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Jeff Duckett

Professor Jeff Duckett

Location: Room 6.08, Fogg Building
email: j.g.duckett@qmul.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)20 7882 6332

Research interests:

Jeffrey Duckett, Emeritus Professor of Botany, was the 2008 recipient of the Linnean Society medal for Botany and in 2007 was given the Richard Spruce Award by the International Association of Bryologists for outstanding research in bryology over 25 years.

Elected as an honorary member of the British Bryological Society in 2005 and president of the International Association of Bryologists in 2009 he enjoys acclaim worldwide for his innovative research on cell biology, morphology, development, physiology and evolution of lower land plants (bryophytes and pteridophytes), a reputation earned from his international collaborative endeavours with inter alia Professors K. S. Renzaglia, Southern Illinois University and Roberto Ligrone, University of Naples, Italy and investigating primitive taxa from the southern hemisphere and the tropics (Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Africa).

Over the last 10 years, using electron microscopy and immuno-cytochemistry, Professors Duckett, Ligrone and Renzaglia have demonstrated the multiple evolution of water-conducting cells in bryophytes and debunked the traditional notion that these are homologous with tracheids. Their evaluation of other new non-molecular characters are increasingly used to interpret land plant phylogeny.

In 2009 Jeffrey Duckett became a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum, London and works there with Dr Silvia Pressel, recently appointed at the Museum as researcher in biodiversity, at the end of her Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at QMUL. Together with Dr Ken P’ng (Department of Materials, QMUL) they are investigating the function and evolution of stomata in land plants using novel state-of-the-art cryo-scanning electron microscope imaging techniques in the QMUL Nanovision Centre. These same techniques are also being used in a major programme on the desiccation biology of bryophytes aimed a gaining a full understanding of how these plants are able to survive the loss of up to 90% of their water content.

Working with Ligrone and Pressel, cytological and experimental studies on fungal symbioses in liverworts, with the recent addition of the molecular dimension provided by Dr Martin Bidartondo (Kew and Imperial College), are providing remarkable new insights into the origins of mycorrhizas in vascular plants. Glomeromycote assocations found in the most primitive of all extant land plants, the liverworts Treubia and Haplomitrium, which closely match those in Devonian fossils, have, through the long course of liverwort evolution, been variously replaced by ascomycetes and basidiomyctes.

Professor Duckett’s eclectic research interests in bryophytes also extend to their ecology where there are ongoing projects on relationships between vegetative propagules and habitats, the effectiveness of sexual reproduction, London’s changing bryophyte flora, the effects of fires on heathlands and the development of Green Wall technology using mosses and liverworts.

Personal website: www.biology.qmul.ac.uk/research/staff/duckett/duckett.htm

Research group:

Publications:

