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Sanchez, Michele

Job title: 

Project staff: Caicos Pine Project Co-ordinator (UKOTs)- part-time

Conservation Science
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Portuguese (native speaker), Spanish, Italian (basic)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • PhD, Birkbeck, University of London & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, 2012
  • Certificate of Training in Botanical Horticulture, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, 2005
  • RHS Level 2 General Certificate in Horticulture, London, 2004
  • BSc, Biology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil, 1992
  • Member, Kew Guild
  • Member, Royal Horticultural Society
  • Member, The Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, London, UK

I work part-time with the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) team at Kew, coordinating the Darwin Plus project 'Caicos pine forests: mitigation for climate change and invasive species'.  This is a multi-disciplinary project involving experts from Kew in the areas of genetics, mycology, restoration ecology, chemical interactions, seed biology, horticulture, GIS and conservation; as well as international partners. My main role on this project is to deliver the conservation genetics element by planning the sampling strategy for pine genetic research in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), collecting and analysing DNA samples and reporting on findings; in addition to project's finances, organizing and facilitating field trips, reporting to funding bodies, providing support for researchers and partners and collating multi-disciplinary data for protocols. My previous research on the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis) in the Bahamas and TCI during my PhD provided me with the necessary tools and baseline data to further pine genetic investigation and project co-ordination. I have also been a member of Kew’s UKOTs Science Team for several years, participating in several field trips to the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Puerto Rico and Bahamas to build local capacity, carry out vegetation and pest assessments and collect seed/herbarium specimens. Other projects included genetic research on Cypripedium calceolus and Cylindrocline lorencei with the Conservation Genetics team at Kew. I am also a horticulturist at Kew (2002-present) working in the Tropical Nursery, mainly on pollinations and seed collections for the Kew/MSB project 'Seed Collection from the Living Collections'.

Selected publications: 

Sanchez, M.D., Ingrouille, M.J., Cowan, R., Hamilton, M.A. & Fay, M. (2014). Spatial structure and genetic diversity of natural populations of the Caribbean pine, Pinus caribaea var.bahamensis (Pinaceae), in the Bahaman archipelago. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 174: 359–383. Available online

Malumphy, C., Hamilton, M.A., Manco, B.N., Green, P.W.C, Sanchez, M.D., Corcoran, M.R. & Salamanca, E. (2012). Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae), causing severe decline of Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Florida Entomologist 95: 113-119. Available online

Sanchez, M., Hamilton, M.A. & Farjon, A. (2013). Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available online

Sanchez, M., Hamilton, M.A. & Farjon, A. (2013). Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis. In: Threatened Conifers of the World. International Conifer Conservation Programme, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Available online

Sanchez, M. (2012). Conservation genetics and biogeography of the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis) in the Bahaman archipelago. PhD thesis, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, 275pp. Available online

Alvarez, N. & Sanchez, M. (2012). Kew horticulturalists pollinating for the future. Samara 23: 7.