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Contu, Sara

Job title: 

Species Conservation Assessor

Department: 
Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Section: 
SRLI Team, GIS Unit
Joined Kew: 

2007

Foreign languages: 

Italian (mother tongue), Spanish and French (basic)

Qualifications and appointments: 

BSc and MSc, Natural Sciences and Conservation, Universita di Roma “La Sapienza”, 2006

Role: 

Species Conservation Assessor, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew

My role involves carrying out species conservation status assessments based on herbarium specimen records, literature research and GIS (Geographical Information System) analysis finalized to compiling information on the distribution, ecology, threats, uses and to understanding the current conservation status of plant species. Plant species are poorly known compared to animal groups, but the increasing pressure on them means we need to understand how plants are responding to habitat loss, and The Sampled  Red List Index is a tool to measure the extinction risk of plants.

Selected publications: 

Plants under pressure a global assessment. The first report of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 2010. Available online