UnivProf.Dr. Elvira Hörandl

UnivProf.Dr. Elvira Hörandl

Abteilung Systematik, Biodiversität und Evolution der Pflanzen mit Herbarium

Untere Karspüle 2
37073 Göttingen

Telefon:+49 551 39 27843
Fax:+49 551 39 22329
Sprechzeiten:on Wednesdays 12.00-1.00 pm
Foto UnivProf.Dr. Elvira Hörandl
Sommersemester 2024
About me

Scientific career

10/2011 - present Professor for Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants  (W3), University of Göttingen; Head of the Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants (with Herbarium).
12/2006 – 09/2011 Adjunct Associate Professor (Privatdozent) and research group leader at the University of Vienna
10/1999 – 12/2006 Associate editor position at the International Association of Plant Taxonomy. Research group leader at the University of Vienna.
01/1996 – 09/1999 Postdoctoral researcher (FWF, ÖAW and ÖNB Projects) and Lecturer at the University of Vienna.
01/1993 – 12/1995 Scientific Assistant at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW); Coordination of the project “Flora of Austria”.
10/1987 – 12/1992 Research Assistant at the Institute for Botany, University of Vienna. Head: Prof. Manfred A. Fischer

Academic education and degrees

Habilitation: Botany, University of Vienna, 2006

Conferral of doctorate: Botany, University of Vienna, 1991, Thesis advisor: Prof. Manfred A. Fischer

Diploma in Biology and Earth Sciences, University of Vienna, 1988. Mag. rer. nat, Thesis advisor: Prof. Harald Niklfeld

Other scientific activities, awards and honours

Other scientific activities

2024 Symposium organizer at International Botanical Congress in Madrid
Since 2021 speaker of the section Biodiversity and Evolution of the German Botanical Society
2017 Symposium organizer at the BIOSYST EU conference in Gothenburg
2009 – 2013 Managing Committee Member of the EU COST Action Action FA0903: Harnessing plant reproduction for crop improvement
2006 – 2011 Member of the Committee for Electronic Publication for the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Melbourne Code)
2011 Symposium organizer at the XVIIIth International Botanical Congress in Melbourne
2006 Symposium organizer at the XVIIth International Botanical Congress in Vienna
1999 – 2012 Leader of FWF (Austrian Research Fund) and ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Science) projects
1993 – 2011 Lecturer at the University of Vienna
1994 – 2011 Lecturer at the University of Agriculture in Vienna

Editorial service
2020 - 2021 Guest editor Frontiers in Plant Sciences
2011 – present Editorial Board PloS One (Plant Evolution)
2016 – 2018  Editor of Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and  Systematics
2006 – 2010 Editorial board member of TAXON
1999 – 2006 Associate editor of the journal TAXON (International Association for Plant Taxonomy)

Research interests and recent projects

I am interested in the evolution of asexual polyploid complexes in plants. The origin of apomixis (the asexual reproduction via seed) via hybridization and polyploidy is a main focus of my projects. Asexual genome evolution is shaped by rapid divergence of lineages and diversifying selection between sexual and apomictic lineages.

Furthermore, I want to explore the causality of the phenomenon that the geographical distribution of apomictic plants is usually much larger than their sexual relatives, especially in previously glaciated areas. Here we look at population genetic structure, epigenetic profiles modes of reproduction and ecology in plant species of the European Alps.

Phylogenomic analyses and and biogeographical studies of the large cosmopolitan genus Ranunculus (buttercups) are further topics of research. Phylogenetic relationships, speciation processes and dispersal routes are being analyzed by using molecular phylogenies and molecular data. Currently we try to elucidate speciation processes in the Ranunculus auricomus complex. These studies are also the background for elaborating principles of an evolutionary classification.

These studies have contributed to a new theory to resolve the "paradox of sex" in nature. Experimental approaches showed that apomixis and sexuality are responsive to environmental factors and support the hypothesis that sex is a response to physiological stress. Sexual versus apomictic pathways appear to be flexible and change under environmental conditions. We also study epigenetic profiles in natural populations and in controlled experiments. Results suggest that DNA restoration during meiosis-mixis cycles provide the most important advantage to sexuality.

Hybridization and evolution sexual species of willows (Salix) is being studied in the European Alpine System. The retreat of glaciers as a consequence of global warming and results in breakdown of ecological crossing barriers and upward migration of lowland plants. We study population genetic structure, ecology and fertility of willows to understand evolutionary processes in the context of global warming. Furthermore we elucidate phylogenetic relationships of the genus Salix and and the origin and evolution of polyploid willows.

