Andrew Thornhill

Dr. Thornhill is currently at the University of Adelaide and can be reached here.


I grew up in Melbourne in the southern Australian state of Victoria, where I attended Monash University for my undergraduate degree and a Masters research project on carnivorous pitcher plants. In 2006 I moved to Canberra, ACT. to undertake a PhD at the Australian National University. My PhD project investigated the pollen morphology of the Myrtaceae family using a combination of microscopy, morphological and phylogenetic techniques, and I was supervised by Mike Crisp, Geoff Hope, and Lyn Craven.

After finishing my PhD in 2011, I began work as a postdoc for Joe Miller at the Australian National Herbarium based in CSIRO, Canberra. I worked on building large species level phylogenies of Australian Acacia and Eucalyptus as well as many other projects on smaller groups such as Bryophytes, Palms, and Gymnosperms. After two years I began a second postdoc for Darren Crayn at the Australian Tropical Herbarium situated in Cairns in Far North Queensland. I continued making large phylogenies with a focus more on species within a geographical region rather than a taxonomic group such as the plant phylogeny of the Daintree Rainforest. At the beggining of 2015 I moved to the USA to begin a postdoc for Brent Mishler in the UC and Jepson Herbaria based at the University of California, Berkeley. My project was supported by an NSF grant awarded to Brent Mishler, Bruce Baldwin, and David Ackerly to study phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism in the Calfironia flora. I worked with the group to construct a phylogeny of the Californian vascular plant flora which we then combined with spatial data available from the online Consortium of California Herbaria.


Research Interests



Spatial phylogenetics





For a full CV click here

A link to Andrew’s Google scholar page


Publication list

González-Orozco CE, Mishler BD, Miller JT, Laffan SW, Knerr N, Unmack P, Georges A, Thornhill AH, Rosauer DF, Gruber B (accepted in Ecology and Evolution) A phylogenetic framework for assessing biodiversity across multiple taxonomic groups: tools for conservation biogeography.

Quinn CJ, Crowden RK, Brown EA, Southam MJ, Thornhill AH, Crayn DM (2015) A reappraisal of the generic concepts of Epacris, Rupicola and Budawangia (Ericaceae, Epacridoideae, Epacrideae) based on phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data. Australian Systematic Botany 28(1) 63-77

Thornhill AH, Ho SYW, Külheim C, Crisp MD (2015) Interpreting the modern distribution of Myrtaceae using a dated molecular phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93, 29-43

Nagalingum, N, Mishler BD, Gonzalez-Orozco CE, Knerr N, Thornhill AH, Laffan S and Miller JT (2015) Patterns of endemism and diversity in Australia using a genus level Fern phylogeny. Frontiers in Genetics 6:132.

Pollock LJ, Rosauer DF, Thornhill AH, Kujala H, Crisp MD, Miller JT, and McCarthy MA (2015) Phylogenetic diversity meets conservation policy: small areas are key to preserving eucalypt lineages. Philosophical Transactions B 370, 20140007

Bui EN, Thornhill AH, Miller JT (2014) Salt-and alkaline-tolerance are linked in Acacia. Biology letters 10 (7), 20140278

Mishler BD, Knerr N, González-Orozco CE, Thornhill AH, Laffan S, and Miller JT (2014) Phylogenetic measures of biodiversity and neo-and paleo-endemism in Australian Acacia. Nature Communications 5

Nelson LA, Davies KA, Scheffer SJ, Taylor GS, Giblin-Davis RM, Thornhill AH, Yeates DK (2014) An emerging example of tritrophic coevolution between flies (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) and nematodes (Nematoda: Neotylenchidae) on Myrtaceae host plants. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 111 (4), 699-718

Gonzalez-Orozco CE , Ebach MC, Laffan S, Thornhill AH, Knerr N, Schmidt-Lebuhn AN, Cargil CC, Clements M, Nagalingum NS, Mishler BD, Miller JT (2014) Quantifying Phytogeographical Regions of Australia Using Geospatial Turnover in Species Composition. PloS one. 9 (3), e92558

González-Orozco CE , Thornhill AH, Knerr N, Laffan S, Miller JT (2014) Biogeographical regions and phytogeography of the eucalypts. Diversity and Distributions 20 (1), 46-58

Purcell MF, Nelson LA, Thornhill AH, Yeates DK (2013) Two new species of Fergusonina Malloch gall fly (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) from leaf bud galls on black sallee (Eucalyptus stellulata) and manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) Australian Journal of Entomology 52 (4), 363-370

Yeoh SH, Ho SYW, Thornhill AH, Foley WJ (2013) Regional population expansion in Eucalyptus globulus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68 (3), 498-501

Thornhill AH, Crisp MD (2012) Phylogenetic assessment of pollen characters in Myrtaceae. Australian Systematic Botany. 25(3) 171-187.

Thornhill AH, Macphail M (2012) Fossil myrtaceous pollen as evidence for the evolutionary history of the Myrtaceae: A review of fossil Myrtaceidites species. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 176-177, 1-23.

Thornhill AH, Hope G, Craven LA, Crisp MD (2012) Pollen morphology of the Myrtaceae Part 1: Tribes Eucalypteae, Lophostemoneae, Syncarpieae, Xanthostemoneae and subfamily Psiloxyloideae. Australian Journal of Botany 60, 165-199.

Thornhill AH, Hope G, Craven LA, Crisp MD (2012) Pollen Morphology of the Myrtaceae Part 2: Tribes Backhousieae, Melaleuceae, Metrosidereae, Osbornieae and Syzygieae. Australian Journal of Botany 60, 200-224.

Thornhill AH, Wilson PG, Drudge J, Hope G, Craven LA, Crisp MD (2012) Pollen Morphology of the Myrtaceae Part 3: Tribes Chamelaucieae, Leptospermeae and Lindsayomyrteae. Australian Journal of Botany 60, 225-259.

Thornhill AH, Hope G, Craven LA, Crisp MD (2012) Pollen Morphology of the Myrtaceae Part 4: Tribes Kanieae, Myrteae and Tristanieae. Australian Journal of Botany 60, 260-289.

Thornhill AH, Popple LW, Carter RJ, Ho SYW, Crisp MD (2012) Are pollen fossils useful for calibrating relaxed molecular clock dating of phylogenies? A comparative study using Myrtaceae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63, 15-27.

Crisp MD, Burrows GE, Cook LG, Thornhill AH, Bowman DMJS (2011) Flammable biomes dominated by eucalypts originated at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. Nature Communications 2, 1-8.

Thornhill AH (2010) Can Myrtaceae pollen of the Holocene from Bega Swamp (New South Wales, Australia) be compared with extant taxa? Terra Australis 32, 405-427.

Thornhill AH, Harper IS, Hallam ND (2008) The Development of the Digestive Glands and Enzymes in the Pitchers of Three Nepenthes Species: N. alata, N. tobaica, and N. ventricosa (Nepenthaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 169, 615-624.