Hypericum online

A site dedicated to Hypericum – The St John’s Worts

About us

Norman Robson is a Scientific Associate in the Plants Division, Department of Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum. He was a member of staff at the Museum from 1962-1988, retiring as Principal Scientific Officer with responsibility for General Herbarium Section I.

Norman’s interest in Hypericum was stimulated by a final year project on the British species whilst at Aberdeen University. He continued work on the genus for his PhD at the University of Edinburgh (Robson, 1956) with a thesis entitled ‘Studies in the genus Hypericum L.’ that examined floral anatomy and evolution. At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and subsequently at the Natural History Museum, Norman contributed accounts of Hypericum for Floras of various parts of the world. Roy Lancaster encouraged him to start work on a Hypericum monograph in the early 1970s. The monograph, published in a series of papers from 1977-2012, was recently completed and accounts for all 490 species of the genus.

Norman has published more than 90 papers and flora accounts on Hypericum and has described more than 80 new species.


Mark Carine is a Researcher in in the Plants Division, Department of Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum. Mark has collaborated with Norman Robson and other Hypericum researchers with his interest in Hypericum focusing on molecular systematics (see Nürk et al, 2013). His other interests include island biogeography (particularly the Macaronesian region) and the systematics of Convolvulaceae.


David Pattinson completed a Biosystematics MRes at the Natural History Museum in 2013. His masters research included investigating current taxonomy in Canarian Pericallis. He was responsible for much of the initial development the Hypericum scratchpad and is starting a PhD in pathogen evolution in the summer of 2014.


Nicolai Nürk is a Researcher in the Biodiversity & Plant Systematics Department, at the Centre for Organismal Studies, University of Heidelberg. Nicolai has worked with Norman Robson during his PhD and collaborates with the international "Hypericum Research Consortium". His interests are in molecular phylogenetics/omics to reconstruct the evolution and ecology of species range shifts in biodiversity hotspots, such as Andean South America.


Sara Crockett obtained B.Sc. degrees in Botany and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, U.S.A. in 1996. She curated the herbarium of the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden on Santa Catalina Island, California, U.S.A. until 1997, then received her M.Sc. degree in Botany from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, U.S.A. in 2000. During the latter research period, she began her exploration of Hypericum in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. From 2000-2003, she gained experience in medicinal plant research at the prestigious National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford, Mississippi, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ikhlas Khan, and obtained her Ph.D. degree in Pharmacognosy from the University of Mississippi, U.S.A. in 2003. During her postdoctoral training in Pharmacognosy at Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria, from 2004-2012, she successfully applied for two independent grants and directed research to discover new antibacterial and anti-inflammatory natural products from species of Hypericum. She acts as a regular reviewer for Phytochemistry Reviews, Phytochemistry Letters, Molecular Phylogenetic and Evolution, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology and Planta Medica. Since 2009, she has acted as principal organizer of the Hypericum Working Group, a consortium of scientists conducting research on Hypericum from numerous perspectives including cytogenetics, biodiversity and systematics, and natural products chemistry. She is currently employed as a scientific researcher at the Naturschutzbund Steiermark (Styrian Association for Nature Conservation) and is preparing her habilitation thesis.


Jacek Wajer is Curator of Seed Plants in the Plants Division, Department of Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum. Jacek is currently re-curating the BM collections of Hypericum to reflect Norman Robson's monographic treatment.


Alison Eyres is a student on the MSc Plant Diversity course at the University of Reading. Alison is georeferencing specimens of Hypericum as part of a project to investigate niche evolution in the widely distributed Old World clade comprising sections Campylosporus, Ascyreia, Roscyna, Psorophytum and Takasagoya. 


The development of Hypericum online has been supported by the Departmental Innovation Fund of the Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum and by a grant from the Annals of Botany Company.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith