Skip to main content

Sven Buerki, Ph.D.

Sven Buerki

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Mailing Address:
Department of Biology
Boise State University
Boise, ID 83725-1515

Office Location: Science Building, Room 114
Office Number: 208-426-1146
Office Fax: 208-426-1040
E-Mail Address:


  • PhD thesis, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2005 – 2009
  • Masters thesis, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2000 – 2005


Buerki S, Lowry II PP, Munzinger J, Tuiwawa M, Naikatini A, Callmander MW. in press. Alectryon vitiensis: A new species of Sapindaceae endemic to Fiji. Novon.

Landrein S, Buerki S, Wang H-F, Clarkson J. 2017. Untangling the reticulate history of species complexes and horticultural breeds in Abelia (Caprifoliaceae). Annals of Botany, 120: 257–269. doi:10.1093/aob/mcw279

Gallaher T, Callmander MW, Buerki S, Setsuko S, Keeley SC. 2017. Navigating the ‘broad freeway’: ocean currents and inland isolation drive diversification in the Pandanus tectorius complex (Pandanaceae). Journal of Biogeography, 44: 1598-1611. doi:10.1111/jbi.12933

Pillon Y, Buerki S. 2017. How old are island endemics? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121: 469-474. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/blx005

Claudel C, Buerki S, Chatrou LW, Antonelli A, Alvarez N, Hetterscheid W. 2017. Large-scale phylogeny of Amorphophallus (Araceae) derived from nuclear and plastid sequences reveals new subgeneric delineation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 184: 32-45. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/box013

Pitteloud C, Arrigo N, Suchan T, Mastretta-Yanes A, Vila R, Dinca V, Hernández-Roldán J, Brockmann E, Chittaro Y, Kleckova I, Fumagalli L, Buerki S, Pellicier L, Alvarez N. 2017. Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, 284: 20170208. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0208 These authors supervised this work together and are considered as joint last authors.

Pillon Y, Barrabé L, Buerki S. 2017. How many genera of vascular plants are endemic to New Caledonia? A critical review based on phylogenetic evidence. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 183: 177-198. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/bow001 (INVITED REVIEW)

Santos M, Lucas E, Sano PT, Buerki S, Staggemeier VG, Forest F. 2017. Biogeographical patterns of Myrcia s.l. (Myrtaceae) and their correlation with geological and climatic history in the Neotropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 108: 34-48. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.01.012

Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2016. Two new threatened species of Benstonea Callm. & Buerki (Pandanaceae) from Sabah (Borneo, Malaysia). Candollea, 71: 257-263. doi:10.15553/c2016v712a10

Buerki S, Gallaher T, Booth T, Brewer G, Forest F, Callmander MW. 2016. Biogeography and evolution of the screw-pine genus Benstonea Callm. & Buerki (Pandanaceae). Candollea, 71: 217-229. doi:10.15553/c2016v712a8

Darbyshire I, Simmons MP, Cappa JJ, Breteler FJ, Buerki S. 2016. Pleurostylia serrulata and two allied new species from Africa are actually members of the New World Crossopetalum (Celastraceae). Systematic Botany, 41: 851-864. doi:10.1600/036364416X693955

Muellner-Riehl AN, Weeks A, Clayton JW, Buerki S, Nauheimer L, Chiang Y-C, Cody S, Pell SK. 2016. Molecular phylogenetics and molecular clock dating of Sapindales based on plastid rbcL, atpB and trnL-trnF DNA sequences. Taxon, 65: 1019-1036. doi:10.12705/655.5

Callmander MW, Keim AP, Heatbun CD, Homot P, Buerki S. 2016. Lifting the curtain on our knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae). Phytotaxa, 275: 168-174. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.275.2.8

Munzinger J, Lowry II PP, Buerki S, Callmander MW. 2016. A taxonomic revision of the endemic New Caledonian genus Storthocalyx Baill. (Sapindaceae). Systematic Botany, 41: 387-400. doi:10.1600/036364416X691902

Callmander MW, Phillipson PB, Plunkett GM, Edwards MB, Buerki S. 2016. Generic delimitations, biogeography and evolution in the tribe Coleeae (Bignoniaceae), endemic to Madagascar and the smaller islands of the western Indian Ocean. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 96: 178-186. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.11.016

Buerki S, Baker WJ. 2016. Collections-based research in the genomic era. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 117: 5-10. doi:10.1111/bij.12721

Kenyon SG, Buerki S, Hansson C, Alvarez N, Benrey B. 2015. Uncovering cryptic parasitoid diversity in Horismenus (Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae). PLoS ONE, 10(9): e0136063. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136063 These authors have contributed equally and are considered joint first authors.

