Kew Science Directory

RBG Kew can be considered unique among botanic gardens and museums because of its size, history and scope. It is an international visitor attraction and a world-acclaimed scientific institution holding the world's largest collections of plants and fungi, living and preserved, and major databases of plant biodiversity data. RBG Kew's primary focus  is science-based conservation to enhance the quality of life. This involves an ongoing mix of basic and applied science, mostly focused on collections and associated databases. The breadth of RBG Kew's plant collections is matched by the scope of its international partnerships and unparalleded access to plant science expertise around the globe. RBG Kew conducts research into many seemingly "blue skies" areas but differs in the applications of the data produced by such enquiries to problems in managing effective conservation programmes in the field and restoring and/or repairing sites damaged by human activity and climate change. This is the basis for our claim to be a "science-based conservation organisation working on the world stage".

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has 21 cross-departmental science teams. RBG Kew scientists work within cross-departmental science teams involving staff from the science departments - Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives (HLAA), Jodrell laboratory and Seed Conservation - and often from IT and Kew Horticulture. The teams vary in size and in the breadth of their focus. All direct their research to contribute to RBG Kew's Key Performance Targets and report their work within the framework of RBG Kew's Breathing Planet Programme. In this directory, the achievements of 2006-2011 are made accessible together with lists and descriptions of science team projects, people (CVs) and publications.

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Breathing Planet Programme

The Breathing Planet Programme is Kew’s 10-year action plan to rescue, revive and restore the plants and fungi that directly or indirectly sustain us all. Its aim is to help the planet – and everything that lives on it – to breathe a little more easily, paving the way for a better and more secure future.

Breathing Planet Programme

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Kew scientists are involved in hundreds of scientific projects of varying scales ranging from individual PhD research programmes to large-scale network endeavours involving more than 40 institutional partners, across several continents. These project profiles document all our significant science projects (whether externally or internally funded).


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Kew scientists work within 21 cross-departmental science teams involving staff from many departments. The teams vary in size and in the breadth of their focus but all direct their research to contribute to Kew's Breathing Planet Programme.

Kew Science Teams



Kew employs more than 200 scientists and benefits from the unpaid services of several dozen Kew-based Research Fellows and Associates, including many former members of staff post-retirement. Here you can read about the individual research interests and activities of Kew scientists and see some of their recent scientific outputs.

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