New website launched Our new website is here. Find out more

Laboratory Manager


Research Expertise

My training and research has focused on biosystematics, phylogenetics, population genetics, taxonomy, conservation and biosecurity.

This research has primarily been on relationships within and among plant species but I also have experience working with a wide range of fungal and animal species.

My research has led to hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships; a better understanding of character evolution; the testing of biogeographic hypotheses; and revised classifications resulting in taxonomic changes.

I am particularly interested in the application of species concepts, the study of relationships within species complexes, and the diversity within and among populations and I have used population genetic methods to reveal information on the amount and spatial structure of genetic diversity within species.

These methods have also proved useful for the management, conservation and protection of the study organisms and their environments.

I have managed the laboratories and conducted research at the University of Otago, Christchurch since 2005.


de Lange P., Heenan P., Houliston G., Rolfe J., Mitchell A. 2013. New Lepidium (Brassicaceae) from New Zealand. PhytoKeys 24: 1–147.

Mitchell A., Li R., Brown J. W., Schönberger I., Wen J. 2012. Ancient divergence and biogeography of Raukaua (Araliaceae) and close relatives in the southern hemisphere. Australian Systematic Botany. 25: 432–446.

Heenan, P. B., Mitchell, A. D., de Lange, P. J., Keeling, J., Paterson, A. M. 2010. Late-Cenozoic origin and diversification of Chatham Islands endemic plant species revealed by analyses of DNA sequence data. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 48: 83–136

Mitchell, A. D., Heenan, P. B., Murray, B. G., Molloy, B. P. J., de Lange, P. J. 2009. Evolution of the south-west Pacific genus Melicytus (Violaceae): evidence from DNA sequence data, cytology, and sex expression. Australian Systematic Botany. 22: 143–157.

Heenan P. B., Mitchell, A. D., Paterson A. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of Geranium species indigenous to New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 47: 21–31.

Vörös, J., Mitchell, A., Goldstien, S. J., Waldman, B., Gemmell, N. J. 2008. Crossing the Tasman Sea: Inferring the introduction history of Litoria aurea and Litoria raniformis (Anura: Hylidae) from Australia into New Zealand. Austral Ecology. 33: 623–629.

Heenan, P. B. Mitchell, A. D., McLenachan, P. A., Lockhart, P. J., de Lange, P. J. 2007. Natural variation and conservation of Lepidium sisymbrioides Hook. f. and L. solandri Kirk (Brassicaceae) in South Island, New Zealand, based on morphological and DNA sequence data. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 45: 237–264

Mitchell, A., Wen, J. 2005. Phylogeny of Brassaiopsis (Araliaceae) in Asia Based on Nuclear ITS and 5S-NTS DNA Sequences. Systematic Botany. 30: 872–886.


Back to top