Dr Jim Provan

PhD, BSc

Dr Jim Provan

Reader in Biological Science

Contact Details



My current research is primarily concerned with the evolutionary responses of natural populations to global change. This ranges from using phylogeographic approaches to elucidate the response of species to previous climatic changes through the Ice Ages, through population genetic analyses of the impacts of present-day climate change on populations, to using next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches to determine the potential for populations to respond to future climate change. I also carry out work in conservation genetics to inform management strategies for rare and threatened species.


Phylogenomic inference in extremis: : A case study with mycoheterotroph plastomesLam, V. K. Y., Darby, H., Merckx, V. S. F. T., Lim, G., Yukawa, T., Neubig, K. M., Abbott, J. R., Beatty, G. E., Provan, J., Gomez, M. S. & Graham, S. W. 2018 In : American Journal of Botany.105, 3, p. 1-1515 p.
Cryptic species and parallel genetic structuring in Lethrinid fish: Implications for conservation and management in the southwest Indian OceanHealey, A. J. E., McKeown, N., Taylor, A. L., Provan, J., Sauer, W., Gouws, G. & Shaw, P. 2018 In : Ecology and Evolution.
Low genetic diversity and potential inbreeding in an isolated population of alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) following a founder effectFinlay, C., Bradley, C., Preston, J. & Provan, J. 2017 In : Scientific Reports.7, 3010
Using MiddRAD-seq data to develop polymorphic microsatellite markers for an endangered yew speciesQin, H-T., Yang, G-Q., Provan, J., Liu, J. & Gao, L-M. 2017 In : Plant Diversity.
Microsatellite analysis supports the existence of three cryptic species within the bumble bee Bombus lucorum sensu latoMcKendrick, L., Provan, J., Fitzpatrick, Ú., Brown, M. J. F., Murray, T. E., Stolle, E. & Paxton, R. J. 2017 In : Conservation Genetics.18, 3, p. 573-584
Using genetic monitoring to inform best practice in a captive breeding programme: inbreeding and potential genetic rescue in the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritiferaKyle, R., Beatty, G., Roberts, D. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Conservation Genetics.17, p. 1323-1332
Broad-scale genetic homogeneity in natural populations of common hazel (Corylus avellana) in IrelandBrown, J., Beatty, G., Montgomery, I. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Tree Genetics and Genomes.12, 122
Genetic analyses reveal high levels of seed and pollen flow in hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.), a key component of hedgerowsBrown, J. A., Beatty, G., Finlay, C. M. V., Montgomery, W. I., Tosh, D. G. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Tree Genetics and Genomes.12, 3, 58
Pure species within a continuum of genetic and morphological variation: sympatric oaks at the edge of their rangeBeatty, G. E., Montgomery, W. I., Spaans, F., Tosh, D. G. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Annals of Botany.117, 4, p. 541-549
The paradox of invasion: Reeves' muntjac deer invade the British Isles from a limited number of founding femalesFreeman, M. S., Beatty, G. E., Dick, J. T. A., Reid, N. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Journal of Zoology.298, 1, p. 54-6310 p.
High-resolution genetic analysis reveals extensive gene flow within the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa) in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean SeaGlynn, F., Houghton, J. D. R., Bastian, T., Doyle, T. K., Fuentes, V., Lilley, M. K. S. & Provan, J. 2016 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.117, 2, p. 252-26312 p.
Population genetic analyses reveal distinct geographical blooms of the jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (Scyphozoa)Glynn, F., Houghton, J. D. R. & Provan, J. 2015 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.116, 3, p. 582-59211 p.
