Matthew Larcombe

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Matthew Larcombe

Honorary Research Associate


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Dr Matthew Larcombe is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences. He studies genetics and evolution in Eucalyptus and other trees.


After completing his undergraduate studies at UTAS, Mathew spent three years working in government, before returning to undertake his PhD and subsequent postdoctoral position.

Career summary


DegreeThesis titleUniversityCountryDate of award
PhDExotic Gene Flow from Plantation to Native EucalyptsUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2014
BSc (1st Class Hons)Conservation Genetics of the Tasmanian Population of Hardenbergia violaceaUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2006


Forest Genetics, Eucalyptus, Molecular Biology and Evolution

Teaching expertise

Matthew has supervised one Honours projects in tree genetics. He has lectured in Ecology (1st year), Ecology of Tasmania (2nd year), and Molecular Ecology and Evolution (3rdyear).

View more on Mr Matthew Larcombe in WARP


  • Eucalyptus
  • Hybridisation
  • Evolution
  • Gene flow
  • Phylogenetics
  • Population genetics
  • Invasion biology

Research Themes

Matthew's research is aligned with the University's research themes of Environment and Resources and Sustainability. His PhD and recent postdoctoral research on hybridisation and reproductive barriers in Eucalyptus has shed new light on our fundamental understanding of speciation and how evolution advances. In addition to these basic science outcomes, his research has been strongly grounded in applied science. He has revealed genetic, physical and environmental barriers to hybridisation in eucalypts, which inform forest management and directly assists industry in meeting certification and compliance conditions. He is currently continuing this work on hybridisation to understand the effects of hybrid fitness over long time scales (20 years), and is working on a range of other projects including the effect of hybridisation in ancient Tasmanian conifers.


Matthew is currently involved in two international collaborations. The first has been in place since 2010 and involves two universities in Portugal studying the invasiveness of Eucalyptus. The second is a project looking at Tasmanian conifers with a Japanese institute. Matthew also has several ongoing research collaborations with Australian researches including with Currency Creek Arboretum in south Australia which holds the world's large collection of eucalypt species.


  • 2014 - Award for outstanding achievements in postgraduate studies, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania
  • 2007 - Awarded Dean's Citation for outstanding academic performance in undergraduate and Honours courses

Fields of Research

  • Genetics (310599)
  • Forestry management and environment (300707)
  • Tree improvement (incl. selection and breeding) (300709)
  • Biogeography and phylogeography (310402)
  • Biological mathematics (490102)
  • Evolutionary biology (310499)
  • Evolutionary impacts of climate change (310406)
  • Phylogeny and comparative analysis (310410)
  • Biological adaptation (310403)
  • Plant developmental and reproductive biology (310804)

Research Objectives

  • Hardwood plantations (260201)
  • Native forests (260204)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences (280111)
  • Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem) (190101)


Less than a year out from his PhD, Matthew has 11 peer reviewed publications, one paper in review, and is the lead author on eight of these. He has consistently published in high quality international journals such as Molecular Biology and Evolution (IF=11.7), Molecular Ecology Resources (IF=4.2), Journal of Biogeography (IF=5.0), as well as top ranking journals in their fields such as Forest Ecology and Management (IF=3.2) and Biological Invasions (IF=3.0).

Total publications


Journal Article

(15 outputs)
2018McKinnon GE, Larcombe MJ, Griffin AR, Vaillancourt RE, 'Development of microsatellites using next-generation sequencing for Acacia crassicarpa', Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 30, (2) pp. 252-258. ISSN 0128-1283 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.26525/jtfs2018.30.2.252258 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: McKinnon GE; Griffin AR; Vaillancourt RE


2017Aguas A, Larcombe MJ, Matias H, Deus E, Potts BM, et al., 'Understanding the naturalization of Eucalyptus globulus in Portugal: a comparison with Australian plantations', European Journal of Forest Research, 136, (3) pp. 433-446. ISSN 1612-4669 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10342-017-1043-6 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Potts BM


2016Larcombe M, Costa e Silva J, Tilyard P, Gore P, Potts BM, 'On the persistence of reproductive barriers in Eucalyptus: the bridging of mechanical barriers to zygote formation by F1 hybrids is counteracted by intrinsic post-zygotic incompatibilities', Annals of Botany, 118, (3) pp. 431-444. ISSN 0305-7364 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw115 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Tilyard P; Potts BM


