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Milliken, William

Photo of William Milliken
Job title: 

Head of Tropical America Regional Team

Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Regional Teams
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Portuguese (fluent), Spanish (working), French (working)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • MA, Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1985
  • PhD, University of Cambridge, 1999
  • Leadership of Kew’s cross-departmental Latin America Programme
  • Project development and management
  • Applied biodiversity research
  • Provision of technical and policy advice

William Milliken has over 20 years experience in multi-disciplinary research and consultancy. His work has focused primarily on the interface between biodiversity, livelihoods and the environment - overseas and in the UK - with a strong focus on Latin America. Assignments have included provision of specific advice and information to governmental and non-governmental organisations on natural resource utilisation, sustainable development and livelihoods, biodiversity evaluation/policy, conservation units, methodologies for ethno-environmental evaluation, and rural communities. Previous research foci have included the use and management of vegetation by indigenous societies and other rural communities, with a particular emphasis on threatened plant resources, medicinal plants and sustainable income generation. William Milliken has provided project evaluations, according to established guidelines and procedures, to UK and overseas governments, and is experienced in design, planning and implementation of international inter-disciplinary projects.

At Kew, William Milliken is responsible for project management and development in Latin America with a focus on in situ conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Other activities include fund-raising, teaching and student supervision, team management, curation management and production of innovative resources for information-sharing, capacity-building and dissemination of research outputs. Current research includes floristic analysis and mapping of tropical and temperate vegetation units (employing quantitative and qualitative survey techniques and geographic information systems), identification of biodiversity indicators, and development/delivery of recommendations and project designs for management planning and conservation.

Recently, William has been engaged in defining and strengthening Kew’s role in the development of REDD+ programmes, and represents Kew on the advisory committee of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Forum (BBOP) which is working to develop offsets methodologies for use in the UK and overseas. He provides technical support and advice for biodiversity action planning, offset development and ecological restoration for extractive industries, and is a Research Associate of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Selected publications: 

Ter Steege, H. et al. (incl. W. Milliken) (2013). Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora. Science 342. DOI: 10.1126/science.1243092. Available online

Pareyn, F., Milliken, W., Baracat, A., Gariglio, M.A., Santos, E.M., Galindo, R.C.A.P., Gasson P., Gallindo, F.A.T. & Hassett, D.M. (2013). Cuidando da Caatinga. Associação Plantas do Nordeste (APNE) & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Barlow, J., Ewers, R. M., Anderson L., Aragao, L. E. O. C., Baker, T., Boyd E., Feldpausch T., Gloor E., Hall A., Malhi Y., Milliken, W., Mulligan M., Parry L., Pennington, R. T., Peres C. A., Phillips O., Roman-Cuesta R. M., Tobias J. & Gardner T. A. (2011). Using learning networks to understand complex systems: a case study of biological, geophysical and social research in the Amazon. Biol. Rev. 86: 457 – 474. Available online

Milliken, W., Zappi D., Sasaki D., Hopkins M. & Pennington, R. T. (2011). Amazon vegetation: how much don’t we know and how much does it matter? Kew Bulletin 65(4): 691 – 709. Available online

Whaley, O.Q, Beresford-Jones, D.G. Milliken, W., Orellana, A., Smyk, A. & Leguia, J. (2011). An ecosystem approach to restoration and sustainable management of dry forest in Southern Peru. Kew Bulletin 65(4): 613-641. An ecosystem approach to restoration and sustainable management of dry forest in southern Peru