Genetic provenance and best practice woodland management: a case study in native alder (Alnus glutinosa)Beatty, G., Montgomery, W. I., Tosh, D. G. & Provan, J. 2015 In : Tree Genetics and Genomes.11, 5, 7 p., 92
Lack of genetic structure and evidence for long-distance dispersal in ash (Fraxinus excelsior) populations under threat from an emergent fungal pathogen: implications for restorative plantingBeatty, G., Brown, J. A., Cassidy, E. M., Finlay, C. M. V., McKendrick, L., Montgomery, W. I., Reid, N., Tosh, D. G. & Provan, J. 2015 In : Tree Genetics and Genomes.11, 3, 13 p., 53
The not-so-Irish spurge: Euphorbia hyberna (Euphorbiaceae) and the Littletonian plant 'steeplechase'Beatty, G., Lennon, J. J., O'Sullivan, C. J. & Provan, J. 2015 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.114, 2, p. 249-25911 p.
Cryptic introgression into the kidney saxifrage (Saxifraga hirsuta) from its more abundant sympatric congener Saxifraga spathularis, and the potential risk of genetic assimilationBeatty, G., Barker, L., Chen, P-P., Kelleher, C. T. & Provan, J. 2015 In : Annals of Botany.115, 2, p. 179-1868 p.
Phylogeographical analyses of shellfish viruses: inferring a geographical origin for ostreid herpesviruses OsHV-1 (Malacoherpesviridae)Mineur, F., Provan, J. & Arnott, G. 2015 In : Marine Biology.162, 1, p. 181-19212 p.
Understanding macroalgal dispersal in a complex hydrodynamic environment: a combined population genetic and physical modelling approachBrennan, G., Kregting, L., Beatty, G., Cole, C., Elsäßer, B., Savidge, G. & Provan, J. 2014 In : Interface.11, 95, 12 p., 20140197
Retrospective genetic monitoring of the threatened Yellow marsh saxifrage (Saxifraga hirculus) reveals genetic erosion but provides valuable insights for conservation strategiesBeatty, G., Reid, N. & Provan, J. 2014 In : Diversity and Distributions.20, 5, p. 529-5379 p.
Phylogeographical analysis of two cold-tolerant plants with disjunct Lusitanian distributions does not support in situ survival during the last glaciationBeatty, G. & Provan, J. 2014 In : Journal of Biogeography.41, 11, p. 2185-21939 p.
Coexistence of congeneric native and invasive species: The case of the green algae Codium spp. in northwestern SpainRojo, I., Olabarria, C., Santamaria, M., Provan, J., Gallardo, T. & Viejo, R. M. 2014 In : Marine Environmental Research.101, p. 135-14410 p.
Origin of British and Irish mammals: disparate post-glacial colonisation and species introductionsMontgomery, W. I., Provan, J., McCabe, A. M. & Yalden, D. W. 2014 In : Quaternary Science Reviews.98, p. 144-16522 p.
Genetic evidence for predominantly hydrochoric gene flow in the invasive riparian plant Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam)Love, H. M., Maggs, C. A., Murray, T. E. & Provan, J. 2013 In : Annals of Botany.112, 9, p. 1743-17508 p.
Geological and ecological factors drive cryptic speciation of yews in a biodiversity hotspotLiu, J., Moeller, M., Provan, J., Gao, L-M., Poudel, R. C. & Li, D-Z. 2013 In : New Phytologist.199, 4, p. 1093-110816 p.
State-of the art methodologies dictate new standards for phylogenetic analysisAnisimova, M., Liberles, D. A., Philippe, H., Provan, J., Pupko, T. & von Haeseler, A. 2013 In : BMC Evolutionary Biology.13, 8 p., 161
Fredericqia deveauniensis, gen. et sp. nov. (Phyllophoraceae, Rhodophyta), a new cryptogenic speciesMaggs, C. A., Le Gall, L., Mineur, F., Provan, J. & Saunders, G. W. 2013 In : Cryptogamie, Algologie.34, 3, p. 273-29624 p.
Conservation genetics of Ireland's sole population of the River water crowfoot (Ranunculus fluitans Lam.)Bradley, C. R., Duignan, C., Preston, S. J. & Provan, J. 2013 In : Aquatic Botany.107, p. 54-585 p.
