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Cook, Frances E. M.

Job title: 

Economic Botanist

Jodrell Laboratory
Sustainable Uses
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. Liverpool, 1979
  • MSc, Univ. College, Bangor, 1981.

Potpourri industry liaison, research into wild collected UK trade imports and oversee economic botany enquiries.

Identify plant samples being considered by UK companies for inclusion in potpourri products; report on their potential toxicity and conservation. Manage the Potpourri collection and database. Co-ordinate responses to enquiries, received annually, by the Sustainable Uses Group that relate to the uses of plants or their poisonous properties. Support Economic Botany Collections, CMPCC and Data Standards relating to uses. Sample the Economic Botany collections for scientific analysis. Research the relationship between Indian potpourri and the herbal health care industry and its dependence on wild harvested species.

Selected publications: 

Sousa, M.M., Melo, M.J., Parola, A.J., de Melo, J.S.S., Catarino, R., Pina, F., Cook, F.E.M., Simmonds, M.S.J. & Lopez, J.A. (2008). Flavylium chromophores as species markers for dragon’s blood resins from Dracaena and Daemonorops trees. Journal of Chromatography A 1209(1-2):153-161.

Cook, F.E.M. (2007). What’s in the pack? Palm potpourri ingredients. Palms 51(3): 127-137.

Peters, C.R & Cook, F.E.M. (1996). Uses of African plants. In: The Biodiversity of African Plants. Proceedings XIV AETFAT Congress 22-27 August 1994, Wageningen, The Netherlands, ed. van der Maesen, L.J.G., van der Burgt, X.M. & van Medenbach de Rooy, J.M. pp.661- 768. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Cook, F.E.M. (1995). Economic Botany Data Collection Standard. Prepared for the International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases for Plant Sciences (TDWG). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 146 pp.

Booth, F.E.M. & Wickens, G.E. (1988). Non-timber uses of selected arid zone trees and shrubs in Africa. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.