  • Bidartondo, M.I., Read, D.J., Trappe, J.M., Merckx, Ligrone, R. & Duckett, J.G. (2011). The dawn of symbiosis between plants and fungi. Biology Letters Published online before print March 9, 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1203
  • Duckett, J.G. (2011). Bryophyte inventory and conservation, Ascension Island. Ascension Conservation Quarterly 33: 5-7.
  • Pressel, S.,  P’ng, K.M.Y. & Duckett, J.G. (2011). An ultrastructual study of the liverwort Mizutania riccardioides Furuki et Iwaksuki: new insights into its systematic affinities and unique surface ornamentation. Bryologist 114:38-51.
  • Pressel, S. & Duckett, J.G. (2011). Bryophyte surfaces; new functional perspectives from cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Field Bryology  104: 50-53.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2011). Review of; Goffinet, B. and A. J. Shaw (editors) Bryophyte Biology, Second Edition. Cambridge University Press. 2009, pp. 565. Softback. ISBN 978-0-521-87225-6. Price £35.00. Journal of Bryology 33: 93-94.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2011). Review of; Haji Mohamed, Baki B. Bakar, Amru Nasrulhaq Boyce and Patrick Lee Kok Yuen (editors) Bryology in the new millenium. Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya and International Association of Bryologists, Kuala Lumpur, 2008, pp.xxvi + 513, numerous line drawings, maps, half tones and colour plates. Softcover, 255 x 180mm. ISBN  978-967-5148-15-6. Price USD 60.00 softcover, USD 75.00 hardcover. Journal of Bryology  33:94-95.
  • Hooper, E.J., Duckett, J.G., Cuming, A.C., Kunin, W.E.  & Pressel, S. (2010) Ephemerella readeri Müll. Hal. (Physcomitrella readeri Müll. Hal.) I.G. Stone & G.A.M.Scott, Funariidae, Bryophyta: a genus and species new to Europe. Journal of Bryology 32:256-264.
  • Pressel, S.,  P’ng, K.M.Y. & Duckett, J.G.  (2010) Cryo-scanning electron microscope study of the water relations of the remarkable cell wall in the moss Rhacocarpus. Nova Hedwigia 91: 289-299.
  • Pressel, S., Bidartondo, M.I., Ligrone, R. & Duckett, J.G. (2010) Fungal symbioses in bryophytes: new insights in the twenty first century. Phytotaxa 9: 238-253.
  • Cao, J.-G., Wang, Q.-X., Dai, X.-L. & Duckett, J.G. (2010) Ultrastructural observations of oogenesis in the fern Adiantum flabellulatum L. (Adiantaceae). American Fern Journal 100: 93-102.
  • Bidartondo,  M.I. & Duckett, J.G. (2010) Conservative ecological and evolutionary patterns in liverwort-fungal symbioses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 277: 485-492.
  • Duckett, J.G., Pressel, S., P’ng, K.M.Y.  & Renzaglia ,K.S. (2010) The Sphagnum air-gun mechanism resurrected? Not with a closer look. Commentary on  “The Sphagnum air-gun mechanism resurrected” by Sundberg, New Phytologist 185:886-889.
  • Duckett, J.G., Pressel, S., P’ng, K.M.Y., Renzaglia, K.S. & Pressel, S. (2010) The function and evolution of stomata in bryophytes. Field Bryology 101:38-40.
  • Pressel, S. & Duckett, J.G. (2010) Cytological insights into the desiccation biology of a model system: moss protonemata. New Phytologist 185: 944-963.
  • Duckett J.G., Pressel S., P’ng K.M.Y.  & Renzaglia K.S. (2009)  Exploding a myth; the capsule dehiscence mechanism and the  function of pseudostomata in  Sphagnum. New Phytologist 183:1053-1063
  • Pressel S., Ligrone R.,  Proctor M.C.F. & Duckett J.G. (2009) The cell biology and physiology of de- and rehydration in the desiccation-tolerant liverwort Southbya nigrella.  International Journal of Plant Science 170: 182-199.
  • Pressel S. & Duckett J.G. (2009) Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses. XII. Ephemeropsis, the xenith of morphological differentiation. Journal of Bryology 31:67-75.
  • Duckett J.G. & Pressel S. (2009) London’s changing bryophyte flora. Field Bryology. 98:30-46.
  • Duckett, J.G. & Pressel, S. (2009) Extraordinary features of the reproductive biology of Marchantia at Thursley NNR. Field Bryology 97: 2- 11.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2009) Review of; J. J. Engel & D. Glenny.  A Flora of the Liverworts of New Zealand. Volume1. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri, 2008, pp. 897,177figs (line drawings), 16 colour plates, 3 maps. Hardback, 260 x 190mm.  ISBN978-1-930723-66-5 (Entire work) ISBN  978-1-930723-66-2 (Volume 1).  Libraryof Congress Control Number 2007934630. Price US $ 137, £ 95, 98 Euro. Journal of Bryology 31:64-65.