Levels and patterns of population genetic diversity in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus (Florideophyceae): a direct comparison of single nucleotide polymorphisms and microsatellitesProvan, J., Glendinning, K., Kelly, R. & Maggs, C. A. 2013 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.108, 2, p. 251-26212 p.
Post-glacial dispersal, rather than in situ glacial survival, best explains the disjunct distribution of the Lusitanian plant species Daboecia cantabrica (Ericaceae)Beatty, G. & Provan, J. 2013 In : Journal of Biogeography.40, 2, p. 335-34410 p.
The effects of past, present and future climate change on range-wide genetic diversity in northern North Atlantic marine speciesProvan, J. 2013 In : Frontiers of Biogeography.5, p. 60-66
The importance of population genetic information in formulating ex situ conservation strategies for the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera L.) in Northern IrelandWilson, C. D., Beatty, G. E., Bradley, C. R., Clarke, H. C., Preston, S. J., Roberts, D. & Provan, J. 2012 In : Animal Conservation.15, 6, p. 593-60210 p.
Sampling Strategy and Potential Utility of Indels for DNA Barcoding of Closely Related Plant Species: A Case Study in TaxusLiu, J., Provan, J., Gao, L-M. & Li, D-Z. 2012 In : International Journal of Molecular Sciences.13, 7, p. 8740-875112 p.
Extensive local-scale gene flow and long-term population stability in the intertidal mollusc Katharina tunicata (Mollusca Polyplacophora)Doonan, J., Beatty, G., Sigwart, J. D. & Provan, J. 2012 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.106, 3, p. 589-5979 p.
Unique genetic variation at a species' rear edge is under threat from global climate changeProvan, J. & Maggs, C. A. 2012 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.279, 1726, p. 39-479 p.
Phylogeographic analysis of North American populations of the parasitic herbaceous plant Monotropa hypopitys L. reveals a complex history of range expansion from multiple late glacial refugiaBeatty, G. & Provan, J. 2011 In : Journal of Biogeography.38, 8, p. 1585-159915 p.
High clonal diversity in threatened peripheral populations of the yellow bird's nest (Hypopitys monotropa; syn. Monotropa hypopitys)Beatty, G. E. & Provan, J. 2011 In : Annals of Botany.107, 4, p. 663-6708 p.
Comparative phylogeography of two related plant species with overlapping ranges in Europe, and the potential effects of climate change on their intraspecific genetic diversityBeatty, G. & Provan, J. 2011 In : BMC Evolutionary Biology.11, 29, 11 p., 29
Refugial persistence and postglacial recolonization of North America by the cold-tolerant herbaceous plant Orthilia secundaBeatty, G. & Provan, J. 2010 In : Molecular Ecology.19, 22, p. 5009-502113 p.
Unidirectional hybridization at a species' range boundary: implications for habitat trackingBeatty, G., Philipp, M. & Provan, J. 2010 In : Diversity and Distributions.16, 1, p. 1-99 p.
Population genetics of microalgaeProvan, J. 2010 Microbial Population Genetics. Xu, J. P. (ed.). Horizon Scientific Press, p. 109-123
High dispersal potential has maintained long-term population stability in the North Atlantic copepod Calanus finmarchicusProvan, J., Beatty, G., Keating, S. L., Maggs, C. A. & Savidge, G. 2009 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.276, 1655, p. 301-3077 p.
What do we mean by 'refugia?Bennett, K. D. & Provan, J. 2008 In : Quaternary Science Reviews.27, 27-28, p. 2449-24557 p.
Phylogeographic insights into cryptic glacial refugiaProvan, J. & Bennett, K. D. 2008 In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution.23, 10, p. 564-5718 p.
Range-edge effects promote clonal growth in peripheral populations of the one-sided wintergreen Orthilia secundaBeatty, G., McEvoy, P. M., Sweeney, O. & Provan, J. 2008 In : Diversity and Distributions.14, 3, p. 546-55510 p.
