The importance of botanic gardens for plant conservation
"After a 6 month MSc research project based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, I was able to secure three years of funding from Bangor University to start my PhD in October 2010. I am co-supervised by Colin Clubbe (RBG Kew), James Gibbons (Bangor University) and Julia Jones (Bangor University).
I spend the majority of my time based at Bangor University and visit RBG, Kew every two months for a few days. Having this link to the botanic garden is brilliant as I am able to use the resources such as the Library and Herbarium. It is also a great chance to meet so many botany and conservation professionals! Having a supervisor who is involved in the practical side of plant conservation also provides me with an additional and very valuable perspective.
My research focuses upon the importance of botanic gardens for plant conservation. I am particularly interested in how botanic gardens can be used to promote cultivation as an alternative to wild harvesting. The harvesting of plants from the wild is a major component of the livelihoods and subsistence for many people throughout the world. However, habitat degradation, over-exploitation and land use change threaten many plant populations that are harvested. One option to combat over-exploitation is the ex situ cultivation of a species, employed with the aim of reducing harvesting pressure on wild populations. The horticultural and educational expertise in botanic gardens has enabled these institutions to lead many initiatives aiming to promote cultivation as an alternative to extraction."
For more information about my research please see: www.bangor.ac.uk/~afpa6d
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