  • Duckett J.G. (2009) Epiphyllous and epifungal liverworts on Hampstead Heath. Field Bryology 95; 8-10. Reprinted in London Naturalist  88: 207-209.
  • Duckett, J. G. (2008). Epiphyllous and epifungal liverworts on Hampstead Heath. Field Bryology 95; 8-10.
  • Matcham, H.W., and Duckett, J.G. (2008). New national and regional bryophyte records, 18. Aloina brevirostris, Physcomitrium spathulatum var.spathulatum, Pterygoneuron ovatum, Vittia elimbata. Journal of Bryology 30; 161-167.
  • Duckett, J.G. Review of; W.A.Weber and R.C. Wittmann. 2007.Bryophytes of Colorado Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts. Pilgrims Process, Inc.Santa Fe, New Mexico. Journal of Bryology 30; 178.
  • Pressel, S., Ligrone, R., and Duckett, J.G. (2008). The differentiation of moss protonemata; a cytological and experimental study. Annals of Botany. 102; 227-245.
  • Pressel, S.., Ligrone, R., and Duckett, J.G. (2008). The ascomycete Rhizoscyphus ericae elicits a range of host responses in the rhizoids of leafy liverworts; an experimental and cytological analysis. Fieldiana. 47; 59-72. (Invited refereed contribution to celebrate the achievements of the distinguished American hepaticologist John Engel).
  • Duckett, J.G. (2008). Gathering moss at Boxhill.Invited commentary on the classic paper. Wallace, E.C.1955. The bryophytes of Boxhill. London Naturalist 34: 147-153. In Burgess M ( Ed.) London’s changing natural history. LNHS 1858-2008. Classic papers from 150 years of the London Natural History Society.Information Press;Oxford. pp 75-76.
  • Pressel, S., Davis, E.C., Ligrone, R., and Duckett, J.G. (2008). An ascomycetous endophyte induces branching and septation of the rhizoids in the leafy liverwort family the Schistochilaceae (Jungermanniidae, Hepaticopsida). American Journal of Botany 95; 531-541.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2008). A cytological analysis of basidiomycetous endophytes in New Zealand Aneuraceae (simple thalloid liverworts, Metzgeriidae) ; confirmation of the derived status of Verdoornia. Canadian Journal of Botany 86; 346-358.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2008). Endophytic liverworts in New Zealand liverworts. In: Engels J.J. and Glenny D. 2008. A Flora of the Liverworts of New Zealand. Volume I. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 110. pp 48-56.
  • Ligrone, R., Carafa, A., Duckett, J.G., Renzaglia, K.S. and Ruel, K. (2008). Immunocytochemical detection of lignin-related epitopes in cell walls in bryophytes and the charalean green alga Nitella. Plant Systematics and Evolution 270; 257-272.
  • Duckett, J.G., Matcham, H.W., and Pressel, S. (2008). Thursley Common National Nature Reserve: bryophyte recolonization one year after the great fire of July 2006. Field Bryology 94; 3-11.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2007). Review of; W. A. Weber and R.C. Wittmann: Bryophytes of Colorado Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts. Pilgrims Process, Inc.Santa Fe, New Mexico, pp 231.
  • Proctor, M.C.F., Ligrone, R. and Duckett, J.G. (2007). Desiccation tolerance in the moss Polytrichum formosum: physiological and fine-structural changes during desiccation and recovery. Annals of Botany 99; 75-93. (Also see ‘content select’ by J A Bryant;- ‘Rapid responses rule out repair’)
  • Rowntree, J.K., Duckett, J.G., Mortimer, C.L., Ramsay, M. and Pressel, S. (2007). Formation of specialized propagules resistant to desiccation and cryopreservation in the threatened moss Ditrichum plumbicola Crundw. (Ditrichales,Bryopsida). Annals of Botany 100; 483-496.
  • Renzaglia, K.S., Duff, R.J., Ligrone, R., Shaw, J., Mishler, B.D. and Duckett, J.G. (2007). Bryophyte phylogeny: advancing the molecular and morphological frontiers. Bryologist 110; 179-213.
  • Matcham, H.W., Pressel, S., Russell, S. Massardo, F. and Duckett, J.G. (2007). Inventory and conservation of the bryoflora of south-western Patagonia. Field Bryology 93; 2-8.
  • Ligrone, R., Carafa, A., Bonfante, P., Biancotto, V. and Duckett, J.G. (2007). Glomeromycotean associations in liverworts: a molecular, cytological and taxonomical survey. American Journal of Botany 94; 1756-1777.
  • Pressel, S., Matcham H. W. and Duckett, J.G. (2007). Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses. XI. Bryum and related genera; a plethora of propagules. Journal of Bryology 29; 241-258.
  • Duckett, J.G., Carafa, A. and Ligrone, R. (2006). A highly differentiated glomeromycotean association with the mucilage-secreting, primitive antipodean liverwort Treubia: clues to the origins of mycorrhizas. American Journal of Botany 93; 797-813.