Funded Projects on apomixis

  • Speaker of the Research Training Group "Evolutionary Genomics: Consequences of Biodiverse Reproductive Systems (EvoReSt)", with the project ": Sexual and asexual genome evolution in flowering plants".   DFG funding, 2025-2029.
  • Species delimitation in the apomictic polyploid Ranunculus auricomus complex using an integrative TaxonOMICs approach. DFG project, 2021-2024, SPP 1991
  • The biodiversity of the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus polyploid complex, DFG project, 2017-2020, SPP 1991
  • The evolution of apomixis in autopolyploid alpine plants, DFG project, 2016-2020
  • The evolutionary establishment of apomixis in hybrids of the Ranunculus auricomus complex, DFG project, 2015-2018
  • The ecology of geographical parthenogenesis in alpine plants DFG-FWF project, 2013-2016
  • Reproductive strategies of weedy flowering plants in tropical rainforest transformation systems (DFG Project within SFB 990 - Tropical rainforest transofrmation systems), 2013-2015
  • Effects of hybridization on expression of apomixis in the Ranunculus auricomus complex (abstract), FWF-DFG project, 2009-2012
  • Geographical Parthenogenesis - a multidisciplinary study on alpine species (abstract), FWF project, 2006-2009
  • Apomixis in subnivale plants of the Alps, ÖAW project, 2009
  • Evolution of apomixis in the Ranunculus cassubicus complex (final report), FWF project, 2002-2006
  • Advantages of apomixis versus selfing (abstract), ÖAW project, 2006-2008
  • COST action Harnessing Plant Reproduction for Crop Improvement (HAPRECI), EU funded, 2009-2013 (pdf)

Funded projects on hybrid evolution and phylogeny of Salix

  • Reticulate evolution and hybridization in willows (Salix L.), DFG project, 2016-2019
  • Evolutionary processes on alpine glacier forefields: a pilot study on alpine willow hybrid populations. abstract (ÖAW 2010-2013)
  • A pilote study on hybrid speciation in alpine willows (Salix), (abstract), ÖAW 2008-2009)
  • Salix in Austria, 2002 (book)

Funded projects on the phylogeny of Ranunculus

  • Evolution, biogeographical history and ecology of high alpine and arctic species of Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae), 2011-2013
  • Character evolution, ecology, and a molecular phylogeny of Ranunculus s.l. (abstract), ÖAW and ÖAD projects, 2006-2009)
  • Phylogenetic analyses in the genus Ranunculus based on DNA sequences, ÖAW, 2002-2005,
  • Phylogeny and biogeographical history of buttercups (Ranunculus) in the Himalayas (abstract), National Geographic, 2008-2009)

Funded projects on the herbarium Göttingen
Wissenschaftliche und historische Erschließung des Herrenhäuser Herbariums in Göttingen, 2016-2018, Pro - Niedersachsen (MWK).


Selected publications

Journal papers


Hörandl E. 2024. Apomixis and the paradox of sex in plants. Ann. Bot. Doi: 10.1093/aob/mcae044

Wang Y, Gong G, Wang Y, Zhang R, Hörandl E, Zhang Z, Charlesworth D, He L. 2024. Gap-free X and Y chromosome assemblies of Salix arbutifolia reveal an evolutionary change from male to female heterogamety in willows, without a change in the position of the sex-determining locus. New Phytologist 242: 2872–2887. DOI: 10.1111/nph.19744

Yue Z-Q, Applequist W L, Hörandl E, He L 2024. Sex chromosome turnover plays an important role in the maintenance of barriers to post-speciation introgression in willows. Evolution Letters. https://doi.org/10.1093/evlett/qrae013

Karbstein, K, Kösters, L, Hodač, L, Hofmann, M, Hörandl, E, Tomasello, S, Wagner, ND, Emerson, BC, Albach, D, Scheu, S, Bradler, S, de Vries, J, Irisarri, I, He L, Soltis, P, Mäder, P, Wäldchen, J. in press. Species Delimitation 4.0: Integrative Taxon-omics and Artificial Intelligence. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2023.11.002



Volf M, Leong JV, de Lima Ferreira P, Volfová T, Kozel P, Matos-Maraví P, Hörandl E, Wagner ND, Luntamo N, Salminen J-P, Segar ST, Sedio BE. 2023. Contrasting levels of β-diversity and underlying phylogenetic trends indicate different paths to chemical diversity in highland and lowland willow species. Ecology Letters. http://doi.org/10.1111/ele.14273 

Bradican JP, Tomasello S, Boscutti F, Karbstein K, Hörandl E. 2023. Phylogenomics of southern European taxa in the Ranunculus auricomus species complex: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Plants. 2023; 12(21):3664. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213664

Hodac L, Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Wäldchen J, Bradican JP, Hörandl E. 2023. Geometric morphometric versus genomic patterns in a large polyploid plant species complex. Biology 2023, 12, 418. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology1203041

He L, Guo F.-Y. , Cai X-J, Chen, H-P, Lian C-L, Wang Y, Shang C, Zhang Y., Wagner ND; Zhang Z-X, Hörandl E, and Wang, X-R. 2023. Evolutionary origin and establishment of a dioecious diploid-tetraploid complex. Molec. Ecol. 32: 2732-2749. doi: 10.1111/mec.16902.