Bone RE, Smith JAC, Arrigo N, Buerki S. 2015. A macro-ecological perspective on CAM photosynthesis evolution in Afro-Madagascan drylands: Eulophiinae orchids as a case study. New Phytologist, 208(2): 469-481. doi:10.1111/nph.13572

Callmander MW, Keim AP, Buerki S, Phillipson PB. 2015. The genus Pandanus Parkinson (Pandanaceae) on Halmahera Island (Moluccas, Indonesia) with descriptions of three new species and a key to the species on the island. Candollea, 70: 179-195. doi:10.15553/c2015v702a2

Bone RE, Cribb PJ, Buerki S. 2015. Phylogenetics of Eulophiinae (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae): evolutionary patterns and implications for generic delimitation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 179: 43-56. doi:10.1111/boj.12299

Callmander MW, Munzinger J, Buerki S, Lowry II PP. 2015. Novitates neocaledonicae II. Acropogon moratianus Callm., Munzinger & Lowry, sp. nov. (Malvaceae, Sterculieae): a rare and threatened new species from New Caledonia. Adansonia, sér. 3., 37(1): 131-137. doi:10.5252/a2015n1a8

Grace OM, Buerki S, Symonds MRE, Forest F, van Wyk AE, Smith GF, Klopper RR, Bjorå CS, Neale S, Demissew S, Simmonds MSJ, Rønsted N. 2015. Evolutionary history and leaf succulence as explanations for medicinal use in aloes and the global popularity of Aloe vera. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 15: 29. doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0291-7

Buerki S, Callmander MW, Bachman S, Moat J, Labat J.-N, Forest F. 2015. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, serie B, 370: 20140014. doi:10.1098/rstb.2014.0014

Gallaher T, Callmander MW, Buerki S, Keeley SC. 2015. A long distance dispersal hypothesis for the Pandanaceae and the origins of the Pandanus tectorius complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 83: 20-32. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.11.002

Bone RE, Sanz E, Buerki S. 2014. The transfer of Eulophia beravensis Rchb.f. to Oeceoclades Lindl., a genus with its centre of diversity in Madagascar (Eulophiinae, Orchidaceae). Candollea, 69: 201-205.

Buerki S, Doherty R, Gautier L, Callmander MW. 2014. Rediscovery of the genus Tsingya Capuron (Sapindaceae) and its phylogenetic position. Candollea, 69: 195-200.

Callmander MW, Buerki S, AP Keim, Phillipson PB. 2014. Notes on Benstonea (Pandanaceae) from the islands of Halmahera, New Guinea and Sulawesi. Phytotaxa, 175: 161-165. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.175.3.6

Sothers CA, Prance GT, Buerki S, De Kok R, Chase MW. 2014. Taxonomic novelties in Neotropical Chrysobalanaceae: towards a monophyletic Couepia. Phytotaxa, 172 : 176-200. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.172.3.2

Strijk JS, Bone R, Thébaud C, Buerki S, Fritsch PW, Hodkinson TR, Strasberg D. 2014. Timing and tempo of evolutionary diversification in a biodiversity hotspot: Primulaceae on Indian Ocean islands. Journal of Biogeography, 41: 810-822. doi:10.1111/jbi.12259

Buerki S, Forest F, Alvarez N. 2014. Proto-South-East Asia as a trigger of early angiosperms diversification. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Special Issue: Ecology and evolution on oceanic islands: broadening the botanical perspective, 174: 326-333. doi:10.1111/boj.12129

Inda LA, Sanmartin I, Buerki S, Catalan P. 2014. Mediterranean origin and Miocene–Holocene Old World diversification of meadow fescues and ryegrasses (Festuca subgenus Schedonorus and Lolium). Journal of Biogeography 41: 600-614. doi:10.1111/jbi.12211

Forest F, Goldblatt P, Manning JC, Baker D, Colville J, Devey DS, Jose S, Kaye M, Buerki S. 2014. Pollinator shifts as trigger of speciation in painted petal irises (Lapeirousia: Iridaceae). Annals of Botany, Special issue on Pollinator-driven speciation, 113: 357-371. doi:10.1093/aob/mct248

Barrabé L, Maggia L, Pillon Y, Rigault F, Mouly A, Davis AP, Buerki S. 2014. New Caledonian lineages of Psychotria (Rubiaceae) reveal different evolutionary histories and the largest documented plant radiation for the archipelago. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 71: 15-35. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.10.020

Munzinger J, Lowry II PP, Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2013. A taxonomic revision of the endemic New Caledonian genus Podonephelium Baillon (Sapindaceae). Systematic Botany, 38: 1105-1124. doi:10.1600/036364413X674814

Tosh J, Dessein S, Buerki S, Groeninckx I, Mouly A, Bremer B, Smets EF, De Block P. 2013. Evolutionary history of the Afro-Madagascan Ixora species (Rubiaceae): species diversification and distribution of key morphological traits inferred from dated molecular phylogenetic trees. Annals of Botany, 112: 1723-1742. doi:10.1093/aob/mct222

Devey DS, Forest F, Rakotonasolo F, Ma P, Dentinger BTM, Buerki S. 2013. A snapshot of extinction in action: The decline and imminent demise of the endemic Eligmocarpus Capuron (Caesalpinioideae, Leguminosae) serves as an example of the fragility of Madagascan ecosystems. South African Journal of Botany, Special Issue: Towards a New Classification System for Legumes, 89: 273-280. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2013.06.013

Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2013. Corrections to Phytotaxa 112: Update on the systematics of Benstonea (Pandanaceae). Phytotaxa, 125: 59-60. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.125.1.9

Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2013. A new species of Pandanaceae from New Caledonia: Pandanus letocartiorum Callm. & Buerki with notes on the taxonomic identities of P. decumbens (Brongn.) Solms and P. reticulatus Vieill. Candollea, 68: 51-60.

Buerki S, Forest F, Stadler T, Alvarez N. 2013. The abrupt climate change at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary and the emergence of Southeast Asia triggered the spread of sapindaceous lineages. Annals of Botany, 112: 151-160. doi:10.1093/aob/mct106

Christenhusz MJM, Govaerts R, David JC, Hall T, Borland K, Roberts PS, Tuomisto A, Buerki S, Chase MW, Fay MF. 2013. Tiptoe through the tulips – cultural history, molecular phylogenetics and classification of Tulipa (Liliaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 172: 280-328. doi:10.1111/boj.12061

Callmander MW, Booth T, Beentje H, Buerki S. 2013. Update on the systematics of Benstonea (Pandanaceae): When a visionary taxonomist foresees phylogenetic relationships. Phytotaxa, 112: 57-60. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.112.2.4

Barres L, Sanmartín I, Anderson C-L, Susanna A, Buerki S, Galbany-Casals M, Vilatersana R. 2013. Why are thistles everywhere: Reconstructing the evolution and biogeographic history of tribe Cardueae (Compositae). American Journal of Botany, 100: 867-882. doi:10.3732/ajb.1200058

Yahara T, Javadi F, Onoda Y, de Queiroz LP, Faith DP, Prado DP, Akasaka M, Kadoya T, Ishihama F, Davies S, Slik JWF, Yi T, Ma K, Bin C, Darnaedi D, Pennington RT, Tuda M, Shimada M, Ito M, Egan AN, Buerki S, Raes N, Kajita T, Mimura M, Tachida H, Iwasa Y, Smith GF, Victor JE, Nkonki T. 2013. Global legume diversity assessments: concepts, key indicators, and strategies. Taxon, 62: 249-266. doi:10.12705/622.12

Buerki S, Davidson C, Pereira JT, Callmander MW. 2013. A new species of Trigonachras (Sapindaceae) endemic from Sabah, Malaysia (Borneo). Phytotaxa, 88: 19-24. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.88.2.1

Buerki S, Manning JC, Forest F. 2013. Spatio-temporal history of the disjunct Tecophilaeaceae family: a tale involving the colonization of three Mediterranean-type climates. Annals of Botany, 111: 361-373. doi:10.1093/aob/mcs286

Buerki S, Devey DS, Callmander MW, Phillipson PB, Forest F. 2013. Spatio-temporal history of the endemic genera of Madagascar. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 171: 304-329 (INVITED REVIEW). doi:10.1111/boj.12008

Callmander MW, Lowry II PP, Forest F, Devey DS, Beentje H, Buerki S. 2012. Benstonea Callm. & Buerki (Pandanaceae): characterization, circumscription, and distribution of a new genus of screw-pines, with a synopsis of accepted species. Candollea, 67: 323-345.