  • Duckett, J.G. Russell, J. and Ligrone, R. (2006). Basidiomycetous endophytes in jungermannialean ( leafy ) liverworts have novel cytology and species-specific host ranges: a cytological and experimental study. Canadian Journal of Botany 84; 1075-1093.
  • Duckett, J.G.& Ligrone, R.(2006). Cyathodium Kunze, (Cyathodiaceae,Marchantiales), a tropical liverwort genus and family new to Europe,in Southern Italy. Journal of Bryology 28; 88-96.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R.(2006). Novel features of the plastids in some deep-shade antipodean thalloid liverworts. Cryptogamie, Bryologie 27; 75-83. [Invited refereed contribution to celebrate the achievemants of the distinguished French hepaticoligist Helene Bischler].
  • Duckett, J.G., Pressel, S. and Ligrone, R. (2006). Cornish bryophytes in the Atlantic Arc: cell biology, culturing, conservation and climate change. In: SJ Leach, CN Page,Y Peytoureau and MN Sanford (Eds) Botanical Links in the Atlantic Arc. English Nature and the Botanical Society of the British Isles,Conference Report 24. pp 165-177.
  • Pressel, S., Ligrone, R. and Duckett, J.G.(2006). Effects of de- and rehydration on food-conducting cells in the moss Polytrichum formosum Hedw. : a cytological study. Annals of Botany. 98; 67-76.
  • Pressel, S. and Duckett, J.G.(2006). The parasitic ascomycete Mniaecia jungermanniae (Nees ex Fr.) Boud. induces the formation of giant perichaetia and apogamous sporophytes in leafy liverworts. Canadian Journal of Botany. 84; 384-392.
  • Rothero, G.M., Duckett, J.G. and Pressel, S. (2006). Active conservation augmenting the only British population of Bryum schleicheri var. latifolium via in vitro cultivation. Field Bryology 90; 12-16.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2006). Bryophyte phylogeny: where we were five years ago, where we are now and where we want to be.. Field Bryology 89; 14-16.(Abstract).
  • Pressel, S., Duckett, J.G. and Rowntree, J. (2006). In vitro cultivation:its contributions to bryophyte ecology. Field Bryology 90; 48.(Abstract).
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R.A. (2005) A comparative cytological analysis of fungal endophtes in the sprorophyte rhizomes and vascularized gametophtes of Tmesipteris and Psilotum. Canadian Journal of Botany 83, 1443-1456.
  • Carafa, A., Duckett, J.G., Knox, J.P. and Ligrone, R. (2005) Distribution of xylans in bryophytes and tracheophytes: new insights into basal interrelationships of land plants. New Phytologist 168; 231-240.
  • Pressel, S. and Duckett, J.G. (2005) Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses. X. Ephemeraceae revisited; new dimensions underground. Journal of Bryology 27; 311-318.
  • Martinez-Abigair, J., Nunez-Olivera, J., Matcham, H.W. and Duckett, J.G. (2005) Interactions between parasitic fungi and mosses: Pegged and swollen-tipped rhizoids in Bryum and Funaria. Journal of Bryology 27; 47-53.
  • Duckett, J.G., Fletcher, R., Matcham, H.W., Read, J.T., Russell, A.J. and Pressel, S. (2004) In vitro cultivation of bryophytes; practicalities, progress, problems and promise. Journal of Bryology 26; 3-20.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Roper, P. (2004) Reports of local meetings. Brede High Woods[v.-c.14]:hornworts and a hornet. Field Bryology 83, 30-31.
  • Pressel, S. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) In vitro culturing of rare bryophytes. Field Bryology, Bulletin of the British Bryological Society 82; 34-37.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligron,e R. (2004) There are many ways of making water-conducting cells but what about stomata? Field Bryology, Bulletin of the British Bryological Society 82; 32-33.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2004) Field Bryology. The Annual General Meeting of the British Bryological Society, QMUL, September 2003. Bulletin of the British Bryological Society 82; 31-45.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Perry, A.R. (2004) Eustace Wilkinson Jones (1909-1992) a bibliographic portrait. In Eustace Jones’ Hepatic Flora of West Africa (M. Wiggington et al. eds). Meise, National Botanic Garden of Belgium.
