissling W.D. (2020). “Palm fruit colours are linked to the broad-scale distribution and diversification of primate colour vision systems.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20180882. [ABSTRACT] [PRESS RELEASE] [DATA]

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]


Han, T. , Zheng, Q. , Onstein, R.E., Rojas‐Andrés, B. M., Hauenschild, F. , Muellner‐Riehl, A. N. and Xing, Y. (2019). “Polyploidy promotes species diversification of Allium through ecological shifts.” New Phytologist 225: 571-583. [ABSTRACT]

Kissling, W.D., Balslev, H., Baker, W.J., Dransfield, J., Göldel, B., Lim, J.Y., Onstein, R.E., Svenning, J-C. (2019) “PalmTraits 1.0, a species-level functional trait database of palms worldwide.” Scientific Data 6(1): 178. [ABSTRACT] [DATA]

Nyman, T., Onstein, R.E., Silvestro, D., Wutke, S., Taeger, A., Wahlberg, N., Blank, S.M., 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]

Hagen, O., Vaterlaus, L., Albouy, C., Brown, A., Leugger, F., Onstein, R.E., Novae de Santana, C., Scotese, C, Pellissier, L. (2019) “Mountain building, climate cooling and the richness of cold-adapted plants in the northern hemisphere” Journal of Biogeography 461792– 1807. [ABSTRACT].

Flantua, S.G.A., O’dea, A., Onstein, R.E., Hooghiemstra, H. (2019) “The flickering connectivity system of the north Andean páramos.” Journal of Biogeography 461808– 1825. [ABSTRACT] [PRESS RELEASE]

Onstein, R.E.Kissling, W.D.Chatrou, L.W.Couvreur, T.L.P.Morlon, H.Sauquet, H. (2019) “Which frugivory‐related traits facilitated historical long‐distance dispersal in the custard apple family (Annonaceae)?” Journal of Biogeography 461874– 1888. [ABSTRACT] [DATA] [PRESS RELEASE]

Zhang, Q., Onstein, R.E., Little, S., Sauquet, H. (2019). “Estimating divergence times and ancestral breeding systems in Ficus and Moraceae”. Annals of Botany 123(1): 191-204 [ABSTRACT]


Barratt, C.D., Bwong, B.A., Jehle, R., Liedtke, H.C., Nagel, P., Onstein, R.E., Portik, D.M., Streicher, J.W., Loader, S.P. (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]

Onstein, R.E. , Baker,W.J., Couvreur, T.L.P. , Faurby, S., Herrera-Alsina, L., Svenning, J.-C. & Kissling, W.D. (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]


OnsteinR.E. , Baker,W.J., Couvreur, T.L.P. , Faurby, S. , Svenning, J.-C. & Kissling, W.D. (2017). “Frugivory-related traits promote speciation of tropical palms”. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:1903–1911. [ABSTRACT] [DATA & CODE] [PRESS RELEASE] [BLOG]

Barratt, C.D., Bwong, B.A., Onstein, R.E., Rosauer, D.F., Menegon, M., Doggart, N., Nagel, P., Kissling, W.D., Loader, S.P. (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]


Onstein, R.E., Jordan, G.J., Sauquet, H., Weston, P.H., Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y., Carpenter, R.J., Linder, H.P. (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]

Xing, Y., Gandolfo, M.A., Onstein, R.E., Cantrill, D.J., Jacobs, B.F.,  Jordan, G.J., Lee, D.E., Popova, S., Srivastava, R., Su, T., Vikulin, S.V., Yabe, A., Linder, H.P. (2016).“Testing the biases in the rich Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record”. International Journal of Plant Sciences 177(4): 371-388.  [ABSTRACT]

Onstein, R.E., Linder, H.P. (2016). “Beyond climate: convergence in fast evolving sclerophylls in Cape and Australian Rhamnaceae predates the mediterranean climate.” Journal of Ecology 104: 665-677. [ABSTRACT]


Onstein, R.E.*,  Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y.*, Xing, Y., Schwery, O., Linder, H.P. (2015). “On the complexity of triggering evolutionary radiations”. New Phytologist 207: 313-326. [ASBTRACT] *authors contributed equally

Schwery, O., Onstein, R.E., Bouchenak-Khelladi, Y., Xing, Y., Carter, R., Linder, H.P. (2015). “As old as the mountains: the radiations of the Ericaceae”. New Phytologist 207: 355-367. [ABSTRACT]

Breitkopf, H., Onstein, R.E., Cafasso, D., Schlüter, P.M., Cozzolino, S. (2015). “Multiple shifts to different pollinators fuelled rapid diversification in sexually deceptive Ophrys orchids”. New Phytologist.207: 377-389. [ABSTRACT]

Onstein, R.E., Carter, R.J., Xing, Y., Richardson, J., Linder, H.P. (2015). “Do Mediterranean-type ecosystems have a common history? – Insights from the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae)”. Evolution 69:756-771. [ABSTRACT]

Van Velzen, R, Wahlert, G.A., Sosef, M.S.M, Onstein, R.E., Bakker, F.T. (2015). “Phylogenetics of Rinorea (Violaceae); elucidating infrageneric relationships using plastid and nuclear DNA sequences”. Systematic Botany 40:174-184. [ABSTRACT]


Onstein, R.E., Carter, R.J., Xing, Y., Linder, H.P. (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]

Xing, Y, Onstein, R.E., Carter, R.J., Stadler, T., Linder, H.P. (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]

Book chapters/Theses:

Ackerly, D, Onstein, RE (2018). “Assembly of mediterranean-type floras – convergence, exaptation and evolutionary predisposition”, eds. Esler, K, Pratt, B and Jacobsen, A in “The Biology of Mediterranean Type Ecosystems Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. [PDF]

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