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Wearn, James

Job title: 

Research Assistant to the Keeper & Project Manager ‘Kew Gardens at War’

Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

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 - present)

Responsibilities include:

• Project Manager, Kew Gardens at War
• Lamiaceae taxonomic research (Madagascar and Thailand)
• Fungal endophytes in herbaceous plants
• Vascular Plant Classification Committee (VPCC)
• Disaster Plan Group

‘Kew Gardens at War’ is a project exploring a long-forgotten and influential part of Kew’s rich scientific history – our contribution to the international period of remembrance as a non-departmental public body closely allied to Defra and Royal institution. Kew is a member of the national commemoration partnership (see link).

The two World Wars helped shape Kew’s science and horticulture, and have left a unique legacy which is now appropriate to revisit as part of the international First World War Centenary commemoration. Drawing on Kew’s diverse collections from the Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives, Economic Botany and the Gardens, we are carrying out research into the institution’s wartime activities and will be offering a programme of events and releasing news stories during the period 2014-2018.

Selected publications: 

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

Wearn, J.A., Chase, M.W.C., Mabberley, D.J. & Couch, C. (2013). Utilizing a phylogenetic plant classification for systematic arrangements in botanic gardens and herbaria. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 127-141. Available online

Wearn, J.A., Sutton, B.C., Morley, N.J. & Gange, A.C. (2012). Species and organ specificity of fungal endophytes in herbaceous grassland plants. Journal of Ecology 100: 1085-1092. Available online

Wearn, J.A. & Leeratiwong, C. (2012). A reassessment of the identity and rarity of Clerodendrum chlorisepalum (Lamiaceae) in Thailand and Vietnam. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) 40: 121-124. 

Elsewhere on