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Extinction risk to cacti highlighted by new report

Photo of Melocactus glaucescens
Mon, 2015-10-05 15:18

The first comprehensive global assessment of cacti has been published today, by IUCN and partners, in the new journal Nature Plants. This report has found 31% of cacti species to be threatened with extinction, placing cacti among the most threatened groups assessed to-date (more threatened than mammals and birds).

Conservation awards presented to Kew researchers

Quentin Luke and Aljos Farjon
Wed, 2015-09-30 10:50

Dr Aljos Farjon (above right), Quentin Luke (above left) and Mijoro Rakotoarinivo (below) were presented with awards by Simon Stuart, Chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) at the IUCN SSC Leaders meeting in Abu Dhabi on 18 September in front of a 300-strong gathering. These are significant accolades that strongly affirm the critical role of Kew experts in species conservation. Many congratulations to all three.

IT recruitment drive

Photo of the Davies Alpine House at Kew
Fri, 2015-09-18 14:46

This is a unique opportunity to join the IT department at Kew. If you like a challenge and you want to work in a friendly environment with plenty of variety then this is the job for you.

Kew is a world-leader in plant and fungal diversity science, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a major visitor attraction that emphasises the importance of plants and fungi in all our lives.

Lichens benefit from sunscreen

Xanthoria elegans
Wed, 2015-09-02 10:28

Explosion in numbers of lichen species

A new study has revealed that about 100 million years ago there was an explosion in the number of species within the lichen family Teloschistaceae. Such events are believed by evolutionary biologists to be crucial for the formation of the diversity of life on earth. But unusually for such an ancient event, the researchers have been able to pin down the factors that caused it.

Largest orchid in the world flowers at Kew

Grammatophyllum speciosum
Fri, 2015-08-28 15:17

Currently standing 1.5 metres high, the flower spike is growing around 1.5cm a day, with the spike expected to hit an astonishing three metres. Its impressive blooms are expected to last five to six weeks. 

The queen of orchids is grown in Kew’s behind-the-scenes Tropical Nursery. Visitors will be able to go behind the scenes at the Tropical Nursery to view this giant orchid.

Prof Kathy Willis awarded Michael Faraday Prize

Photo of Kathy Willis
Wed, 2015-08-26 14:03

This is a prestigious prize awarded annually to ‘the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary’. Kathy’s award reflects, amongst other things, the BBC radio series last year ‘From Roots to Riches’ and the book of the same name.