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Kate Armstrong

Assistant Curator, Institute of Systematic Botany

Ph.D., University of Edinburgh & Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Scotland, 2010


Myanmar, Himalayan and Southeast Asian floristics, systematics and biogeography of Sapotaceae

Research locations

Myanmar, Southeast Asia


My research is focused on documenting the flora of northern Myanmar and more broadly on investigating patterns of floristic diversification throughout tropical Asia. Currently, I am managing botanical inventory programs in two areas of Myanmar’s Northern Forest Complex – in Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary and in Hkakaborazi National Park/Hponganrazi Wildlife Sanctuary – with the aim of recording all the vascular plant species (an estimated 6,000) in the region and developing identification tools in the form of species checklists, field guides and taxonomic accounts for the Flora of Myanmar. These specimen data also form the basis for mapping the region’s forest ecosystems and will underpin conservation management plans.

I am also interested in using specimen data in combination with molecular phylogentic, ecological, distributional, geological and climatological data to test biogeographic hypotheses and investigate the diversification of floras through time. My focus for this research has primarily been the Sapotaceae – the family of tropical trees that give us chewing gum and shea butter.

Selected publications

Tong, Y.H, Fritsch, P., Tan, Y.H., Aung, M.M., Yang, B, & Armstrong, K. 2022. Novelties in Myanmar Agapetes (Ericaceae) with an updated checklist of species from the country. Nordic Journal of Botany. Published online 4 March 2022. doi: 10.1111/njb.034961–14

Bartholomew, B., Armstrong K.E., Rong, L. & Fritsch, P.W. 2021. Perrotettia taronensis B.M.Barthol. & K.Armstr., sp. nov. (Dipentodontaceae), a new species from northwestern Yunnan Province, China and northern Kachin State, Myanmar and a re-examination of the Asian and Australasian taxa of PerrotettiaPhytoKeys.183: 67–76 doi:10.3897/phytokeys.183.71505

Murray, N.J., Keith, D. A., Duncan, A., Tizard, R., Ferrer-Paris, J., Worthington, T.A., Armstrong, K., Hlaing, N., Htut, W.T., Oo, A.H., Ya, K.Z. & Grantham, H. 2020. Myanmar’s terrestrial ecosystems: status, threats and conservation opportunities. Biological Conservation vol. 252, December 2020.

Henderson, A., Aung, M. M. & Armstrong, K. 2020. A remarkable new Iguanura (Arecaceae, Arecoideae, Areceae) from northern Myanmar. Phytotaxa 446:1.

Tanaka, N., Armstrong K. & Aung, M.M. 2020. Taxonomic studies on Zingiberaceae of Myanmar II: Curcuma stolonifera (Subgenus Eucomate), a new species from the northwestern region. Brittonia DOI 10.1007/s12228-020-09619-8.

Middleton, D.J., Armstrong, K.E., Aung, M.M., Baba, Y., Balslev, H., Chayamarit, K., Chung, R.C.K., Conn, B.J., Fernando, E.S., Fujikawa, K., Kiew, R., Luu, H.T., Newman, M.F., Nobuyuki, T., Tagane, S., Thomas, D., Utteridge, T.M.A., van Welzen, P. Tran, T.B., Widyatmoko, D., Yahara, T. & Wong, K.M. 2019. Progress on Southeast Asia’s Flora Projects. Garden’s Bulletin Singapore 71(2): 1-52. doi: 10.26492/gbs71(2).2019-01

Hughes, M., Aung, M. M. & Armstrong, K.E. 2019. An updated checklist and new species of Begonia (B. rheophytica) from Myanmar. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 76(2): 285-295.

Rodda, M., Aung, M. M. & Armstrong, K.E. 2019. A new species, a new subspecies, and new records of Hoya (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae) from Myanmar and China. BrittoniaDOI 10.1007/s12228-019-09575-y

Armstrong, K.E., Stone, G.N., Nicholls, J.A., Valderrama, E., Anderberg, A.A., Smedmark, J., Gautier, L., Naciri, Y., Milne, R. and Richardson, J.E. 2014. Patterns of diversification amongst tropical regions compared: a case study in Sapotaceae. Frontiers in Genetics. 5:362.

Richardson, J.E., Bakar, A.M., Tosh, J., Armstrong, K.E., Smedmark, J. Anderberg, A. Slik, F. & Wilkie, P. 2014. The influence of tectonics, sea-level changes and dispersal on migration and diversification of Isonandreae (Sapotaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 174(1) 130-140.

Armstrong, K.E. 2013. A revision of the Asian-Pacific species of Manilkara (Sapotaceae). Edinburgh Journal of Botany. 70 (1) 7-56.

Harris D. J., Armstrong, K. E., Walters, G. M., Wilks, C., Mouandza Mbembo, J.-C., Niangadouma, R., Wieringa, J. J., & Breteler, F. J. 2012. Phytogeographical analysis and checklist of the vascular plants of Loango National Park, Gabon. Plant Ecology and Evolution 145(5): 242-257.

Newman, M., Ketphanh, S., Svengsuksa, B., Thomas, P. Sengdala, K., Lamxay, V., & Armstrong, K. 2007. A checklist of the vascular plants of Lao PDR. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh.


Science Talk Blog post: Trekking Through Myanmar’s Northern Forest Complex

Science Talk Blog post: Myanmar by the Numbers

The Hand Lens: From 1920’s adventure narrative to new species – a new Begonia from Myanmar

The Hand Lens: Myanmar Mystery Solved