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Wearn, James

Aloe vera
Job title: 

Business Analyst / Research Assistant to the Director of Science

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)
  • Flora of Thailand Organising Committee (2013)

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. Part of my role includes provision of plant policy advice for Kew as the CITES UK Scientific Authority for Plants.

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:

  • Secretary of the Senior Science Heads group
  • Project Manager, ‘Kew Gardens at War’
Selected publications: 

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