Wagner ND, Marinček P, Pittet L, Hörandl E. 2023. Insights into the taxonomically challenging hexaploid alpine shrub willows of Salix sections Phylicifoliae and Nigricantes.  Plants 12(5), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12051144

Hörandl, E. 2023. Geographical Parthenogenesis in Alpine and Arctic Plants. Plants 12: 844. https://doi.org/10.3390/ plants12040844.

Marinček P, Pittet L, Wagner ND, Hörandl E. 2023. Evolution of a hybrid zone of two willow species (Salix L.) in the European Alps analyzed by RAD-seq and morphometrics. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e9700. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9700

Wang Y, Cai X, Zhang Y, Hörandl E, Zhang Z, He L. 2023. The male-heterogametic sex determination system on chromosome 15 of Salix triandra and Salix arbutifolia reveals ancestral male heterogamety and subsequent turnover events in the genus Salix. Heredity  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41437-022-00586-2


Paetzold C, Barke BH, Hörandl E. 2022. Evolution of transcriptomes in early-Generation hybrids of the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 23: 13881. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232213881

He L, Hörandl E. 2022. Does polyploidy inhibit sex chromosome evolution in angiosperms? Frontiers Plant Sci. 13:976765. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.976765

Volf M, Volfová, T, Hörandl E, Wagner ND, Luntamo, N, Salminen, JP, Sedio, B. 2022. Abiotic stress rather than biotic interactions drives contrasting trends in chemical richness and variation in alpine willows. Functional Ecology 36 (11):2701-2712: doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.14169

Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Hodač L, Wagner ND, Marinček P, Barke BH, Pätzold C, Hörandl E. 2022. Untying Gordian knots: Unraveling reticulate polyploid plant evolution by genomic data using the large Ranunculus auricomus complex. New Phytologist 235: 2081-2098. doi: 10.1111/nph.18284

Hörandl, E. 2022. Novel Approaches for Species Concepts and Delimitation in Polyploids and Hybrids. Plants 2022, 11, 204. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020204.

Gulyaev S, Cai X-J, Guo F-Y, Kikuchi S, Applequist WL, Zhang Z-X, Hörandl E, He L. 2022. The phylogeny of Salix revealed by whole genome re-sequencing suggests different sex-determination systems in major groups of the genus. Annals of Botany 129(4): 485–498. mcac012. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcac012

Reiner-Drehwald, E., Hörandl E., Appelhans M. 2022. Digitization of the historical Herrenhausen Herbarium at Göttingen (GOET), with special focus on plants collected in Switzerland in 1820. Taxon 71: 650-673. http://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12660


Syngelaki E, Paetzold C, Hörandl, E. 2021. Gene expression profiles suggest a better cold acclimation of polyploids in the alpine species Ranunculus kuepferi. Genes 2021, 12, 1818. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111818

Hühn P., Dillenberger M.S., Gerschwitz-Eidt M., Hörandl E., Los J.A., Messerschmid T.B.E., Paetzold C., Rieger B., Kadereit, G. 2021. How challenging RadSeq data turned out to favor coalescent-based species tree inference. A case study in Aichryson (Crassulaceae). Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107342

Ulum, F.B, Hadacek, F., Hörandl E. 2021. Polyploidy improves photosynthesis regulation within the Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). Biology 10: 811. https://doi.org/10.3390/ biology10080811

Wagner N.D., Volf M., Hörandl E. 2021. Highly diverse shrub willows (Salix L.) share highly similar plastomes. Frontiers Plant Sciences 12: 662715. DOI:10.3389/fpls.2021.662715

Wagner, N.D., He, L., Hörandl E. 2021. The evolutionary history, diversity, and ecology of willows (Salix L.) in the European Alps. Diversity 2021, 13(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040146

Karbstein, K., Tomasello T., Hodac L., Lorberg, E., Daubert, M. Hörandl E., 2021. Moving beyond assumptions: polyploidy and environmental effects explain a geographical parthenogenesis scenario in European plants. Molecular Ecology 30: 2659-2675. DOI:10.1111/mec.15919

He L., Kai-Hua Ji, Ren-Gang Zhang, Yuan Wang, Tian-Le Shi, Zhi-Chao Li, Si-Wen Zeng, Xin-Jie Cai, Natascha D. Wagner, Elvira Hörandl, Aline Muyle, Ke Yang, Deborah Charlesworth, Jian-Feng Mao 2021. Chromosome-scale assembly of the genome of Salix dunnii reveals a male-heterogametic sex determination system on chromosome 7. Molecular Ecology Resources. DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.13362

Zhang, Y., Wu, H.,  Hörandl E., de Oliveira Franca R., Wang L., Hao J. 2021. Autonomous apomixis in Praxelis clematidea (Asteraceae: Eupatorieae), an invasive alien plant. AoB Plants plab007, https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plab007.


