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Crane, Peter R.

Job title: 

Honorary Research Fellow

Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Univ. Reading, 1975
  • PhD, Univ. Reading, 1981
  • Knighted, 2004
  • Fellow, The Royal Society
  • Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, USA
  • Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Member, German Academy Leopoldina
  • Foreign Member, Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, Goteborg
  • Professor, Department of Botany, University of Reading
  • Visiting Professor, Palaeobotany, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Visiting Professor, Biological Sciences, Imperial College of Science and Technology
  • Adjunct Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Acad. Sci.
  • Board, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA
  • Board, Botanic Gardens Conservation International
  • Board, Lovaine Trust
  • Board, WWF, UK
  • Advisory Board, Royal Parks Agency
  • Individual Merit Promotion Board, UK Research Councils
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Member, Overseer's Visiting Committee, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, USA
  • The John and Marion Sullivan University Professor at The University of Chicago

Integrated paleobotanical and neobotanical studies of plant diversity and evolution. Conservation of plant diversity.

Research is concerned with the past, present and future of plant diversity.  A particular focus is applying palaeobotanical data to understanding large-scale phylogenetic and macroevolution patterns in the Plant Kingdom, especially the early evolution of angiosperms and associated patterns of Cretaceous vegetational change. Other research interests that have a historical focus include the early diversification of land plants and the origin of seed plant biology. Regarding the present and future of plant diversity, I am interested in the current state of knowledge of global plant diversity, including its relationship to geography, and how this can inform practical approaches to conservation.

Selected publications: 

Nic Lughadha, E., Baillie, J., Barthlott, W., Brummitt, N.A., Cheek, M.R., Farjon, A., Govaerts, R., Hardwick, K.A., Hilton-Taylor, C., Meagher, T.R., Moat, J., Mutke, J., Paton, A.J., Pleasants, L.J., Savolainen, V., Schatz, G.E., Smith*, P., Turner, I., Wyse-Jackson, P. & Crane, P.R. (2005). Measuring the fate of plant diversity: towards a foundation for future monitoring and opportunities for urgent action. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 360: 359-372.

Crane, P.R. & Kinzig, A. (2005). Nature in the Metropolis. Science 308: 1225.

Crane, P. R. (2004). Documenting Plant Diversity: Unfinished Business. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 359: 735-737.

Friis, E.M., Pedersen, K.R. & Crane, P.R. (2004). Araceae from the Early Cretaceous of Portugal: evidence on the emergence of monocotyledons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101: 16565-16570

Friis, E.M., Pedersen, K.R. & Crane, P.R. (2001). Fossil evidence of waterlilies (Nymphaeales) in the Early Cretaceous. Nature 410: 357-360.