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Marco Roos

Dr. M.C. (Marco) Roos, Senior researcher - Biodiversity Discovery


Email: marco.roos@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-75 17 260
Room number: Darwinhouse

As a young boy I was most interested in animals and I always carried a lot of books with me to learn more about them (and to some extend the Dutch flora). Being determined to study biology was a great help in choosing my profile at high school. During my study in Biology my main interest moved quite soon from the obvious birds to systematics of plants, especially tropical epiphytic ferns, due to stimulating teachers and a very inspiring herbarium institute.

Having read as a boy the book Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe several times, it was a turning point for me to really go into the forests of Sumatra and carry out fieldwork for months in a row. This has determined my career ever since and emphasized for me the importance of field observations.

In the nineties I started as leader of the research group on SE Asian plant diversity, later also becoming responsible for the coordination of the teaching in biodiversity and systematics in the Leiden biology curriculum. For me this implied to actively teach a substantial part myself, which I could better combine with my administrative tasks than research. Apart from incorporating all aspects of modern advanced evolutionary and systematic biodiversity research, in my view a suit of fieldwork and excursions is at the heart of our teaching. Ultimately, for me the goal of our efforts boils down to the natural history of organisms in their environment. And I still am a bibliophile carrying a lot of biology books.


At Naturalis my priority is the coordination and the strategic development of our academic teaching and training. This implies also substantial active teaching in all phases of the biology curriculum. My possibilities for research activities are only limited, comprising contributions to projects on the Dutch and tropical flora. 


Research interest

My main research interest is systematics of tropical and dutch plant diversity and understanding their phylogenetic patterns in time and space.


morphology, tree of life, biogeography, phylogeny, plant diversity

Current research topics

My research interest are presently changing from e-Flora Malesiana (generating taxonomic information and making this web-based available) to more national topics, like urban biodiversity in the Netherlands (floristics of urban environment and modelling spatial patterns in urban environments).


  • Flora Malesiana network.
  • Dutch Railways, Design Academy Eindhoven, Maastricht University.



  • 1st year’s Biology BSc curriculum Training Flora usage and Excursions (since 1998; since 2002 coordinator)
  • 1st year’s BSc Biology curriculum Tree of Life, lectures on Plant, Fungal and Protist clades (since 1999)
  • Coordinator 2nd trimester/Block IV 1st year curriculum Biology (since 1999)
  • 1st year’s BScBiology currciculum Book Project and popularization of science (since 2004)
  • 2nd year’s BSc Biology currciculum course ‘Biodiversity and Pattern analyses I & II’, practicals/lectures p.p. (since 1996)
  • 2nd year’s BSc Biology currciculum course Dutch Flora (since 2009, coordinator)
  • 3rd year's minor course  Biodiversity and Natural Environment, excursions/lectures p.p. (since 2013)
  • International MSc-course ‘Tropical Plant Families’, practicals/lectures p.p. (since 1999)
  • CML/Naturalis MSc-Seminar Biodiversity (since 2000)
Available student projects



Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Sirichamorn Y., Adema F.A.C.B., Roos M.C., Welzen P.C. van 2014. Molecular and morphological phylogenetic reconstruction reveals a new generic delimitation of Asian Derris (Fabaceae): Reinstatement of Solori and synonymisation of Paraderris with Derris. Taxon 63: 522-538.
Go to website (DOI)

Hamann T., Müller A., Roos M., Sosef M., Smets E. 2014. Detailed mark-up of semi-monographic legacy taxonomic works using FlorML. Taxon 63: 377-393.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Baas P., Roos M.C., Welzen P.C. van 2012. On Max van Balgooy's 80th birthday. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 57: 103-104.
Go to website (DOI)

Edited books

Peeters T.M.J., Nieuwenhuijsen H., Meer F. van der, Raemakers I.P., Heitmans W.R.B., Achterberg K. van, Kwak M., Loonstra A.J., Rond J. de, Roos M., Reemer M. (eds.). 2012. De Nederlandse Bijen 11. 560 p. Naturalis Biodiversity Center & EIS-Nederland, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISBN 9789050114479.


Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Roos M.C., Berendshohn W.G., Dessein S., Hamann T., Hoffmann N., Hovenkamp P., Janssen T., Kirkup D., Kok R. de, Sierra S.E.C., Smets E., Webb C., Welzen P.C. van 2011. e-Flora Malesiana: state of the art and perspectives. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 63: 189-195.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Roos M.C., Hovenkamp P. 2009. Flora Malesiana in the coming decade. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 54: 3-5.
Go to website (DOI)

Raes N., Roos M.C., Slik J.W.F., Loon E.E. van, Steege H. ter 2009. Botanical richness and endemicity patterns of Borneo derived from species distribution models. Ecography 32: 180-192.
Go to website (DOI)

Tamis W.L.M., Duistermaat H., Moorsel R.C.M.J. van, Kruijer J.D., Roos M.C. 2009. The loss and (re)appearance of vascular plant species in the Netherlands. Gorteria: Tijdschrift voor de Floristiek 33: 166-185.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Gravendeel B., Chase M.W., Vogel E.F. de, Roos M.C., Mes T.H.M., Bachmann K. 2001. Molecular phylogeny of Coelogyne (Epidendroideae; Orchidaceae) based on plastid RFLPS, matK, and nuclear ribosomal its sequences: Evidence for polyphyly. American Journal of Botany 88: 1915-1927.

Welzen P.C. van, Turner H., Roos M.C. 2001. New guinea: A correlation between accreting areas and dispersing Sapindaceae. Cladistics 17: 242-247.


Edited books

Hovenkamp P., Gittenberger E., Hennipman E., Jong R. de, Roos M.C., Sluys R., Zandee M. (eds.). 1987. Systematics and Evolution: A Matter of Diversity. 341 p. Utrecht University, ISBN 9789090019673.