The importance of reproductive strategies in population genetic approaches to conservation: an example from the marine angiosperm genus ZosteraProvan, J., Wilson, S., Portig, A. A. & Maggs, C. A. 2008 In : Conservation Genetics.9, 2, p. 271-28010 p.
Tracking biological invasions in space and time: elucidating the invasive history of the green alga Codium fragile using old DNAProvan, J., Booth, D., Todd, N. P., Beatty, G. & Maggs, C. A. 2008 In : Diversity and Distributions.14, 2, p. 343-35412 p.
A set of primers for plastid indels and nuclear microsatellites in the invasive plant Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae) and their transferability to Heracleum sphondyliumHenry, P., Provan, J., Goudet, J., Guisan, A., Jahodova, S. & Besnard, G. 2008 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.8, 1, p. 161-1633 p.
Restricted gene flow in fragmented populations of a wind-pollinated treeProvan, J., Beatty, G., Hunter, A. M., McDonald, R. A., McLaughlin, E., Preston, S. J. & Wilson, S. 2007 In : Conservation Genetics.9, 6, p. 1521-153212 p.
Molecular approaches to the study of invasive seaweedsBooth, D., Provan, J. & Maggs, C. A. 2007 In : Botanica Marina.50, 5-6, p. 385-39612 p.
Expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellites for the cool-water marine copepod Calanus finmarchicusProvan, J., Beatty, G., Maggs, C. A. & Savidge, G. 2007 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.7, 6, p. 1369-13713 p.
Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships within the green algal genus Codium (Bryopsidales) based on plastid DNA sequencesVerbruggen, H., Leliaert, F., Maggs, C. A., Shimada, S., Schils, T., Provan, J., Booth, D., Murphy, S., De Clerck, O., Littler, D. S., Littler, M. M. & Coppejans, E. 2007 In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.44, 1, p. 240-25415 p.
Development of microsatellites for the invasive riparian plant Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam) using intersimple sequence repeat cloningProvan, J., Love, H. M. & Maggs, C. A. 2007 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.7, 3, p. 451-4533 p.
Development of microsatellites for the peat moss Sphagnum capillifolium using ISSR cloningProvan, J. & Wilson, P. J. 2007 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.7, 2, p. 254-2563 p.
High levels of genetic structuring as a result of population fragmentation in the tropical tree species Caesalpinia echinata Lam.Cardoso, S. R. S., Provan, J., Lira, C. D. F., Pereira, L. D. O. R., Ferreira, P. C. G. & Cardoso, M. A. 2005 In : Biodiversity and Conservation.14, 5, p. 1047-105711 p.
Phylogeographic analysis of the red seaweed Palmaria palmata reveals a Pleistocene marine glacial refugium in the English ChannelProvan, J., Wattier, R. A. & Maggs, C. A. 2005 In : Molecular Ecology.14, 3, p. 793-80311 p.
Tracking the invasive history of the green alga Codium fragile ssp tomentosoidesProvan, J., Murphy, S. & Maggs, C. A. 2005 In : Molecular Ecology.14, 1, p. 189-1946 p.
High-resolution organellar genome analysis of Triticum and Aegilops sheds new light on cytoplasm evolution in wheatProvan, J., Wolters, P., Caldwell, K. H. & Powell, W. 2004 In : Theoretical and Applied Genetics.108, 6, p. 1182-11909 p.
Universal primers for the amplification of chloroplast microsatellites in grasses (Poaceae)Provan, J., Biss, P. M., McMeel, D. & Mathews, S. 2004 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.4, 2, p. 262-2643 p.
Universal plastid primers for chlorophyta and rhodophytaProvan, J., Murphy, S. & Maggs, C. A. 2004 In : European Journal of Phycology.39, 1, p. 43-508 p.
Studying genetic relationships among coconut varieties/populations using microsatellite markersPerera, L., Russell, J. R., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 2003 In : Euphytica.132, 1, p. 121-1288 p.
