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  1. Ralimanana H, Perrigo AL, Smith RJ, Borrell JS, Faurby S, Rajaonah MT, Randriamboavonjy T, Vorontsova MS, Cooke RSC, Phelps LN, … Onstein, R.E., …et al. 2022. Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity: Threats and opportunities. Science 378(6623): eadf1466.
  2. Antonelli A, Smith RJ, Perrigo AL, Crottini A, Hackel J, Testo W, Farooq H, Torres Jiménez MF, Andela N, Andermann T, … Onstein, R.E., … et al. 2022. Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity: Evolution, distribution, and use. Science 378(6623): eabf0869.
  3. Keller, A., Ankenbrand, M. J., Bruelheide, H., Dekeyzer, S., Enquist, B. J., Erfanian, M. B., Falster, D. S., Gallagher, R. V., Hammock, J., Kattge, J., Leonhardt, S. D., Madin, J. S., Maitner, B., Neyret, M., Onstein, R. E., Pearse, W. D., Poelen, J. H., Salguero-Gomez, R., Schneider, F. D. … Penone, C. (2022). Ten (mostly) simple rules to future-proof trait data in ecological and evolutionary sciences. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1– 15.
  4. Alzate, A. & Onstein, R.E. (2022) Understanding the relationship between dispersal and range size. Ecology Letters, 25, 2303– 2323.
  5. Onstein RE, Kissling WD, Linder HP. 2022. The megaherbivore gap after the non-avian dinosaur extinctions modified trait evolution and diversification of tropical palms. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 289(1972): 20212633.
  6. Méndez, L., Viana, D.S., Alzate, A., Kissling, W.D., Eiserhardt, W.L., Rozzi, R., Rakotoarinivo, M. and Onstein, R.E. (2022), Megafrugivores as fading shadows of the past: extant frugivores and the abiotic environment as the most important determinants of the distribution of palms in Madagascar. Ecography, 2022:.
  7. Zizka A, Onstein RE, Rozzi R, Weigelt P, Kreft H, Steinbauer MJ, Bruelheide H, Lens F. 2022. The evolution of insular woodiness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119(37): e2208629119.
  8. Hagen O, Skeels A, Onstein RE, Jetz W, Pellissier L. 2021. Earth history events shaped the evolution of uneven biodiversity across tropical moist forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(40): e2026347118.
  9. Barratt, CD, Lester, JD, Gratton, P, Onstein, RE, et al. (2021) Late Quaternary habitat suitability models for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) since the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP). American Journal of Primatology.
  10. 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
  11. Onstein, RE (2020) Darwin’s second ‘abominable mystery’: trait flexibility as the innovation leading to angiosperm diversity New Phytologist 228: 1741-174.
  12. Ten Brink, H, Onstein, RE, de Roos, AM (2020) Habitat deteroriation promotes the evolution of direct development in metamorphosing species. Evolution 74: 1826-1850.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Kattge, J, Bönisch, G, Díaz, S, et al. (2020) TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology 26: 119– 188.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. Breitkopf, H, Onstein, RE, Cafasso, D, Schlüter, PM, Cozzolino, S (2015) Multiple shifts to different pollinators fuelled rapid diversification in sexually deceptive Ophrys New Phytologist. 207: 377-389.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.


  1. 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.


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.