  • Ligrone, R. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) Unraveling homology: New insights from immunocytochemistry and physiology on the multiple evolution of water-conducting cells in Bryophytes. XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Pressel, S., Ligrone, R. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) What happens to food-conducting cells in mosses during de-and rehydration? Abstracts XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Proctor, M.C.F., Ligrone, R. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) De- and rehydration in Polytrichum: a long overdue reconciliation of physiological and cytological data. Abstracts XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Duckett J.G. and Ligrone R. (2004) Do the distributions of endophytic fungi accord with molecular phylogenies of the Hepaticae? Abstracts XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Pressel, S. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) Protonemata and moss systematics: an update. Abstracts XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Pressel, S. and Duckett, J.G. (2004) The applications of In-vitro cultivation to the conservation ecology of rare and endangered bryophytes. Abstracts XV International Association of Bryologists, World Congress. Centro Jardin Botanico de Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Edwards, D., Axe, L. and Duckett, J.G. (2003) Diversity in conducting cells in early land plants and comparisons with extant bryophytes. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141; 297-347.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2003) Obituary, John Richard Gallon 1944-2003. New Phytologist 160; 458-459.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2003) Selection and serendipity in the southern hemisphere or what we couldn’t have done if we’d stayed in Europe. Bulletin of the British Bryological Society 80; 19-21.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Pressel, S. (2003) Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses 1X. Discelium nudum: exquisite adaptation to unstable clay banks. Journal of Bryology 25; 241-246.
  • Ligrone, R., Carafa, A. and Duckett, J.G. (2003) Subterranean gametophytic axes in the primitive liverwort Haplomitrium harbour a unique type of endophytic association with aseptate zygomycetous fungi: an ultrastructural study. New Phytologist 160; 185-197.
  • Carafa, A., Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2003) The placenta Monoclea forsteri Hook. And Treubia lacunosa (colenso) Prosk: insights into placental evolution in liverworts. Annals of Botany 92; 299-307.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2003) The structure and development of haustorial placentas in leptosporangiate ferns; a clear-cut distinction between euphyllophytes and lycophytes. Annals of Botany 95; 513-521.
  • Matcham, H.W. and Duckett,, J.G. (2003) Two mosses new to the Republic of South Africa and the moss Neckera valentiniana Besch. New to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Tropical Bryology 24; 5-6.
  • Ligrone, R., Vaughn, K.C., Renzaglia, K.S., Knox, J.P. and Duckett, J.G. (2002) Diversity in the distribution of polysaccharide and glycoprotein epitopes in the cell walls of bryophytes: new evidence for the multiple evolution of water-conducting cells. New Phytologist 156; 491-508.
  • Renzaglia, K.S., Dengate, S.B., Schmidt, S.J. and Duckett, J.G. (2002) Novel features of Equisetum arvense spermatozoids: insights into pteridophyte evolution. New Phytologist 154; 159-174.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2002) Reports of local meetings. South-East Group Lydden Down, East Kent, 17 March 2002.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2001) Introduction. In British Red Data Books (Eds J. M. Church, N. G. Hodgetts, C. D. Preston & N. F. Stewart). Joint Nature Conservancy Council, pp 6-7.
  • Duckett, J.G. (2001) Reports of local meetings. South-East Group. Dungeness (VC15) 8 October 2000. Bulletin of the British Bryological Society 76; 35-36.
  • Duckett, J.G., Goode, J.A. and Matcham, H.W. (2001) Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses VIII. The gemmiferous protonemata of Dicranoweisia and Orthodontium. Journal of Bryology 23; 181-194.
  • Peters, S.E., English, K., Rana, A., Akter, S., Warburton, N.C. and Duckett, J.G. (2001) Synaptonemal complexes in the pre-cyst of Pheumocystis carinii sp.f. carinii. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 134S.
  • Duckett, J.G. and Ligrone, R. (2001) The cytology of bryophyte-cyanobacterial associations. Phycologist 58; 25.
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