Effect of habitat fragmentation on levels and patterns of genetic diversity in natural populations of the peat moss Polytrichum communeWilson, P. J. & Provan, J. 2003 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.270, 1517, p. 881-8866 p.
Patterns of cytoplasmic variation in Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) revealed by polymorphic chloroplast microsatellitesProvan, J. & Campanella, J. J. 2003 In : Systematic Botany.28, 3, p. 578-5836 p.
Long-term population isolation in the endangered tropical tree species Caesalpinia echinata Lam. revealed by chloroplast microsatellitesLira, C. F., Cardoso, S. R. S., Ferreira, P. C. G., Cardoso, M. A. & Provan, J. 2003 In : Molecular Ecology.12, 12, p. 3219-32257 p.
rbcL sequences reveal multiple cryptic introductions of the Japanese red alga Polysiphonia harveyiMcIvor, L., Maggs, C. A., Provan, J. & Stanhope, M. J. 2001 In : Molecular Ecology.10, 4, p. 911-9199 p.
Chloroplast microsatellites: new tools for studies in plant ecology and evolutionProvan, J., Powell, W. & Hollingsworth, P. M. 2001 In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution.16, 3, p. 142-1476 p.
Levels and distribution of genetic diversity in coconut (Cocos nucifera L., var. Typica form typica) from Sri Lanka assessed by microsatellite markersPerera, L., Russell, J. R., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 2001 In : Euphytica.122, 2, p. 381-389
Novel chloroplast microsatellites reveal cytoplasmic variation in Arabidopsis thalianaProvan, J. 2000 In : Molecular Ecology.9, 12, p. 2183-21853 p.
A retrospective analysis of spring barley germplasm development from 'foundation genotypes' to currently successful cultivarsRussell, J. R., Ellis, R. P., Thomas, W. T. B., Waugh, R., Provan, J., Booth, A., Fuller, J., Lawrence, P., Young, G. & Powell, W. 2000 In : Molecular Breeding.6, 6, p. 553-56816 p.
Genetic differentiation of Euterpe edulis Mart. populations estimated by AFLP analysisCardoso, S. R. S., Eloy, N. B., Provan, J., Cardoso, M. A. & Ferreira, P. G. C. 2000 In : Molecular Ecology.9, 11, p. 1753-17607 p.
Patterns of variation at a mitochondrial sequence-tagged-site locus provides new insights into the postglacial history of European Pinus sylvestris populationsSoranzo, N., Alia, R., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 2000 In : Molecular Ecology.9, 9, p. 1205-12117 p.
Use of microsatellite DNA markers to investigate the level of genetic diversity and population genetic structure of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.)Perera, L., Russell, J. R., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 2000 In : Genome.43, 1, p. 15-217 p.
A low mutation rate for chloroplast microsatellitesProvan, J., Soranzo, N., Wilson, N. J., Goldstein, D. B. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Genetics.153, 2, p. 943-9475 p.
Copia-SSR: A simple marker technique which can be used on total genomic DNAProvan, J., Thomas, W. T. B., Forster, B. P. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Genome.42, 2, p. 363-3664 p.
An extreme cytoplasmic bottleneck in the modern European cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) is not reflected in decreased levels of nuclear diversityProvan, J., Powell, W., Dewar, H., Bryan, G., Machray, G. C. & Waugh, R. 1999 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.266, 1419, p. 633-6397 p.
Polymorphic chloroplast simple sequence repeat primers for systematic and population studies in the genus HordeumProvan, J., Russell, J. R., Booth, A. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Molecular Ecology.8, 3, p. 505-5117 p.
Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of genetic variation in Moringa oleifera Lam.Muluvi, G. M., Sprent, J. I., Soranzo, N., Provan, J., Odee, D., Folkard, G., McNicol, J. W. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Molecular Ecology.8, 3, p. 463-4708 p.
Identification and characterization of microsatellite loci in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) and the analysis of coconut populations in Sri LankaPerera, L., Russell, C. T., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Molecular Ecology.8, 2, p. 344-3463 p.
