Prof Thomas Meagher


Dyers Brae DB4, lab 211
tel. office 3364, lab 3347
fax. 01334 463366


Chair, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Science Advisory Committee, 2014-present

Trustee, St Andrews Botanic Garden Trust, 2014-present

Trustee, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2013-present

Chair, Advisory & Implementation Group, NERC Environmental 'Omics Centre, 2012-present

Chair, Society for the Study of Evolution Education & Outreach Committee, 2010-2016

Member, Natural Environment Research Council, 2007-2013

Member, DEFRA Tree Healh and Plant Biosecurity Taskforce, 2012-2013

Member, DEFRA Science Advisory Council, 2004-2009

Outlook Editor, Evolution, 2006-present

Editorial Board, Heredity, 2000-present

Trustee, St Andrews Botanic Garden Education Trust, 2005-2014

Member, NERC Steering Committee on Environmental Genomics, 2000-2007

Research Interests

Plant evolutionary biology, genealogical reconstruction and analysis (likelihood-based paternity and parentage analysis), quantitative genetics, sexual dimorphism, linkages between molecular variation and phenotypic evolution, ecological and genetic bases for population differentiation and speciation, conservation biology and biodiversity, risk assessment of gene flow and its consequences in genetically modified organisms, public understanding of science.

Research Group

Doctoral Students

  • 2009-2013  Mr. Matthew Elliot (Scottish Government funded). The epidemiology of Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae at two outbreak sites in Scotland (PhD submitted June 2013).  Currently Research Scientist, Forest Research
  • 2008-2011  Dr. Christopher Mcowen (BBSRC studentship, CASE Partner Kew Foundation).  The integration of phylogenetic and functional trait information into monocot biodiversity conservation.  Currently Postdoctoral Scientist, Nippon Foundation Nereus Senior Fellow, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, University of Cambridge
  • 2007-2011  Dr. Malin Rivers (NERC studentship, CASE partner Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew).  Conservation status and conservation genetics of Delonix in Madagascar.  Currently a Postdoctoral Associate, RBG Kew & University of St Andrews
  • 2003-2007 Dr. Mark Looseley. A Comparative investigation of nuclear DNA content and its phenotypic impacts in Silene marizii and S. latifolia
  • 1994-2000 Dr. Jessica Wright . The effects of positive and negative selection on floral characters in natural population of Silene latifolia. Currently a Conservation Geneticist, USFS, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • 1990-1997 Dr. Elizabeth Elle. Sex allocation and reproductive success in a perennial hermaphrodite, Solanum carolinense. Currently Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Simon Fraser University
  • 1989-1995 Dr. Deborah Sheely . The ecological impact of genetic diversity on seedling recruitment in a tropical tree Campnosperma brevipetiolata (Anacardiaceae). Currently a Program Officer with USDA Competitive Grants.
  • 1998-1993 Dr. Diane Byers . The genetic consequences of rarity in Eupatroium resinosum. Currently an Associate Professor at Illinois State University.

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • 2013-pres. Dr. Malin Rivers (part-time)
  • 2005-2006 Dr. Rebecca Yahr , Ph.D. Duke University (advisors Dr. R. Vilgalys and Dr P. Depriest) population biology and genetics of lichen symbioses. Research Fellow, RBGE.
  • 2000-2004 Dr. Christine Vassiliadis , Ph.D. University of Lille (advisors Dr. P. Vernet and Dr Saumitou-Laprade) evolution and maintenance of androdioecy. Lecturer, University of Orsay
  • 1990-1994 Dr. Denise E Costich , Ph.D. University of Iowa (advisor, Dr. H. F. Howe) evolution of dioecy in plants. Cornell University/Boyce Thompson Institute
  • 1989 Dr. Lynda F. Delph . Ph.D. University of Canterbury, New Zealand (advisor Dr. D. G. Lloyd) gender specific resource allocation in plants Associate Professor, Indiana University

Funding (last 10 years)

STFC Futures.  £299,633, “STFC/NERC Bioinformatics & Environmental ‘Omics Network.”  [October 2012 – September 2015]

NERC (sub-contract from CEH).  £40,493.  “NERC Omics Thematic Action Plan Governance” (with PI Prof Dawn Field, CEH; co-PI Dr Pete Kille, University of Cardiff) [2012-2017]

BBSRC/Kew Enterprise, UK.  £10,500 (RBG, Kew contribution), BBSRC CASE studentship for Chris Mcowen [2009-2011]

NERC/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.  £6,000 (RBG, Kew contribution).  NERC CASE studentship for Malin Rivers [2007-2011]

Leverhulme Research Fellowship.  £19,433.  “Matching population biology to policy need in conservation of biodiversity.”  [June 2007 – September 2008]

Beckman Coulter Ltd UK.  £6,000.  NERC CASE Studentship for Mark Looseley [2003-2007]

Science & Society

2001 Evolution, Science, and Society

1994 Leaping into the Future with Evolutionary Biology

(source: symbiosis database)