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Structure and staff

Staff level is currently around 800, plus a large emeritus group of honorary research fellows and associates, students and other associated scientists. The staff have a diverse range of expertise, operational and management skills. Some 60% are specialist plant and fungal scientists and botanical horticulturists.

In addition we have the capacity for providing education, training and advice on conservation and sustainable use of plants and fungi, and expertise on the maintenance of historical landscapes and buildings.

  • Director: Richard Deverell


Corporate Services

  • Director, Corporate Services: Jill McLaughlin
  • Head of Procurement: Joanna McKelvey
  • Head of Finance: Fern Stoner
  • Head of Strategic Planning & Executive Directorate: David Cope
  • Head of Estates: David Holroyd
  • Acting Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development: Sarah Donnelly
  • Head of Legal: Diane Scott
  • Chief Information Officer & Head of IT: David Ivell
  • Head of Assurance & Risk: Phil Jones
  • Head of Temperate House Precinct Project: Andrew Williams

Kew Innovation Unit

  • Director of Kew Innovation Unit: Monique Simmonds

Horticulture, Kew Gardens

Curates the collection of living plants and provides integrated education and interpretation based on this world-leading resource. The Department supports the organisation's science, conservation and visitor programmes. The living collections are housed within the historical landscapes and buildings at Kew and Wakehurst Place.

  • Director of Horticulture: Richard Barley
  • Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services: Tony Kirkham
  • Glasshouses, Nurseries and Decorative Horticulture: Greg Redwood
  • The School of Horticulture: recruitment for the Head of School is currently in progress
  • Garden Design and Collection Support: Richard Wilford

Public Programmes

Responsible for commercial activities, the visitor experience at Kew and Wakehurst Place, Library, Art & Archives, education services for children and adults, volunteers, communications, marketing, publications and digital media.

RBG Kew Enterprises Limited is a subsidiary of RBG Kew and manages operations which are primarily commercial. It covenants its profits to RBG Kew, an arrangement envisaged under the National Heritage Act.

The Library, Art & Archives represent one of the world’s foremost scientific libraries. The Shirley Sherwood and Marianne North Galleries at Kew provide public exhibition facilities for Kew’s extensive botanic art collection and for exhibiting new works of botanic art.

  • Director, Public Programmes: Gay Coley
  • Library, Art and Archives: Chris Mills
  • Marketing, Audience and Communication: Tina Houlton
  • Content and Learning: Julia Willison
  • Commercial and Operations: Jonathan Marks


  • Director of Science: Kathy Willis


Conducts research on plant resource inventories, produces manuals for identifying the plants concerned, and works with the other science departments to prepare classifications capable of predicting the likely distribution of useful properties and evolutionary relationships.

  • Acting Keeper (Director) of the Herbarium: Dr Dave Simpson
  • Acting Assistant Keeper and Head of Systematics: Dr Bill Baker
  • Assistant Keeper and Head of Biodiversity, Information and Conventions: Dr Alan Paton
  • Assistant Keeper and Head of Regional Teams and Curation: Dr Rogier de Kok 

Jodrell Laboratory

Undertakes pure and applied research on anatomy, biochemistry, cytogenetics, molecular systematics, biosystematics, plant physiology and mycology.

  • Keeper of the Jodrell Laboratory: Professor Mark Chase FRS 

Seed Conservation (Millennium Seed Bank partnership)

Seed Conservation is home to the Millennium Seed Bank partnership which aims to facilitate the conservation of 25% of the world's flowering plants as seed by 2020. In addition to their seed banking activity, department staff are involved in various research and technology projects on seed storage, germination and diagnostics.

  • Head of Seed Conservation: Dr Paul Smith

Wakehurst Place

  • Director of Wakehurst Place: Andy Jackson 

Related organisations

The Foundation and Friends of RBG Kew

The Foundation and Friends has the objective of raising funds for Kew from various sources including corporate donors and sponsors. It also manages Kew's Friends membership scheme.

  • Director of Development, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Michael Murphy

Bentham-Moxon Trust

The Bentham-Moxon Trust was set up to provide financial support for botanical collections and research that further the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.