Karbstein, K., Rahmsdorf, E., Tomasello T., Hodac L., Hörandl E., 2020. Breeding system of diploid sexuals within the Ranunculus auricomus complex and its role in a geographical parthenogenesis scenario. Ecology and Evolution 10:14435–14450. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7073 

Karbstein K, Tomasello S, Hodac L, Dunkel FG, Daubert M, Hörandl E. 2020. Phylogenomics supported by geometric morphometrics reveals delimitation of sexual species within the polyploid apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). Taxon 69: 1191-1220. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.07.896902   

Syngelaki E, Daubert M, Klatt S, Hörandl E. 2020. Phenotypic Responses, Reproduction Mode and Epigenetic Patterns under Temperature Treatments in the Alpine Plant Species Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Biology 9, 315; doi:10.3390/biology9100315

Barke BH, Karbstein K, Daubert M, Hörandl E. 2020. The relation of meiotic behaviour to hybridity, polyploidy and apomixis in the Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). BMC Plant Biology 2020, 20: 523. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02654-3

Pellino M, Hojsgaard D, Hörandl E, Sharbel T 2020. Chasing the apomictic factors in the Ranunculus auricomus complex: exploring gene expression patterns in microdissected sexual and apomictic ovules. Genes 2020, 11, 728; doi:10.3390/genes11070728      (Open access)

Hörandl E, Hadacek F 2020.  Oxygen, life forms, and the evolution of sexes in multicellular eukaryotes. Heredity  125: 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41437-020-0317-9

He L, Wagner ND, Hörandl E. 2020. RAD sequencing data reveal a radiation of willow species (Salix L., Salicaceae) in the Hengduan Mountains and adjacent areas. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 49: 44-57. doi: 10.1111/jse.12593. Open access

Tomasello, S, Karbstein, K, Hodac, L, Paetzold, C, Hörandl, E. 2020. Phylogenomics unravels Quaternary vicariance and allopatric speciation patterns in temperate‐montane plant species: A case study on the Ranunculus auricomus species complex. Molecular Ecology 29:2031–2049. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15458. Open access

Schinkel, CCF; Syngelaki, E; Kirchheimer, B; Dullinger, S; Klatt, S; Hörandl, E. 2020. Epigenetic Patterns and Geographical Parthenogenesis in the Alpine Plant Species Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21: 3318. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093318 (pdf). Open access

Syngelaki E, Schinkel CCF, Klatt S, Hörandl E (2020) Effects of temperature treatments on cytosine-methylation profiles of diploid and autotetraploid plants of the alpine species Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Front. Plant Sci. 11: 435    doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00435  Open access

Ulum FB, Costa Castro C, Hörandl E (2020) Ploidy-dependent effects of light stress on the mode of reproduction in the Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae). Front. Plant Sci. 11:104. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00104  Open access

Borsch T, Stevens AD, Güntsch A, Berendsohn WG, Häffner E, Appelhans MS, ... Hörandl E,...et al. (51 authors). 2020. A complete digitization of German herbaria is possible, sensible and should be started now. Research Ideas and Outcomes 6: e50675. DOI: 10.3897/rio.6.e50675 Open access

Wagner ND, He L, Hörandl E. 2020. Phylogenomic relationships and evolution of polyploid Salix species revealed by RAD sequencing data. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 11: 1077. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.01077    Open access

Arraiano-Castilho R, Bidartondo M.I., Niskanen T., Zimmermann S., Frey B., Brunner I., Senn-Irlet B. Hörandl E., Gramlich S., Suz L.M. 2020. Plant-fungal interactions in hybrid zones: Ectomycorrhizal communities of willows (Salix) in an alpine glacier forefield. Fungal Ecology 45, 100936.


Hodač, L., Klatt, S., Hojsgaard D., Sharbel, T.F. and E. Hörandl. 2019. A little bit of sex prevents mutation accumulation even in apomictic polyploid plants. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19:170. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-019-1495-z Open access.

Hojsgaard D., Hörandl. E. 2019 The Rise of Apomixis in Natural Plant Populations. Front. Plant Sci. 10: 358.  doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00358. Open access.

Dowe JL, Reiner-Drehwald ME, Appelhans MS, Hörandl E. 2019. The Wendlands of Herrenhausen Gardens (Hanover, Germany): a study of their Australian plant specimens in the herbarium of the University of Goettingen (GOET).  Australian Journal of Botany 2019, 32, 177–215. https://doi.org/10.1071/SB18020


Hörandl, E. 2018. The classification of asexual organisms: old myths, new facts, and a novel pluralistic approach. Taxon  67(6): 1066–1081   https://doi.org/10.12705/676.5   Open access

Hodac, L., Barke, B.H., Hörandl, E. 2018. Mendelian segregation of leaf phenotypes in experimental F2 hybrids elucidates origin of morphological diversity of the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex. Taxon  67(6): 1082–109 https://doi.org/10.12705/676.6   Open access

Gramlich, S., Wagner, N., Hörandl, E. 2018. RAD-seq reveals genetic structure of the F2-generation of natural willow hybrids (Salix L.) and a great potential for interspecific introgression. BMC Plant Biology 18: 317. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1552-6  Open access

Barke, B.H., Daubert, M., Hörandl, E. 2018. Establishment of apomixis in diploid F2 hybrids and inheritance of apospory from F1 to F2 hybrids of the Ranunculus auricomus complex.  Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1111. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01111               Open access.

