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Banks, Hannah

Photo of Hannah Banks
Job title: 

Career Development Fellow, Character Evolution

Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Environmental Biology, Swansea Univ.
  • PhD, Oxford Brookes Univ. (2004)

My research into pollen morphology and development contributes to (i) the understanding of pollination syndromes, ecological and evolutionary processes, (ii) identification (iii) reconstruction of past vegetation types, and (iv) assisting taxonomy and systematics. My main focus is pollen structure in one of the largest and most economically and ecologically important flowering plant families, Leguminosae. Whilst my previous research focused on the immense pollen diversity in caesalpinioid legumes, I am now examining the evolution and development of mimosoid legume pollen. In particular, I am investigating whether different pollen developmental systems exist, and if so, how they produce the different phenotypes of polyads and monads observed. Overall, my aim is to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of mimosoid legume pollen diversification, polyad development, and polyad evolutionary processes, in time and space. Additional analyses include Leguminosae, Poaceae and Burseraceae pollen from sediments for the reconstruction of past vegetation types in Madagascar.

Selected publications: 

Banks, H., Forest, F. & Lewis, G. (2014). Evolution and diversity of pollen morphology in tribe Cercideae (Leguminosae). Taxon 63: 299-314.

Banks, H., Forest F. & Lewis, G. (2013). Palynological contribution to the systematics and taxonomy of Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae: Cercideae). Available online

Banks, H., Himanen, I. & Lewis, G. P. (2010). Evolution of pollen, stigmas and ovule numbers at the caesalpinioid-mimosoid interface (Fabaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 162: 594-615. Available online

Furness, C. A. & Banks, H. (2010). Pollen evolution in the early-divergent monocot order Alismatales. International Journal of Plant Sciences 171: 713-739.

Banks, H., Feist-Burkhardt, S. & Klitgaard, B. (2006). The unique pollen morphology of Duparquetia (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae): developmental evidence of aperture orientation using confocal microscopy. Annals of Botany 98 (1): 107-115.



Research Gate: Hannah Banks

Google Scholar: Hannah Banks