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Paton, Alan

Job title: 

Head, Collections

Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. Edinburgh, 1986
  • PhD, Univ. Edinburgh, 1989
  • Coordination Mechanism, Global Taxonomy Initiative of the CBD
  • Plants Conservation Committee, IUCN-SSC
  • Red List Commitee, IUCN
  • Editorial Board of Phytokeys
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London

I head the Science Collections Department which includes the Herbarium, Fungarium, Spirit Collection, Economic Botany Collection, the Seed Collections, DNA and Tissue Bank, micromorphological slide collections and related digitial collections. I oversee collection management policies and procedures to ensure that the collections are well curated and accessible to support research into key questions in plant and fungal science.

My own research focuses on mechanisms to increase access and use of the collections and on the taxonomy and sytematics of the Lamiaceae, particularly basils and allies.

Selected publications: 

Paton, A.J. (2013). From Working List to Online Flora of All Known Plants — Looking Forward with Hind-sight. Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden 99: 206-213.

Victor, J.E., Smith G.F., Turland N.J., le Roux, M., Paton, A., Figueiredo, N.R. Crouch, van Wyk, A.E., Filer,D. & van Wyk. E. (2014). Creating an Online World Flora by 2020: a perspective from South Africa. Biodiversity and Conservation 23: 251-263.

Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R.M., Harvey, Y.B., Iwarsson, M., Willis, F, Phillipson, P.B., Balkwill, C.W., Oteino, D., & Harley, R.M. (2013). Lamiaceae. In: Flora Zambesiaca 8, 8. 346 pp, ed. Timberlake, J. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Paton, A.J. & Nic Lughadha, E. (2011). The irresistible target meets the unachievable objective: what have 8 years of GSPC implementation taught us about target setting and achievable objectives? Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 250–260.

Paton, A. (2009). Biodiversity informatics and the plant conservation baseline. Trends in Plant Science 14: 629-637.