Jan Wieringa

Jan Wieringa pressing plants in Swaziland

I have a wide interest in plants and animals, with a geographical focus on Europe and Africa. My oldest interest is insects, in particular grasshoppers and (bush)crickets, but I take an interest in beetles as well. Of the various plants I have studied I am most keen on legumes and Begonia. A recent project deals with Cassytha in Africa; these are parasitic climbers of the Laurel family. I am especially knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of Gabon, where I have spent over 2 years doing fieldwork.

Next to this taxonomic and floristic/faunistic work, I like to assemble specimen distribution data to produce  biodiversity studies, particularly on African (botanical) biodiversity. My Dutch biodiversity studies are focused on insects, particularly on beetles.


Leguminosae, Begonia, Cassytha, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Gabon, Africa, biodiversity assessment, Netherlands

52.164563669717, 4.4734451622047


I am a biologist, with a focus on biodiversity. On one side I want to make biodiversity accessible by producing keys, describing new species and building databases on biodiversity data, on the other hand I am exploring it by assisting in biodiversity assessment studies.

Current taxonomic research is on:

- Begonia (Begoniaceae)
- Cassytha (Lauraceae)
- Lindackerieae (Achariaceae)
- Detarioideae (Leguminosae)
- African Phaneropterinae (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae)

Current biodiversity studies focus on:

- Plant diversity of the world, particularly tropical Africa
- Insect fauna of The Netherlands
- Entomofauna in cities

sorting out the "catch of the day" by the leaf blower
New species of Cassytha found at Cap Esterias in Gabon


My teaching is either flora and fauna courses: how to identify plants and insects, and show where and how they live in the field, or it is lecturing about biodiversity assessment, and the biases in biodiversity data.

I am assisting the course "Biodiversiteit en Ecologie" at the University of Amsterdam. In this course of 4 weeks, the first week is spent in the lab teaching insect orders and plant families. The second week we visit several vegetation types like dunes & salt marshes, heathland and marshes were we demonstrate the biodiversity of these areas, and show the effect of clines in water availability, nutrients, salt and light to the vegetation, and the fauna that is linked to that. The third week the students have to perform a field study in southern Limburg, where they will sample the entomofauna and record the vegetation in 9 plots over a cline from the hill top to the valley bottom. The fourth week the insects from Limburg will be identified, the data processed, and conclusions drawn regarding the field work.

Ingo demonstrating a slow worm at Roodborn, Limburg
trapping insects at light, Meertensgroeve, Limburg.


  • Cai L, Kreft H, Taylor A, Denelle P, Schrader J, Essl F,Kleunen M van, Pergl J, Pysek P, Stein A, Winter M, Barcelona JF, Fuentes N, Inderjit, Karger DN, Kartesz J, Kuprijanov A, Nishino M, Nickrent D, Nowak A, Patzelt A, Pelser PB, Singh P, Wieringa JJ, Weigelt P. 2022. Global models and predictions of plant diversity based onadvanced machine learning techniques. New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.18533
  • Koenen EJM, Ojeda DI, Bakker FT, Wieringa JJ, Kidner C, Hardy OJ, Pennington RT, Herendeen PS, Bruneau A, Hughes CE (2021). The Origin of the Legumes is a Complex Paleopolyploid Phylogenomic Tangle closely associated with the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Mass Extinction Event. Systematic Biology 70: 508-526. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa041
  • Yang Q, Weigelt P, Fristoe TS, Zhang Z, Kreft H, Stein A, Seebens H, Dawson W, Essl F, König C, Lenzner B, Pergl J, Pouteau R, Pyšek P, Winter M, Ebel AL, Fuentes N, Giehl ELH, Kartesz J, Krestov P, Kukk T, Nishino M, Kupriyanov A, Villaseñor JL, Wieringa JJ, Zeddam A, Zykova E, Kleunen M van. 2021. The global loss of floristic uniqueness. Nature Communications 12: 7290. 10.1038/s41467-021-27603-y
  • König C, Weigelt P, Taylor A, Stein A, Dawson W, Essl F, Pergl J, Pyšek P, Kleunen M van, Winter M, Chatelain C, Wieringa JJ, Krestov P, Kreft H. 2021. Source pools and disharmony of the world's island floras. Ecography 44: 44-55. doi: 10.1111/ecog.05174
  • Couvreur TLP, Dauby G, Blach-Overgaard A, Deblauwe V, Dessein A, Droissart V, Hardy OJ, Harris DJ, Janssens SB, Ley AC, Mackinder BA, Sonké B, Sosef MSM, Stévart T, Svenning J-C, Wieringa JJ, Faye A, Missoup AD, Tolley KA, Nicolas V, Ntie S, Fluteau F, Robin C, Guillocheau F, Barboni D, Sepulchre P. 2021. Tectonics, climate and the diversification of the tropical African terrestrial flora and fauna. Biological Reviews 96: 16-51. doi: 10.1111/brv.12644
  • Marshall CAM, Wieringa JJ, Hawthorne WD. 2021. An interpolated biogeographical framework for tropical Africa using plant species distributions and the physical environment. Journal of Biogeography 48: 23-36. doi: 10.1111/jbi.13976
  • Droissart V, Dauby G, Hardy OJ, Deblauwe V, Harris DJ, Janssens S, Mackinder BA, Blach-Overgaard A, Sonke B, Sosef MSM, Stevart T, Svenning JC, Wieringa JJ, Couvreur TLP. 2018. Beyond trees: Biogeographical regionalization of tropical Africa. Journal of Biogeography 45: 1153-1167. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13190

  • Breteler FJ, Wieringa JJ. 2018. A synopsis of Mendoncia (Acanthaceae) in continental Africa including the description of two new species from western Central Africa and a new subspecies from West Africa. Blumea 63: 109-119. 10.3767/blumea.2018.63.02.03
  • Proosdij ASJ van, Sosef MSM, Wieringa JJ & Raes N, 2016. Minimum required number of specimen records to develop accurate species distribution models. – Ecography 39: 542-552. doi: 10.1111/ecog.01509
  • van Kleunen M, Dawson W, Essl F, Pergl J, Winter M, Weber E, Kreft H, Weigelt P, Kartesz J, Nishino M, Antonova LA, Barcelona JF, Cabezas FJ, Cárdenas D, Cárdenas-Toro J, Castanõ N, Chacón E, Chatelain C, Ebel AL, Figueiredo E, Fuentes N, Groom QJ, Henderson L, Inderjit, Kupriyanov A, Masciadri S, Meerman J, Morozova O, Moser D, Nickrent DL, Patzelt A, Pelser PB, Baptiste MP, Poopath M, Schulze M, Seebens H, Shu W-S, Thomas J, Velayos M, Wieringa JJ & Pysek P 2015. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants. Nature 525: 100-103. doi:10.1038/nature14910
  • Wieringa JJ & Sosef MSM. 2011. The applicability of Relative Floristic Resemblance to evaluate the conservation value of protected areas. Plant Ecology and Evolution 144: 242-248. doi:10.5091/plecevo.2011.588
  • Wieringa JJ, 1999. Monopetalanthus exit. A systematic study of Aphanocalyx, Bikinia, Icuria, Michelsonia and Tetraberlinia (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae). Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 99-4: I-XVI, 1-320 

All publications at Google Scholar