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Science Directory

Kew is uniquely positioned as a global hub of plant and fungal knowledge. We have the capacity to use this knowledge to provide science-based solutions to address some of the critical challenges facing life on Earth.

Our research includes comparative studies of living and preserved collections in an evolutionary context, enabling predictive assessments of the impacts of global environmental change on genes, species, populations and communities. It also provides evidence-based research, supported by ex situ collections, to enable assessment and improve the delivery of conservation outcomes, the sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and plant health in the UK and overseas.

Our work informs and advises a wide variety of stakeholders from governments, industries, and businesses through to other academic institutions and educational establishments. This results in a large international partnership network currently comprising 135 institutions in over 100 different countries.

Director of Science: Professor Katherine Willis

Deputy Director of Science: Professor Monique Simmonds

Senior Research Professor: Professor Mark Chase


Kew’s Science Directorate has recently been restructured, with the aim of improving the impact and quality of our science and allowing Kew to fulfil its scientific potential. The new structure comprises six scientific research departments supported by the Office of the Science Directorate.

Science departments


Kew employs approximately 250 scientists, and also hosts over 40 PhD students and 88 Honorary Research Fellows and Associates. Here you can read about the individual research interests and activities of Kew scientists and see some of their recent scientific outputs.

Science staff


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).

Science and conservation projects


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Fungi Kingdom

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Find out more about our vital work saving seeds.

Photo of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank

Research & data

Kew's science teams, databases and publications.

Montage of scientific activity

Species browser

Explore Kew's plant & fungi profiles.

Photo of Capsicum annuum fruits