Professor Darren Crayn

Professor Darren Crayn is Director of the Australian Tropical Herbarium at James Cook University. On completion of his PhD in 1998, he took up a Smithsonian Institution postdoctoral research position in the Republic of Panama. His research examined a phylogenetic approach to understanding the evolution of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in bromeliads. He returned to Australia in 2000 as a research scientist at the National Herbarium of NSW and in 2008 took up the inaugural Directorship of the Australian Tropical Herbarium.

Professor Crayn’s research is in the field of plant systematics and evolution. His team uses a range of traditional and cutting edge techniques, from field surveys and herbarium taxonomy to scanning electron microscopy, DNA-barcoding and genomics. The research discovers, classifies and names new plant species, determines evolutionary relationships, maps the distribution of ecosystems, species and genetic variation within species across the landscape and uncovers deep-time origins and ancient migration pathways of plant groups found in tropical Australia.