Barrabé L, Buerki S, Mouly A, Davis AP, Munzinger J, Maggia L. 2012. Delimitation of the genus Margaritopsis (Rubiaceae) in the Asian, Australasian and Pacific region, based on molecular phylogenetic inference and morphology. Taxon, 61: 1251-1258.

Buerki S, Callmander MW, Devey DS, Chappell L, Gallaher T, Munzinger J, Haevermans T, Forest F. 2012. Straightening out the screw-pines: a first step in understanding phylogenetic relationships within Pandanaceae. Taxon, 61: 1010-1020.

Espindola A, Buerki S, Jacquier A, Jezek J, Alvarez N. 2012. Molecular relationships in the sub-family Psychodinae (Diptera: Psychodidae). Zoologica Scripta, 41: 489-498. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00544.x

Borer M, Arrigo N, Buerki S, Naisbit R, Alvarez N. 2012. Climate oscillations and species interactions: large scale congruence but regional differences in the phylogeographic structures of an alpine plant and monophagous insect. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 1487-1498. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02703.xThese authors have contributed equally and are considered joint first authors.

Buerki S, Jose S, Yadav SR, Goldblatt P, Manning JC, Forest F. 2012. Contrasting biogeographical patterns in two Mediterranean-type ecosystems. PLoS ONE, 7(6): e39377. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039377

Bone R, Strijk JS, Fritsch PW, Buerki S, Strasberg D, Thébaud C, Hodkinson TR. 2012. Phylogenetic inference of Badula Juss. (Primulaceae) – a rare and threatened genus endemic to the Mascarene archipelago. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 169: 284-296. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01221.x

Espindola A, Buerki S, Alvarez N. 2012. Ecological and historical drivers of diversification in the fly genus Chiastocheta Pokorny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 63: 466-474. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.01.018

Buerki S, Forest F, Callmander MW, Lowry II PP, Devey DS, Munzinger J. 2012. Phylogenetic inference of New Caledonian lineages of Sapindaceae: molecular evidence requires a reassessment of generic circumscriptions. Taxon, 61: 109-119.

Zarrei M, Wilkin P, Ingrouille MJ, Leitch IJ, Buerki S, Fay MF, Chase MW. 2012. Speciation and evolution in the Gagea reticulata species complex (Tulipeae; Liliaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 62: 624-639. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.11.003

Phillipson PB, Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2011. Gouania tiliifolia: the correct name for Gouania scandens (Rhamnaceae). Novon, 21: 481-482. doi:10.3417/2011

Borer M, van Noort T, Arrigo N, Buerki S, Alvarez N. 2011. Does a shift in host plants trigger the speciation in the Alpine leaf beetle Oreina speciosissima (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11: 310. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-310

Callmander MW, Buerki S, Phillipson PB. 2011. Nomenclatural changes in the endemic genus Tina (Sapindaceae) in Madagascar. Candollea, 66: 124-126.

Triponez Y, Buerki S, Borer M, Naisbit R, Rahier M, Alvarez N. 2011. Discordances between phylogenetic and morphological patterns of alpine leaf beetles attest to intricate history of lineages in postglacial Europe. Molecular Ecology, 20: 2442-2463. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05096.x These authors have contributed equally and are considered joint first authors.

Buerki S, Phillipson PB, Callmander, MW. 2011. A taxonomic revision of Gouania (Rhamnaceae) in Madagascar and the other islands of the western Indian Ocean (the Comoros and Mascarene islands, and the Seychelles). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 98: 157-195. doi:10.3417/2007075

Buerki S, Lowry II PP, Andriambololonera S, Phillipson PB, Vary L, Callmander, MW. 2011. How to kill two genera with one tree: clarifying generic circumscriptions within an endemic Malagasy clade of Sapindaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 165: 223-234. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2010.01106.x

Buerki S, Forest F, Alvarez N, Nylander JAA, Arrigo N, Sanmartín I. 2011. An evaluation of new parsimony-based versus parametric inference methods in biogeography: a case study using the globally distributed plant family Sapindaceae. Journal of Biogeography, 38: 531-550. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02432.x

Arrigo N, Buerki S, Béguin A, Guadagnuolu R., Kozlowski G. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships in Baldellia (Alismataceae) inferred from AFLP markers, nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58: 33-42. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.009

