Janet Gagul

 Janet Gagul

PhD candidate

MSc. (Plant Systematics) 2010, University of Papua New Guinea

BSc. (Hons.) Major in Biology, 2002, University of Papua New Guinea

BSc. 2001, University of Papua New Guinea


E2.203A, Sir Robert Norman Building (E2), James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns QLD 4870


+61 (0) 7 4232 1687




I am interested in plant taxonomy, systematics and ethnobotany. Former projects involved ‘Systematics and Biology of New Guinea Begonia’ and ‘Ethnobotany and plant diversity’ - incorporating folk knowledge with plant use in New Guinea communities.

My current research focuses on the systematics and evolution of the genus Elaeocarpus L. (Elaeocarpaceae) focussing on New Guinea species. This study aims to utilise molecular phylogenetics and fruit morphology of both extant and fossil material to investigate the evolution of the genus, including dating of past events. Specifically, I aim to: 1) reconstruct the phylogeny with a focus on species from New Guinea which are currently under-represented in existing data sets, 2) determine the evolutionary patterns of fruit morphology in the genus, 3) resolve the phylogenetic placement of fossil Elaeocarpus fruits and 4) use these fossils to calibrate the molecular evolutionary rate and thereby determine the dates of evolutionary events within Elaeocarpus. The results of my research will provide further insights into the evolutionary history of Old World tropical forests.

Selected Publications

Gagul, JN, Tng, DYP, Crayn, DM (2018) Fruit developmental biology and endosperm rumination in Elaeocarpus ruminatus (Elaeocarpaceae), and its taxonomic significance. Australian Systematic Botany 31, 409-419.

Gagul, JN, Sands, MJS, Gideon, O, Hughes, M (2018) A revision of Begonia Sect. Symbegonia on New Guinea. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 75, 127-159.

Gagul, J, Simpson, L, Crayn, DM (2018) Elaeocarpus carbinensis J.Gagul & Crayn (Elaeocarpaceae), a new species endemic to the Mt Carbine Tableland of northeast Queensland, Australia. Austrobaileya 10, 247-259.

Gagul, J (2016) Molecular phylogenetics of Elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpaceae) with a focus on New Guinea species: Eichler Research Fund Report. Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter 167, 4-8.

Hughes, M, Barber, S, Heatubun, CD, Gagul, J (2015) Begonia yapensis (sect. Symbegonia, Begoniaceae), a new species from Papua, Indonesia. European Journal of Taxonomy 119, 1-6.

Gideon, O., Mandeakali, L., Gagul, J. 2011. Environmental Impact Statement for Nuku Integrated Agro-Forestry Project, Nuku District, Sandaun Province. A report submitted to Skywalker Global Resources (PNG) Ltd in Association with Nuku Resource Limited.

Gagul, J, Sands, M.J, Hughes, M and Gideon, O. 2011. A revision of Begonia sect. Symbegonia on New Guinea (in prep.). Edinburgh Botanic Journal.

Gagul, J. 2011. The genus Begonia L. (Begoniaceae) in New Guinea. The Begonian Journal, Vol. 78, pp    94 – 99.

Gagul, J. 2010. Updated List of New Guinea Begonias. Science in New Guinea Journal, Vol. 30, pp 66 – 76. UPNG Press, Port Moresby.

Gagul, J. 2009. Plant diversity and plant lore of a community in the Pawaiia area of the Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea. Science in New Guinea Journal, Vol. 29, pp 79 – 92. UPNG Press, Port Moresby.

Gagul, J., Ousari, M. J., Bola, D and Douglas, J. V. 2009. High Conservation Value Assessment of Proposed Silovuti Oil Palm Project, East Kove, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. A report submitted to New Britain Palm Oil Limited.

Gagul, J. 2008. New Guinea Begonias. Begonia Australis 18 (4): 127 – 127.

Gagul, J. 2008. Normanby Island Botanical Expedition. Report submitted to Botanical Institute of Texas (BRIT).

Gagul, J. 2008. Yumebenden Begonia Expedition, Simbu Province. Report Submitted to UPNG Science Research Committee.

Hiaso, J., Sengo, J. Narawen, S., Gagul, J and Amah, D. 2007. Vegetation analysis of Basamuk Bay, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. A report submitted to Enesar Pty Ltd, Australia.

Gagul, J. 2006. Vegetation analysis of Managalas Plateau of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea. A Report submitted to Partners with Melanesia (a Non Government Organisation).