2016Larcombe M, Potts BM, Jones RC, Steane DA, Costa e Silva J, et al., 'Managing Australia's eucalypt gene pools: assessing the risk of exotic gene flow', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 128, (1) pp. 25-39. ISSN 0035-9211 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1071/RS16003 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: Potts BM; Jones RC; Steane DA; Vaillancourt RE


2016Larcombe MJ, Barbour RC, Jones RC, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, 'Postmating barriers to hybridization between an island's native eucalypts and an introduced congener', Tree Genetics and Genomes, 12, (2) Article 26. ISSN 1614-2942 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-016-0979-x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Barbour RC; Jones RC; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2016Le S, Ratnam W, Harwood CE, Larcombe MJ, Griffin RA, et al., 'A multiplexed set of microsatellite markers for discriminating Acacia mangium, A. auriculiformis, and their hybrid', Tree Genetics and Genomes, 12, (2) Article 31. ISSN 1614-2942 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-016-0990-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 11

Co-authors: Le S; Harwood CE; Griffin RA; Koutoulis A; Harbard JL; Vaillancourt RE


2016Worth JRP, Larcombe MJ, Sakaguchi S, Marthick JR, Bowman DMJS, et al., 'Transient hybridization, not homoploid hybrid speciation, between ancient and deeply divergent conifers', American Journal of Botany, 103, (2) pp. 246-259. ISSN 0002-9122 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1500433 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10

Co-authors: Marthick JR; Bowman DMJS; Jordan GJ


2015Larcombe MJ, Holland B, Steane DA, Jones RC, Nicolle D, et al., 'Patterns of reproductive isolation in Eucalyptus - a phylogenetic perspective', Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32, (7) pp. 1833-1846. ISSN 0737-4038 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msv063 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 24

Co-authors: Holland B; Steane DA; Jones RC; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2015Larcombe MJ, Leaman T, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, 'Assessing the risk of gene flow from plantation to native eucalypts: a long-term partnership in biodiversity management', Australasian Plant Conservation, 23, (3) pp. 19-21. ISSN 2202-5804 (2015) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM

2014Larcombe M, Barbour RC, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, 'Assessing the risk of exotic gene flow from Eucalyptus globulus plantations to native E. ovata forests', Forest Ecology and Management, 312 pp. 193-202. ISSN 0378-1127 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.10.005 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 11

Co-authors: Barbour RC; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2014Larcombe MJ, Vaillancourt RE, Jones RC, Potts BM, 'Assessing a Bayesian approach for detecting exotic hybrids between plantation and native eucalypts', International Journal of Forestry Research Article 650202. ISSN 1687-9368 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1155/2014/650202 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Vaillancourt RE; Jones RC; Potts BM


2013Larcombe MJ, Silva JS, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, 'Assessing the invasive potential of Eucalyptus globulus in Australia: quantification of wildling establishment from plantations', Biological Invasions, 15 pp. 2763-2781. ISSN 1387-3547 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-013-0492-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 29Web of Science - 26

Co-authors: Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2011Larcombe MJ, McKinnon GE, Vaillancourt RE, 'Genetic evidence for the origins of range disjunctions in the Australian dry sclerophyll plant Hardenbergia violacea', Journal of Biogeography, 38, (1) pp. 125-136. ISSN 0305-0270 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02391.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 11

Co-authors: McKinnon GE; Vaillancourt RE


2011Wapstra M, Roberts N, Larcombe M, Leaman T, 'Distribution, habitat characteristics and conservation management of Prasophyllum stellatum (Ben lomond leek-orchid), a forest-dependent threatened species', Tasforests, 19 pp. 28-41. ISSN 1033-8306 (2011) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2008Nevill PG, Reed A, Bossinger G, Vaillancourt RE, Larcombe M, et al., 'Cross-species amplification of Eucalyptus microsatellite loci', Molecular Ecology Resources, 8, (6) pp. 1277-1280. ISSN 1755-098X (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02362.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10

Co-authors: Vaillancourt RE


Conference Publication

(1 outputs)
2012Larcombe MJ, Barbour RC, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, 'Gene flow from Australia's eucalypt plantations', Australian Forest Growers Conference, 14 - 17 October 2012, Gympie Queensland., pp. 14. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Barbour RC; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


Grants & Funding

Dr Larcombe has been successful in attracting grant funding with a total of $21,236 obtained from 3 grants in the last five years, as well as a $75,000 Elite PhD Scholarship.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



WildGum (2013)$2,470
Travel funds for a PhD student to collaborate with researchers in Portugal for 3 months.
Institute of Foresters of Australia ($2,470)
Grant-Maxwell Ralph Jacobs Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Potts BM; Larcombe M