An example of microsatellite length variation in the mitochondrial genome of conifersSoranzo, N., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Genome.42, 1, p. 158-1614 p.
Analysis of the genus Zea (Poaceae) using polymorphic chloroplast simple sequence repeatsProvan, J., Lawrence, P., Young, G., Wright, F., Bird, R., Paglia, G., Cattonaro, F., Morgante, M. & Powell, W. 1999 In : Plant Systematics and Evolution.218, 3-4, p. 245-25612 p.
The use of uniparentally inherited simple sequence repeat markers in plant population studies and systematicsProvan, J., Soranzo, N., Wilson, N., McNicol, J. W., Morgante, M. & Powell, W. 1999 Molecular Systematics and Plant Evolution. Hollingsworth, P., Bateman, R. & Gornall, R. (eds.). Taylor & Francis, p. 35-50
Gene-pool variation in Caledonian and European Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) revealed by chloroplast simple-sequence repeatsProvan, J., Soranzo, N., Wilson, N. J., McNicol, J. W., Forrest, G. I., Cottrell, J. & Powell, W. 1998 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.265, 1407, p. 1697-17059 p.
Characterization of microsatellite loci in Pinus sylvestris L.Soranzo, N., Provan, J. & Powell, W. 1998 In : Molecular Ecology.7, 9, p. 1260-12612 p.
High genetic differentiation among remnant populations of the endangered Caesalpinia echinata Lam. (Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae)Cardoso, M. A., Provan, J., Powell, W., Ferreira, P. C. G. & De Oliveira, D. E. 1998 In : Molecular Ecology.7, 5, p. 601-6088 p.
Evaluating genetic relationships between indigenous coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) accessions from Sri Lanka by means of AFLP profilingPerera, L., Russell, J. R., Provan, J., McNicol, J. W. & Powell, W. 1998 In : Theoretical and Applied Genetics.96, 3-4, p. 545-5506 p.
Comparison of PCR-based marker systems for the analysis of genetic relationships in cultivated potatoMilbourne, D., Meyer, R., Bradshaw, J. E., Baird, E., Bonar, N., Provan, J., Powell, W. & Waugh, R. 1997 In : Molecular Breeding.3, 2, p. 127-13610 p.
Chloroplast DNA variability in wild and cultivated rice (Oryza spp.) revealed by polymorphic chloroplast simple sequence repeatsProvan, J., Corbett, G., McNicol, J. W. & Powell, W. 1997 In : Genome.40, 1, p. 104-1107 p.
Analysis of intra-specific somatic hybrids of potato (Solanum tuberosum) using simple sequence repeatsProvan, J., Kumar, A., Shepherd, L., Powell, W. & Waugh, R. 1996 In : Plant Cell Reports.16, 3-4, p. 196-1994 p.
DNA fingerprints of rice (Oryza sativa) obtained from hypervariable chloroplast simple sequence repeatsProvan, J., Corbett, G., Waugh, R., McNicol, J. W., Morgante, M. & Powell, W. 1996 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.263, 1375, p. 1275-12817 p.
Analysis of cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) using intermicrosatellite amplificationProvan, J., Powell, W. & Waugh, R. 1996 In : Genome.39, 4, p. 767-7693 p.
Polymorphism revealed by simple sequence repeatsPowell, W., Machray, G. C. & Provan, J. 1996 In : Trends in Plant Science.1, 7, p. 215-2228 p.
Microsatellite analysis of relationships within cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum)Provan, J., Powell, W. & Waugh, R. 1996 In : Theoretical and Applied Genetics.92, 8, p. 1078-10847 p.
Polymerase chain reaction-based assays for the characterisation of plant genetic resourcesPowell, W., Orozco-Castillo, C., Chalmers, K. J., Provan, J. & Waugh, R. 1995 In : Electrophoresis.16, 9, p. 1726-17305 p.