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About Andrew Young

  • BSc (1986) and MSc (1988) Department of Botany, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

  • PhD (1993) Biology Department, Carleton University, Canada.

  • Appointed to the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, in 1993.

    Research Areas

    Plant population genetics, population ecology and conservation biology.

    Current Research Projects

    "Population genetics and demography of the grassland daisy Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides"

    Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides
    (Click to enlarge)

    This work examines how population genetic and demographic processes interact to affect the viability of populations of the endangered daisy R. leptorrhynchoides (the Button Wrinklewort) which occurs in remnant grassland habitats in south-eastern Australia. Initial allozyme studies show that small populations have low genetic diversity relative to large intact populations. Small populations also exhibit a shift in mating system towards reduced numbers of pollen donors contributing to progeny arrays as indicated by increased correlation of outcrossed paternity (Rp)

    Significant chromosomal variation has also been observed across the species range with northern populations being primarily diploid (2n=22) whilst southern populations have both diploid and tetraploid (4n=44) individuals.

    Demographic studies and population modelling of small and large populations are currently underway.

    "Population genetics of rare species"

    This research project is aimed at understanding the population genetics of naturally rare plant species. Comparative analyses of genetic structure and mating system of closely related rare and common species are being used to try and identify genetic correlates of different types of rarity. The species presently being studied are two leguminous shrubs, the common bitter pea - Daviesia mimosoides, and its rare relative D. suaveolens.


  • Dr Tony Brown (CSIRO, Australia).
  • Dr Lenore Fahrig (Carleton University, Canada).
  • Dr Tim Boyle (CIFOR, Indonesia).

    Some Recent Publications

    1. Young, A. and Mitchell, N. (1994) Microclimate and vegetation edge effects in a fragmented podocarp-broadleaf forest in New Zealand. Biological Conservation, 67: 63-72.

    2. Young, A.G. and Merriam, H.G. (1994) Effects of forest fragmentation on the spatial genetic structure of Acer saccharum Marsh. (sugar maple) populations. Heredity, 72: 201-208.

    3. Young, A.G. (1995) Landscape structure and genetic variation in plants: empirical evidence. In: Hansson, L. et al. (eds) Mosaic Landscapes and Ecological Processes, Chapman & Hall. pp. 153-177.

    4. Young, A.G. (1996) Forest fragmentation: Effects on population genetic processes. In: Korpilahti, E., Mikkela, H. and Salonen, T. (eds) Caring for the Forest: Research in a Changing World, Proceedings of the IUFRO XX World Congress, Tampere. pp. 179-189.

    5. Young, A.G. and Brown, A.H.D. (1996) Comparative population genetic structure of the rare woodland shrub Daviesia suaveolens and its common congener D. mimosoides. Conservation Biology, 10: 1-10.

    6. Young, A., Boyle, T. and Brown, A. (1996) The population genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation for plants. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 11: 413-418.

    Contact details:

    Andrew Young

    Australian National Herbarium
    Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
    GPO Box 1600
    Canberra ACT 2601

    Phone: (06) 246 5318
    Fax: (06) 246 5249

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