Wagner, N.D., Gramlich, S., Hörandl, E. 2018. RAD sequencing resolved phylogenetic relationships in European shrub willows (Salix L. subg. Chamaetia and subg. Vetrix) and revealed multiple evolution of dwarf shrubs. Ecology & Evolution 8: 8243-8255. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4360    Open access.

Hörandl, E., & Speijer, D. 2018. How Oxygen gave rise to eukaryotic sex. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 20172706. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2706 Open access.

Kirchheimer, B., Wessely, J., Gattringer, G., Hülber, K., Moser, D., Schinkel, C.C.F., Appelhans, M., Klatt, S., Caccianiga, M., Dellinger, A.S., Guisan, A., Kuttner, M., Lenoir, J., Maiorano, L., Nieto-Lugilde, D., Plutzar, C., Svenning, J.C., Willner, W., Hörandl, E., & Dullinger, S. 2018. Reconstructing geographical parthenogenesis: effects of niche differentiation and reproductive mode on Holocene range expansion of an alpine plant. Ecol. Letters 21: 392–401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12908   Open access.

Klatt, S., Schinkel, C.C.F., Kirchheimer, B., Dullinger, S., & Hörandl, E. 2018. Effects of cold treatments on fitness and mode of reproduction in the diploid and polyploid alpine plant Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Annals of Botany 121: 1287–1298. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcy017 Open access.


Schinkel CCF, Kirchheimer B, Dullinger S, Geelen D, De Storme N, Hörandl E. 2017. Pathways to polyploidy: indications of a female triploid bridge in the alpine species Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Plant Syst. Evol.  303: 1093-1108. DOI 10.1007/s00606-017-1435-6. Open access.


Mirzaghaderi G, Hörandl E. 2016. The evolution of meiotic sex and its alternatives. Proc B  283: 20161221. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1221 Open access.

Schinkel CCF, Kirchheimer B, Dellinger AS, Klatt S, Winkler M, Dullinger S, Hörandl E. 2016. Correlations of polyploidy and apomixis with elevation and associated environmental gradients in an alpine plant. AoB Plants. 10.1093/aobpla/plw064 Open access.

Kirchheimer B, Schinkel CF, Dellinger A, Klatt S, Moser D, Winkler M, Lenoir J , Caccianiga M, Guisan A, Nieto-Lugilde D, Svenning JC, Wilfried Thuiller W, Vittoz P, Willner W, Zimmermann NE, Hörandl E, Dullinger S. 2016. A matter of scale: Apparent niche differentiation of diploid and tetraploid plants may depend on extent and grain of analysis. Journal of Biogeography 43, 716–726   doi:10.1111/jbi.12663  Open access!

Gramlich S, Hörandl E. 2016. Fitness of natural willow hybrids in a pioneer mosaic hybrid zone. Ecology and Evolution 6: 7645-7655. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2470. Open access.

Gramlich S, Sagmeister P, Dullinger S, Hadacek F, Hörandl E. 2016. Evolution in situ: Hybrid origin and establishment of willows (Salix L.) on alpine glacier forefields. Heredity 116, 531–541. doi:10.1038/hdy.2016.14   Open access!

Klatt S, Hadacek F, Hodac L, Brinkmann G, Eilerts M, Hojsgaard D, Hörandl E. 2016. Photoperiod extension enhances sexual megaspore formation and triggers metabolic reprogramming in  facultative apomictic Ranunculus auricomus. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 278. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00278.   Open access!

Baltisberger M, Hörandl E. 2016. Karyotype evolution supports the molecular phylogeny in the genus Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae). Persp. Plant Ecol., Evol. Syst. 18: 1-14.  doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2015.11.001  Open access!

Dellinger A, Essl F, Hojsgaard D, Kirchheimer B, Klatt S, Dawson W, Pergl J, Pyšek, P, van Kleunen M, Weber E, Winter M, Hörandl E, Dullinger S. 2016. Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants. New Phytologist 209: 1313–1323.  Open access!

Clough Y, Krishna VV, Corre MD, Darras K, Denmead LH, Meijide A, Moser S, Musshoff O, Steinebach S, Veldkamp E, Allen K, Barnes AD, Breidenbach N, Brose U, Buchori D, Daniel R, Finkeldey R, Harahap I, Hertel D, Holtkamp AM, Hörandl E, ... Scheu S 2016 Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapes. Nature Communications 7, 13137 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13137.

