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Klitgaard, Bente B.

Photo of Bente Klitgaard
Job title: 

Senior Research Leader, Identification and Naming (Americas)

Identification and Naming
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Danish (mother tongue), English (fluent), Spanish (fluent), Portuguese (working), German (basic), French (basic).

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • Founding member of Nepenthes (Danish foundation for the protection of tropical rainforests) (1982–1993)
  • Bifag (BSc equivalent), Biology, University of Aarhus (1985)
  • Cand. Scient. (MSc equivalent), Biology, University of Aarhus (1990)
  • Editor of the quarterly journal Regnskov (1990–1993)
  • Nordic Research Academy fellow, University of Gothenburg (1991)
  • Founding member of Nordic Phylogenetics Network (1992–2001)
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow, RBG Kew (1993–1995)
  • PhD, University of Aarhus (1995)
  • Manager of DANIDA-ENRECA project based at the National University of Loja, Ecuador (1996-1998)
  • Honorary Research Associate, RBG Kew (1998–1999)
  • Director's Research Assistant, RBG Kew (1999–2001)
  • IUCN-SSC, Tropical Tree Specialist Group (1999–)
  • Neotropical research botanist, Botany Department, Natural History Museum, London (2001–2008)
  • Senior research botanist, RBG Kew (2008-2014)
  • Council member Systematics Association (2009-2013)
  • Systematics Association, SRF Awards Secretary (2010–2013)
  • Associate editor, Systematic Botany (2010–2014)
  • Editorial board Kew Bulletin (2014–)

As Senior Research Leader of the Americas team, I lead a team of nine researchers and curators with a focus on collections-based taxonomic and conservation research in the Neotropics. The team also curates the dry-preserved plant collections at Kew and provides teaching, training and undergraduate and graduate student project supervision.

My personal research focuses on the Detarioid and Dalbergioid legumes centred in the Neotropics and includes taxonomic, floristic, evolutionary, biogeographic, and questions of regional conservation priorities combining multiple data sets to address these questions. I also lead Neotropikey, a Kew-based international project publishing online identification tools for Neotropical flowering plants. I manage part of the project: 'Future Forests: Livelihoods and sustainable forest management in Bolivian Amazon'.

Selected publications: 

Bruneau, A., Klitgaard, B. B., Prenner, G., Fougére-Danezan, M. & Tucker, S. (2014). Floral evolution in the Detarieae (Leguminosae): phylogenetic evidence for labile floral development in an early-diverging legume lineage.International Journal of Plant Science 175(4): 392-417.

Klitgaard, B. B., Forest, F., Booth, T. J. & Saslis-Lagoudakis, C. H. (2013). A detailed investigation of the Pterocarpus clade (Leguminosae: Dalbergieae): Etaballia with radially symmetric flowers is nested within the papilionoid-flowered PterocarpusSouth African Journal of Botany 89: 128-142.

Klitgaard, B. B. (2012).  Catoferia, Chaunostoma, Lepechinia, Salvia, Teucrium. In: G. Davidse, M. Sousa S., S. Knapp & F. Chiang (editors), Flora Mesoamericana 4(2), Rubiaceae to Verbenaceae: pp. 363-364, 391-392, 396-424, 450-451. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Saslis-Lagoudakis, C. H., Klitgaard, B. B., Forest, F., Francis, L., Savolainen, V., Williamson, E. M. & Hawkins, J. A. (2011).  The use of phylogeny to interpret cross-cultural patterns in plant use and guide medicinal plant discovery: an example from Pterocarpus (Leguminosae). PLoS ONE 6(7): e22275. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022275

Milliken, W., Klitgaard, B. & Baracat, A. (editors) (2010).  Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.