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Wearn, James

Job title: 

Business Analyst / Project Manager

Office of the Science Directorate
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

French (basic), Spanish (basic)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons) University of London (2002)
  • PhD, Microbial Ecology, University of London (2006)
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (2010)
  • Skvortsovia Editor (2013 - present)

I provide business performance monitoring for Science and aid strategic alignment of Science to Kew’s mission and Defra objectives. I liaise with the Strategy & External Affairs Directorate regarding reporting of scientific progress and Kew Science representation on Defra working groups. I also serve as Secretary of Kew’s Science committees, co-ordinate reporting of Science KPIs and provide research support to the Director of Science, as well as managing the Science Administration team. I also manage the State of the World’s Plants, a cutting-edge horizon scan of global plant status, which is delivered each year through a pioneering report and accompanying symposium.

I am also leading ‘Kew Gardens at War’, a First World War Centenary commemoration project which explores the influences of the two World Wars on science and horticulture.

Responsibilities include:

  • Project Manager, State of the World’s Plants
  • Project Manager, Kew Gardens at War
  • Key liaison for the Senior Science Team
Selected publications: 

Wearn, J. (2016). Seeds of change – polemobotany in the study of war and culture. Journal of War & Culture Studies 9(3): 1-14.  Available online

Wearn, J. & Budden, A. (2016). Plants and conflict landscapes – the Somme and beyond. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  Available online

Wearn, J. & Richardson, D. [Clark, H. (ed.)] (2016) Kew and the CWGC team up for a unique look at the Somme. Somme 100 Hub ‘Featured Projects’, Imperial War Museum First World War Centenary Partnership. Available online

Wearn, J. (2016) The power of poppies. Papaver. pp.98-101 in The botanical treasury. Celebrating 40 of the world’s most fascinating plants through rare prints and classic texts (ed. C. Mills), André Deutsch Limited, London [book section].

Wearn, J. (2015) The wood war. How Kew Gardens provided valuable information on the materials used for military aircraft during the First World War. Aeroplane Monthly 43(7): 96-99.

Wearn, J. (2015). Risking their lives to collect plants on the Salonika Front. The New Mosquito. Journal of the Salonika Campaign Society 31.

Wearn, J. (2014) Kew in wartime. Kew Magazine 84: 48-53. Available online

Wearn, J. & Hudson, J. (2014) Lichens and war graves – from Kew’s Archives to the modern day. British Lichen Society Bulletin 114: 23-26.

Currie, A.F., Wearn, J., Hodgson, S., Wendt, H., Broughton, S. & Jin, L. (2014 [2013]). Foliar fungal endophytes in herbaceous plants: a marriage of convenience? Pp. 61-81 in Verma, V. & Gange, A.C. (eds.), Advances in Endophytic Research. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg [book chapter]. Available online

Wearn, J. A. & Schuiteman, A. (2013). Plant conservation in Thailand: Dokmai Garden and the Orchid Ark. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 59: 5-14. Available online