Buerki S, Forest F, Salamin N, Alvarez N. 2011. Comparative performance of supertree algorithms in large data sets using the soapberry family (Sapindaceae) as a case study. Systematic Biology, 60: 32-44. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syq057

Borer M, Alvarez N, Buerki S, Margraf N, Rahier M, Naisbit R. 2010. The phylogeography of an alpine leaf beetle: divergence within Oreina elongata spans several ice ages. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57: 703-709. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.08.017

 Callmander MW, Buerki S, Phillipson PB. 2010. The genus Brackenridgea A. Gray (Ochnaceae). Candollea, 62 (2): 374-375.

Buerki S, Lowry II PP, Alvarez N, Razafimandimbison SG, Küpfer P, Callmander MW. 2010. Phylogeny and circumscription of Sapindaceae revisited: molecular sequence data, morphology and biogeography support recognition of a new family, Xanthoceraceae. Plant Ecology and Evolution, 143: 148-161. doi:10.5091/plecevo.2010.437

Arrigo N, Felber F, Parisod C, Buerki S, Alvarez N, David J, Guadagnuolo R. 2010. Origin and expansion of the allotetraploid Aegilops geniculata Roth, a wild relative of wheat. New Phytologist, 187: 1170-1180. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03328.x

Espindola A, Buerki S, Bedalov M, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. 2010. New insights into the phylogenetics and biogeography of Arum (Araceae): unravelling its evolutionary history. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 163: 14-32. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2010.01049.x

Buerki S, Phillipson PB, Lowry II PP, Callmander MW. 2010. Molecular phylogenetics and morphological evidence support recognition of Gereaua, a new endemic genus of Sapindaceae from Madagascar. Systematic Botany, 35: 172-180. doi:10.1600/036364410790862669

Buerki S, Callmander MW, Lowry II PP, Phillipson PB. 2009. A synoptic revision of the genus Lepisanthes Blume (Sapindaceae) in Madagascar. Adansonia, 31: 301-309. doi:10.5252/a2009n2a6

Callmander MW, Rakotovao C, Razafitsalama J, Phillipson PB, Buerki S, Hong-Wa C, Rakotoarivelo N, Andriambololonera S, Koopman MM, Deroin T, Johnson DM, Andriamandranto R, Solo S, Labat J-N, Lowry II PP. 2009. New species from two unknown and highly threatened mountainous areas in north-western Madagascar: the Galoka and Kalabenono massifs. Candollea, 64: 179-202.

Burnier J, Buerki S, Arrigo N, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. 2009. Genetic structure and evolution of Alpine polyploid complexes: Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae) as a case study. Molecular Ecology, 18: 3730-3744. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04281.x These authors have contributed equally and are considered joint first authors.

Kissling J, Buerki S, Mansion G. 2009. Klackenbergia (Gentianaceae – Exaceae): a new endemic genus to Madagascar. Taxon, 58: 907-912.

Buerki S, Callmander MW, Schüpfer F, Ravokatra M, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. 2009. Malagasy Dracaena Vand. ex L. (Ruscaceae): an investigation of discrepancies between morphological features and spatial genetic structure at a small evolutionary scale. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 280: 15-28. doi:10.1007/s00606-009-0162-z

Buerki S, Forest F, Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Callmander MW, Nylander JAA, Harrington M, Sanmartin I, Küpfer P, Alvarez N. 2009. Plastid and nuclear DNA markers reveal intricate relationships at subfamilial and tribal levels in the soapberry family (Sapindaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 51: 238-258. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.01.012

Callmander MW, Buerki S, Wohlhauser S. 2008. A new threatened species of Pandanaceae from northwestern Madagascar: Pandanus sermolliana. Novon, 18: 421-424. doi:10.3417/2007101

Callmander MW, Phillipson PB, Buerki S. 2008. Révision du genre Bathiorhamnus Capuron (Rhamnaceae) endémique de Madagascar. Adansonia sér. 3, 30: 151-170.

Laivao MO, Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2007. Révision de Pandanus sect. Foullioya à Madagascar. Adansonia sér. 3, 29: 39-57.

Laivao MO, Callmander MW, Buerki S. 2006. Sur les Pandanus (Pandanaceae) à stigmates saillants de la Côte Est de Madagascar. Adansonia, sér. 3, 28: 267-285.