Ryan P. O'Donnell


PhD (Botany and Mycology - Ecology & Evolution) | Australian National University (ANU) | 2022 – Present
Master of Scientific Studies (Biodiversity Science) | University of New England | 2021
Graduate Certificate in Science (Biodiversity Science) | University of New England | 2019
Bachelor of Music (Performance - Classical Voice) | Sydney Conservatorium of Music | 2017
Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Media Arts and Production) | University of Technology, Sydney | 2013


Plant identification and taxonomy
Phylogenetics/phylogenomics (IQ-TREE | ASTRAL | PAUP | RAxML | MRBAYES )
Population genetic analysis
Morphological phenetic analysis
Botanical illustration


ANU RSB Seed Funding Grant | 2022
N.C.W. Beadle Scholarship in Botany | 2020

Awards & Scholarships 

ANU Research School of Biology 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition - People's Choice Award | 2022
ANU Research School of Biology 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition - Runner Up Prize | 2022
Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship | 2022–2025
UNE Vice-Chancellor's Scholar | 2021
Berlin Opera Academy Robert Earl White Memorial Scholarship | 2017
Berlin Opera Academy Elizabeth Luxon Memorial Scholarship | 2017
Pacific Opera Young Artist Scholarship | 2017
Estivo European Chamber Music Summer School Scholarship | 2016
Best Comedic Film - Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival | 2015
Best Short Film - Melbourne Underground Film Festival | 2014
Firstdraft Emerging Writers Residency | 2012
Kathleen Garnham Laurence Prize for Fine Arts | 2010

Published & accepted articles

O’Donnell RP, Wilson TC, Andrew RL, Telford IR, Taseski GM, Zimmer H, Bruhl JJ (2021) Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Prostanthera phylicifolia (Lamiaceae) assemblage resolves relationships of the ’Critically Endangered’ P. gilesii and other putative new species. Telopea 24, 359–375.


O’Donnell RP, Andrew RL, Telford IR, Wilson TC, Zimmer H, Taseski GM, Bruhl JJ (preprint) Molecular and morphological analyses support recognition of Prostanthera volucris (Lamiaceae), a new species from the Central Tablelands of New South Wales.

Other publications

O’Donnell RP 2022 Book Review: Presenting Science Concisely - Bruce Kirchoff. Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter. 190: 27–28.
O’Donnell RP 2022 Love Thy Neighbour Science Write Now #6: Natural History and Historians
O’Donnell RP 2021 Love Thy Neighbour Boundless Writers Festival 2021
O’Donnell RP 2021 Selling systematics with storytelling: solving taxonomy’s marketing problem. Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter. 188: 29–30.
O’Donnell RP 2012 John A Douglas  - Body Fluid - The Seven Cycles Exhibition essay - Chalkhorse Gallery
O’Donnell RP 2012 James Oram - Moments of Must Have Exhibition essay - Chalkhorse Gallery

Conference Presentations

O’Donnell RP Andrew RL, Telford IR, Wilson TC, Zimmer H, Taseski GM, Bruhl JJ (2021) "Morphological and molecular evidence aid resolution of Prostanthera phylicifolia s. l. (Lamiaceae)". Australasian Systematic Botany Society Annual Conference 2021, 12-16 July 2021. Runner up: Pauline Ladiges Prize for best student presentation


The Margaret Flockton Award | 2021


Presenter: 'Rare Plants - Large and Small' with Costa Georgiadis 12/05/2022
Radio Interview: ABC Radio Evenings with Christine Anu 21/8/2021
Panelist: Reel Science: Plants - Sydney Science Trail/National Science Week 2021
Podcast Interview: Royal Botanic Garden Sydney 'Branch Out' Podcast - Starting in Science
Interview: The Music, With Sylvie
Interview: University of New England, #StudyLifeUNE

Professional Memberships

Australasian Systematic Botany Society | 2020 – present