Tropical forests harbor the greatest diveristy of plant species on Earth. Despite having a long history of botanical exploration, vast tracts of tropical forests remain unexplored with many new species awaiting to be described by scientists. The task of documenting tropical plant diversity is urgent given imminent deforestation risks.


Part of my research is directed to collecting plants in unexplored regions and in publishing taxonomic revisions to fill these information voids.  

• My research with Jan Frits Veldkamp in the National Herbarium of the Netherlands was directed to filling taxonomic voids in the Malesian area. We conducted a taxonomic revision of the genus Heteroblemma (Melastomataceae), distributed from Vietnam to New Guinea. The genus was published as new, as well as 3 of its 14 species (see publications). 

• Thanks to the collaboration of expert botanist Max van Balgooy who pointed out the existence of a curious Medinilla (Melastomataceae) specimen in the Leiden herbarium, we were able to describe it as a new species (see publications). Medinilla tapete-magicum is endemic to the island of Celebes and is under cultivation in the Bali Botanical Garden.