Hodac L, Ulum FB, Opfermann N, Breidenbach N, Hojsgaard D,  Tjitrosoedirdjo SS, Vornam B, Finkeldey R, Hörandl E. 2016. Population genetic structure and reproductive strategy of the introduced Grass Centotheca lappacea in tropical land-use systems in Sumatra. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0147633. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147633. Open access!


Emadzade K, Lebmann M, Hoffmann MH, Tkach N, Lone F, Hörandl E (2015) Phylogenetic relationships and evolution of high mountain buttercups (Ranunculus) in North America and Central Asia. Perspect. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 17: 131-141.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2015.02.001

Hojsgaard D, Hörandl E (2015) A little bit of sex matters for genome evolution in asexual plants. Front. Plant Sci. 6:82. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00082  Open access!


Hojsgaard D, Greilhuber J, Pellino M, Paun O, Sharbel TF, Hörandl E (2014) Emergence of apospory and bypass of meiosis via apomixis after sexual hybridisation and polyploidisation. New Phytologist 204: 1000-1012   DOI: 10.1111/nph.12954  Open Access!

Hodac L, Scheben AP, Hojsgaard D, Paun O, Hörandl E (2014) ITS Polymorphisms Shed Light on Hybrid Evolution in Apomictic Plants: A Case Study on the Ranunculus auricomus Complex. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103003. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103003. Open Access!

Hojsgaard D, Klatt S, Baier R, Carman JG, Hörandl E. 2014. Taxonomy and biogeography of apomixis in angiosperms and associated biodiversity characteristics. CRIT REV PLANT SCI. 33: 414-427. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2014.898488   Open Access!

Hörandl E. (2014) Nothing in taxonomy makes sense except in the light of evolution: examples from the classification of Ranunculus. ANN MISS BOT GARDEN 100: 14-31.

Stuessy T., Hörandl E (2014). The importance of comprehensive phylogenetic (evolutionary) classification - a response to Schmidt-Lebuhn's commentary on paraphyletic taxa. CLADISTICS 30: 291-293.


Hörandl E. Hadacek F. (2013). The oxidative damage initiation hypothesis for meiosis. PLANT REPRODUCTION 26:351–367. doi: 10.1007/s00497-013-0234-7 Open access!

Pellino M, Hojsgaard D, Schmutzer T, Scholz U, Vogel H, Hörandl E, Sharbel TF (2013). Asexual genome evolution in the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex: examining the effects of hybridization and mutation accumulation. MOLEC ECOL 22: 5908–5921. doi: 10.1111/mec.12533

Cosendai AC, Wagner J, Ladinig U, Rosche C, Hörandl E (2013) Geographical parthenogenesis and population genetic structure in the alpine species Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). HEREDITY, 110: 560-569.


Hörandl E, Emadzade K (2012) Evolutionary classification: A case study on the diverse plant genus Ranunculus L. (Ranunculaceae). PERSPECT PLANT ECOL EVOL, 14: 310-324.

Hörandl E, Hojsgaard D (2012) The evolution of apomixis in Angiosperms: a reappraisal. PLANT BIOSYST, 146: 681-693.


Hörandl, E., Dobes, C., Suda, J., Vit, P., Urfus, T., Temsch, E. M., Cosendai, A.-C., Wagner, J., Ladinig, U. 2011. Apomixis is not prevalent in subnival to nival plants of the European Alps. Annals of Botany 108: 381–390.

Cosendai, A.-C., Rodewald, J., Hörandl, E. 2011. Origin and evolution of apomixis via autopolyploidy in the alpine plant species Ranunculus kuepferi. Taxon 60: 355-364.

Hörandl E., Emadzade K. 2011. The evolution and biogeography of alpine species in Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae) – a global comparison. Taxon 60: 415-426.

Hörandl, E. 2011. Evolution and biogeography of alpine apomictic plants. Taxon 60: 390-402.

Emadzade, K., Hörandl E. 2011. Northern Hemisphere origin, transoceanic dispersal, and diversification of Ranunculeae DC. (Ranunculaceae) in the Cenozoic. J. Biogeogr. 38: 517-530.

Emadzade, K., Gehrke, B., Linder, H.P., Hörandl, E. 2011. The biogeographical history of the cosmopolitan genus Ranunculus L. (Ranunculaceae) in the temperate to meridional zones. Molec. Phylog. Evol. 58: 4-21.


Hörandl, E., Stuessy, T.F. 2010. Paraphyletic groups as natural units of biological classification. Taxon 59: 1641-1653.

Emadzade, K., Lehnebach C., Lockhart P., Hörandl E. 2010. A molecular phylogeny, morphology and classification of genera of Ranunculeae (Ranunculaceae). Taxon 59: 809-828.

Hörandl E. 2010. Beyond cladistics: extending evolutionary classifications into deeper time levels. Taxon 59: 345-350.

Hörandl E. 2010. The evolution of self-fertility in apomictic plants. Sexual Pl. Repr. 23: 73-86.

