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Smith, Rhian J.

Photo of Rhian Smith
Job title: 

Senior Science Officer (Education and Communication)

Office of the Science Directorate
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

basic French

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (1st class Hons), Univ. Wales (Cardiff), 1997
  • PG Dip. Statistics (Distinction), Univ. Dublin (Trinity College), 2001
  • PhD, Univ. Dublin (Trinity College), 2004
  • Editor for Restoration Ecology (2009-2013)
  • Editor for Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization (2008-2013)

My role as Senior Science Officer for Education and Communication involves the coordination of Kew's scientific education programmes and internal and external science communication activities. I am currently working with Queen Mary University of London to deliver the exciting new MSc course in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation, and my team also coordinates Kew's science-based short courses and NERC Doctoral Training Programmes. Science communication responsibilities include communication and implementation of Kew's new science strategy, coordinating internal and external seminar series and international symposia, and working to enhance Kew’s scientific reputation through increasing external visibility of our world class research programmes and publications. We also work with key teams in Kew's Public Programmes Directorate to deliver science content to the public.

Selected publications: 

Cowling, R.M., Potts, A.J., Bradshaw, P.L., Colville, J., Arianoutsou, M., Ferrier, S., Forest, F., Fyllas, N.M., Hopper, S.D., Ojeda, F., Proches, S., Smith, R.J., Rundel, P.W., Vassilakis, E. & Zutta, B.R. (2015). Variation in plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems: the role of climatic and topographical stability. Journal of Biogeography 42: 552-564. DOI:10.1111/jbi.12429. Available online

Smith, R.J. & Waldren, S. (2013). Gynodioecy in Campanula trachelium L. New Journal of Botany 3: 117-121. Available online

Smith, R.J., Hopper, S.D. & Shane, M.W. (2011). Sand-binding roots in Haemodoraceae: global survey and morphology in a phylogenetic context. Plant and Soil 348: 453-470. Available online

Smith, R.J. & Waldren, S. (2010). Patterns of genetic variation in Colchicum autumnale L. and its conservation status in Ireland: a broader perspective on local plant conservation. Conservation Genetics 11: 1351-1361. Available online

Hopper, S.D., Smith, R.J., Fay, M.F., Manning, J.C. & Chase, M.W. (2009). Molecular phylogenetics of Haemodoraceae in the Greater Cape and Southwest Australian Floristic Regions. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51: 19-30. Available online