Dr. Rebecca Yahr

Lichen Biodiversity Scientist

Research Focus

Lichen diversity. This includes the systematics of lichenised-fungi and their photosynthetic partners, and the evolutionary and ecological relationships between these lichen symbionts. Resolving and explaining patterns of lichen diversity contributes towards fundamental knowledge of the planet's biodiversity, and also to the effective conservation of threatened and taxonomically difficult species.

Scientific Activities

Dr. Yahr works to understand the diversity of lichens from the perspectives of conservation of biodiversity and the evolution of symbioses. She and collaborators use inventory work, barcoding, population genetics, phylogenetics, and ecological studies independently and combined to answer questions about species boundaries and distributions in the present and in the past.

Current major projects include inventory and barcoding of montane lichens and population genetics and the role of symbiosis in the distribution of Atlantic temperate rainforest specialist species.

Significant Publications

R Yahr, CL Schoch, BTM Dentinger (2016) Scaling up discovery of hidden diversity in fungi: impacts of barcoding approaches. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371 (1702), 20150336.

Ellis, C.J., Yahr, R., Belinchón, R. & Coppins, B.J. (2014) Archaeobotanical evidence for climate as a driver of ecological community change across the anthropocene boundary. Global Change Biology, 20: 2211-2220.

R Yahr, R Vilgalys, PT DePriest (2006) Geographic variation in algal partners of Cladonia subtenuis (Cladoniaceae) highlights the dynamic nature of a lichen symbiosis. New Phytologist 171 (4), 847-860.


Contact information

20A Inverleith Row

Email: r.yahr@rbge.ac.uk