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Newton, Rosemary J.

Photo of Rosemary Newton
Job title: 

Career Development Fellow, Islands

Conservation Science
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • PhD, University of Reading, 2012
  • MSc Botany, University of Cape Town, 2000
  • BSc (Hons) Botany, University of Cape Town, 1996
  • BSc, University of the Witwatersrand, 1995
  • Member of the International Society for Seed Science (ISSS)
  • Member of the Society of Biology
  • Member of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB)

I am an ecologist with a strong background in seed biology in species from the Mediterranean and temperate woodland ecosystems. I am currently supervising student projects investigating factors (e.g. fire, alien invasive species, water availability) affecting seed germination and seedling survival in the fynbos and the importance of these in habitat restoration. My research interests include investigating the impact of global climate change and invasive species on threatened species and ecosystem functioning. I am also interested in understanding the drivers of adaptation and evolution and how these influence speciation and extinction on oceanic islands. Using an ecophysiological and evolutionary approach, my activities will concentrate on the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) and inform and support conservation management and restoration projects on these and other islands. 

Selected publications: 

Newton, R. J., Hay, F. R. & Ellis, R. H. (2015). Ecophysiology of seed dormancy and the control of germination in early spring-flowering Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Amaryllidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 177: 246-262. DOI: 10.1111/boj.12240. Available online

Newton, R. J., Hay, F. R. & Ellis, R. H. (2013). Seed development and maturation in early spring-flowering Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus continues post-shedding with little evidence of maturation in planta. Annals of Botany 111: 945-955. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct051. Available online

February, E. C., Higgins, S. I., Newton, R. & West, A. G. (2007). Tree distribution on a steep environmental gradient in an arid savanna. Journal of Biogeography 34: 270-278. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01583.x. Available online

Newton, R. J., Bond, W. J. & Farrant, J. M. (2006). Effects of seed storage and fire on germination in the nut-fruited Restionaceae species, Cannomois virgata. South African Journal of Botany 72: 177-180. DOI:10.1016/j.sajb.2005.05.005. Available online

Holmes, P. M. & Newton, R. J. (2004). Patterns of seed persistence in South African fynbos. Plant Ecology 172: 143-158. DOI: 10.1023/B:VEGE.0000026035.73496.34. Available online