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Horwath, Aline B.

Job title: 

Research Assistant

Sustainable Uses
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Polish (mother tongue), German, Latin, Spanish, French.

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Plant Science, Univ. Edinburgh, 2003
  • MSc, Plant Diversity/Taxonomy, Univ. Reading, 2004.

Extraction and isolation of natural products using different chromatographic techniques; characterisation of active compounds.

British plants used in traditional medicine are extracted and analysed by various chromatographic techniques. Diverse methods are applied to isolate and purify natural products of plant or fungal origin. Crude extracts and pure compounds are tested for various activities, either in-house or by external collaborators, with the aim to identify and obtain natural plant compounds with potential medicinal properties and/or plant–insect interactions (e.g. pesticidal properties). Biologically active compounds are then chemically characterised using different spectroscopic techniques. Furthermore, chemical screening and fingerprinting of diverse plant taxa is carried out in search of valuable chemosystematic markers. Further work includes the collection, grinding and documentation of plant material for extraction, assistance with day-to-day tasks within the laboratory and maintenance of insect cultures. In addition, training in phytochemical techniques is provided to students and visitors.

Selected publications: 
Horwath, A. (2004). Chemical and morphological characterisation of wild Thymus populations from different climatic regions in southeast Spain. MSc Thesis, University of Reading.