Staff Spotlight

Dr. W. Mark Whitten

Mark Whitten portraitSenior Biological Scientist
385G Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611


Ph.D. Botany, University of Florida, 1985

Florida Museum Herbarium


Research Interests

Plant systematics, especially Orchidaceae (Neotropics); chemical ecology of floral fragrances, especially relationships between orchids and euglossine bees. Current projects: Molecular systematics of Maxillarieae and Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae); molecular systematics of Drosera (with Robert Gibson); molecular systematics of Marsilea (with Colette Jacono).


Field Work

Collecting trips to Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador to study various Neotropical orchids.



Invited speaker, 19th World Orchid Conference, Miami, 2008; various US orchid societies.


Representative Publications

Neubig KM, Whitten WM, Williams NH, Blanco MA, Endara L, Burleigh JG, Silvera K, Cushman JC, Chase MW. 2012. Generic recircumscriptions of Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae: Cymbidieae) based on maximum likelihood analysis of combined DNA datasets. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 168: 117-146.

Neubig KM, Whitten WM, Blanco MA, Endara L, Williams NH, Koehler S. 2011. Preliminary molecular phylogenetics of Sobralia and relatives (Sobralieae; Orchidaceae). Lankesteriana 11: 307-317.

W. M. Whitten, M. A. Blanco, N.H. Williams, S. Koehler, G. Carnevali, R. B. Singer, L. Endara, and K. Neubig. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of Maxillaria and related genera (Orchidaceae: Cymbidieae) based upon combined molecular data sets. American Journal of Botany. 94(11): 1860-1889.

Blanco, M.A., G. Carnevali, W. Mark Whitten, R.B. Singer, S. Koehler, N. H. Williams, I. Ojeda, K. M. Neubig, and L. Endara. 2007. Generic realignments In Maxillariinae (Orchidaceae). Lankesteriana 7(3): 515-537.

Koehler, S., Cabral, J. S., Whitten, W. M., Williams, N. H., Singer, R. B., Neubig, K. M., Guerra, M., Souza, A. P. & Amaral, M. 2008. Molecular phylogeny of the neotropical genus Christensonella (Orchidaceae, Maxillariinae): Species delimitation and insights into chromosome evolution. Annals of Botany, 102, 491-507.

Neubig, K.M, W.M.Whitten, B.S. Carlsward, M. A. Blanco, L. Endara, N.H. Williams, and M. Moore. 2009. Phylogenetic utility of ycf1 in orchids: a plastid gene more variable than matK. Plant Syst. Evol. 277:75-84.

Chase, M.W., N. H. Williams, K.M. Neubig, W. M. Whitten. 2008. Taxonomic transfers in Oncidiinae to accord with Genera Orchidacearum, vol. 5. Lindleyana 21: 20-31.

Chase, M. W., Williams, N. H., de Faria, A. D., Neubig, K. M., Amaral, M. d. C. E. & Whitten, W. M. 2009. Floral convergence in Oncidiinae (Cymbidieae; Orchidaceae): an expanded concept of Gomesa and a new genus Nohawilliamsia. Annals of Botany 104: 387-402.

van den Berg, C., Higgins, W. E., Dressler, R. L., Whitten, W. M., Soto-Arenas, M. A. & Chase, M. W. 2009. A phylogenetic study of Laeliinae (Orchidaceae) based on combined nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Annals of Botany 104: 417-430.

Neubig, K.M., N.H. Williams, W. M. Whitten, and F. Pupulin. 2008. Molecular phylogenetics of Dichaea (Orchidaceae: Zygopetalinae) and the evolution of fruit and leaf morphology. Annals of Botany 104: 457-467.

Whitten, W.M. and M.A. Blanco. Tribe Maxillarieae in Genera Orchidacearum Volume 5. Alec M. Pridgeon, Phillip J. Cribb, Mark W. Chase, and Finn N. Rasmussen, editors. ca. 50 pp. In press, late 2009. [Also contributed molecular phylogenies for subtribes Stanhopeinae and Oncidiinae]