Cosendai, A.-C., Hörandl, E. 2010. Cytotype stability, facultative apomixis and geographical parthenogenesis in Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae). Ann. Bot. 105: 457-470.

Hoffmann MH., von Hagen, B, Hörandl E., Röser M., Tkach, N. 2010. Sources of the arctic flora: origins of arctic species in Ranunculus and related genera. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 171: 90–106.


Hörandl E. 2009. A combinational theory for maintenance of sex. Heredity 103: 445-457.

Hörandl, E., Temsch, E. 2009. Introgression of apomixis into sexual species is in the Ranunculus auricomus complex inhibited by mentor effects and ploidy barriers. Annals Bot 104: 81-89.

Hörandl, E, Greilhuber J., Klimova K., Paun O., Temsch E., Emadzade K & Hodálová I. 2009. Reticulate evolution and taxonomic concepts in the Ranunculus auricomus complex (Ranunculaceae): insights from morphological, karyological and molecular data. Taxon 58: 1194-1215.


Hörandl, E. 2008. Evolutionary implications of self-compatibility and reproductive fitness in the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus polyploid complex (Ranunculaceae). Int. J. Pl. Sci. 169: 1219-1228.

Hörandl, E., Cosendai, A.-C., Temsch, E. 2008. Understanding the geographic distributions of apomictic plants: a case for a pluralistic approach. Plant Ecology and Diversity 1: 309-320.


Hörandl, E. 2007: Neglecting evolution is bad taxonomy. Taxon 56: 1-5.

Lehnebach, C., Cano, A., Monsalve, C., McLenachan, P., Hörandl, E. & Lockhart, P. 2007: Phylogenetic relationships of the monotypic Peruvian genus Laccopetalum (Ranunculaceae) Pl. Syst. Evol. 264: 109-116.


Hörandl, E. 2006: Paraphyletic versus monophyletic taxa — evolutionary versus cladistic classifications. Taxon 55: 564–570.

Hörandl, E. 2006: The complex causality of geographical parthenogenesis. New Phytol. 171: 525–538.

Paun, O., Stuessy, T. F. & Hörandl, E. 2006: The role of hybridization, polyploidization and glaciation in the origin and evolution of the apomictic Ranunculus cassubicus complex. New Phytol. 171: 223–236.

Paun, O., Greilhuber, J., Temsch, E. & Hörandl, E. 2006: Patterns, sources and ecological implications of clonal diversity in apomictic Ranunculus carpaticola (Ranunculus auricomus complex, Ranunculaceae). Molec. Ecol. 15: 897–910.

Paun, O., Hörandl, E. 2006: Evolution of hypervariable microsatellites in apomictic polyploid lineages of Ranunculus carpaticola: directional bias at dinucleotide loci. Genetics 174: 387–398.


Hörandl, E., Paun, O., Johansson, J.T., Lehnebach, C., Armstrong, T., Chen, L., Lockhart, P. 2005: Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary traits in Ranunculus s.l. (Ranunculaceae) inferred from ITS sequence analysis. Molec. Phyl. Evol. 36: 305-327.

Paun, O., Lehnebach, C., Johansson, J. T., Lockhart, P., Hörandl, E. 2005: Phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of Ranunculus and allied genera (Ranunculaceae) in the Mediterranean region and in the European Alpine System. Taxon 54: 911-930.

For earlier papers see ISI Web of science

Books and book chapters

Melzheimer V, Hörandl E. 2022. Die Ranunculaceae der Flora von Zentraleuropa: Ranunculus sect. Auricomus.  http://dx.doi.org/10.21248/gups.68734

Hörandl, E. 2022: Die Ranunculaceae der Flora von Zentraleuropa: Ranunculus. – Publiziert unter http://www.flora-deutschlands.de/ranunculaceae.html; http://dx.doi.org/10.21248/gups.66917

Hörandl, E, Jens Bast, Alexander Brandt, Stefan Scheu, Christoph Bleidorn, Mathilde Cordellier, Minou Nowrousian, Dominik Begerow, Anja Sturm, Koen Verhoeven, Jens Boenigk, Thomas Friedl, Micah Dunthorn 2020. Genome evolution of asexual organisms and the paradox of sex in eukaryotes. In Pontarotti, P. (ed.), Evolutionary Biology: a transdisciplinary approach. pp. 133-167. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-57246-4

Hörandl E, Appelhans M (eds.). 2015. Next generation Sequencing in Plant Systematics. Regnum Vegetabile 158. IAPT, Bratislava.

Hojsgaard D, Hörandl E. 2015. Apomixis as a Facilitator of Range Expansion and Diversification in Plants. In: P.  Pontarotti (ed.), Evolutionary Biology: Biodiversification from Genotype to Phenotype. pp. 305-327. Springer.

Hörandl E. 2013. Meiosis and the paradox of sex in nature. In: Bernstein C, Bernstein, H. (ed) Meiosis. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia .

