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Cheek, Martin R.

Job title: 

Head, Wet Tropics Africa team

Department: 
Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Section: 
Regional Teams
Joined Kew: 

1987

Foreign languages: 

French (African variety)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. Reading, 1981
  • MSc, Univ. Reading, 1983
  • DPhil, Univ. Oxford, 1989.
  • Chair, cross-Departmental team for Wet Tropics Africa
  • Scientific and Horticultural Publications Committee (RBG Kew).
Role: 

Surveys and red-listing for conservation management in Wet Tropics Africa; revising/ describing taxa in Malvales, Nepenthaceae, African saprophytes, Rubiaceae etc.

Main research activity has been collaborative total vascular plant species surveys of areas of interest in the Wet Tropics of Africa, mainly Cameroon. These surveys have provided the data for conservation management, often in the form of ‘Conservation Checklists', published as books which include Red data assessments. Revisionary and floristic work has concentrated on Malvales, especially the ‘Flora of Tropical East Africa' account for Sterculiaceae (with L. Dorr, US) and an ongoing monograph of Cola. Other groups of African wet forest plants, where specialist assistance has been scarce or unavailable in preparing conservation checklist accounts, have also been studied. These have been mainly Rubiaceae (especially Psychotria), mycoheterotrophs (saprophytes), but also Sapindaceae, Rutaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Podostemaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Ancistrocladaceae, Scytopetalaceae and Vochysiaceae, for example. Activity in the systematics of carnivorous plant groups, such as Nepenthaceae, has continued.

Selected publications: 

Cheek, M., Kami, E. & Kami, T. (2014) Baphia vili sp. nov. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) of coastal thicket of the Congo Republic and Gabon.-Willdenowia 44: 39-44 (publ online 10 March 2014). Available online

Cheek, M., Challen, G. Merklinger, Molmou,,D. (2013) Breynia disticha, a New Invasive Alien for Tropical Africa. Aliens 33: 32-34. 230. Available online

Cheek, M. & Lachenaud, O. (2013) Psychotria elephantina sp. nov. (Rubiaceae) an Endangered rainforest shrub from Cameroon. Nordic J. Bot. 31(5): 569-573 Available online

Onana, J.-M. & Cheek, M. (2011). Red Data Book of the Flowering Plants of Cameroon: IUCN Global Assessments. RBG, Kew. 578pp Available online

Cheek, M., Pollard, B. J., Darbyshire, I, Onana, J-M & C. Wild (2004) The Plants of Kupe, Mwanenguba and the Bakossi Mts, Cameroon. A Conservation Checklist. RBG, Kew. 508 pp 212. Available online