Hörandl E. 2009. Geographical parthenogenesis: opportunities for asexuality. In: Schön, I., Martens, K., Van Dijk P. (eds.), Lost Sex, pp. 161-186. Springer, Heidelberg.

Hörandl, E., Grossniklaus, U., van Dijk P. & Sharbel, T. (eds.), 2007. Apomixis: Evolution, Mechanisms and Perspectives. Gantner Verlag, Ruggell, Liechtenstein.

Hörandl, E. & Paun, O. 2007. Patterns and sources of genetic diversity in apomictic plants: implications for evolutionary potentials and ecology. In: Hörandl, E., Grossniklaus, U., Sharbel, T. & van Dijk, P. (eds.), Apomixis: Evolution, Mechanisms and Perspectives. Gantner Verlag, Ruggell, Liechtenstein.

Stuessy, T. F., Mayer, V., Hörandl, E. (eds.) 2003: Deep Morphology: Toward a Renaissance of Morphology in Plant Systematics. Gantner, Ruggel.

Hörandl, E., Florineth, F., Hadacek, F. 2002: Weiden in Österreich und angrenzenden Gebieten. Arbeitsbereich Ingenieurbiologie u. Landschaftsbau, Univ. Bodenkultur Wien, Wien. [Willows in Austria and adjacent regions. German with english abstract].

Stuessy, T. F., Hörandl, E., Mayer, V. (eds.) 2001: Plant Systematics: a Half-Century of Progress (1950-2000) and Future Challenges. IAPT, Vienna.

Invited talks

Basel, March 2024, Colloquium talk

Vienna, March 2024, Symposium
Greifswald, Nov 2023, Phylogenetic symposium

Hamburg, Sept 2023, keynote talk

Salzburg, Sept 2022, Symposium, keynote talk

Innsbruck, April 2022, seminar talk
Salzburg, April 2022, seminar talk
Jember, Indonesia, Nov 2021, International Congress
Maine, USA, Oct 2021, International Congress
Marseilles, France, Sept 2019, International Congress.
Uppsala, Sweden, Sept 2019, Seminar talk.
Salerno, Italy, Aug 2018. International Congress.
Paris, France, Feb 2018. International Congress.
San Diego, California, USA, Jan 2015. International Congress.
San Diego, California, USA, Jan 2013. International Congress.
Melbourne, Australia, Jul 2011. International Congress.
San Diego, California, USA, Jan 2011. International Congress.
Providence, Rhode Island, USA, July 2010. International Congress.
San Diego, California, USA. January 2010. International Congress.
Tübingen, Germany, June 2009. Symposium for Professor position.
Innsbruck, Austria, Dec 2008. Symposium for Professor position.
Tucson, Arizona, USA, Oct 2008. International Congress.
Zurich, Switzerland, Oct 2008. Seminar talk.
St Andrews, UK, June 2007. International Congress.
Berlin, Germany, June 2007. Symposium for Professor position.
Mainz, Germany, March 2007. International workshop.
Munich, Germany, April 2007. Seminar talk.
Zurich, Switzerland, Dec 2006. Seminar talk.
Vienna, Int. Bot. Congress, July 2005. International Congress.

Scientific Collaborations

University of Göttingen: Stefan Scheu, Christoph Bleidorn, Jan de Vries, Sophie de Vries, Argyris Papantonis, Stefanie Pöggeler, Rolf Daniel, Ines Friedrich, Johannes Söding, Thomas Friedl, Franz Hadacek 

International: Li He (China), Martin Volf (Prague), Tim Sharbel (Saskatoon), Stefan Dullinger (Vienna), Gudrun Kadereit (Munich), Nils Stein (IPK Gatersleben), Diego Hojsgaard (IPK Gatersleben), Johann Greilhuber (Vienna), Johanna Wagner (Innsbruck), Peter Schönswetter (Innsbruck), Dave Speijer (Amsterdam), Danny Geelen (Ghent, Belgium), John Carman (Utah, USA), Tod F Stuessy (Ohio, USA), H. Peter Linder (Switzerland), Peter Lockhart (New Zealand), Matthias Hoffmann (Halle, Germany), Matthias Baltisberger (Zurich)

Scientific memberships: International Society for Plant Reproduction; International Association of Plant Taxonomy; Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft; European Society of Evolutionary Biology; Botanical Society of America; German Society for Systematics (GfBS); NOBIS Austria

Scientific service: Council member of the International Association of Plant Sciences (IAPT); Speaker of the section Biodiversity & Evolution of the German Botanical Society; Editorial board member of the journal PLOS One. Referee of the journals New Phytol, Evolution, Am J Bot, Molec Ecol, Int J Pl Sci, Annals Bot, Pl Syst Evol, J Biogeogr, Taxon, Syst Bot, and others. Reviewer panel of the US National Science Foundation, the German Science Foundation, and the Czech Science Foundation, the European Research Council, the Swiss Science Foundation, the Belgian Science foundation, among others

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