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Zappi, Daniela

Photo of Daniela Zappi
Job title: 

Senior Plant Taxonomist (currently on sabbatical from RBG, Kew until 2014)

Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives
Regional Teams
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Portuguese, Spanish (mother tongues), Italian.

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Ciências Biológicas, Univ. São Paulo, 1987.
  • MSc, Ciências Biológicas, Univ. São Paulo, 1989.
  • PhD, Univ. São Paulo, 1992.
  • Visiting Professor, Univ. Estadual Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil.
  • Editorial Board, Boletim de Botânica da Universidade de São Paulo; Revista Rodriguésia.
  • Coordinator of Cactaceae and Co-coordinator of Rubiaceae for the Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi.
  • IUCN Cactus & Succulent Specialist Study Group.

Daniela has developed strategies and methodologies and published information to promote conservation by using taxonomic information at different levels in the Neotropics, focussing on the Brazilian flora, the Rubiaceae and Cactaceae.

She is engaged in augmenting Kew’s plant and image collections through intensive fieldwork, and in continuing to promote their usability and accessibility. Daniela has been devising and supporting projects aiming to develop taxonomic products for use in conservation, especially in the areas of GIS, vegetation survey and species and habitat assessments.

One of Daniela's main foci is in the floristics and conservation of Brazil, contributing towards accelerated surveys, floras and checklists. She is working to generate and enhance data from Kew contributing to the Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi (, Plantas da Mata Atlântica and more recent Brazilian red-listing activities (

Daniela's main research interests are in the taxonomy, systematics and conservation of Neotropical Rubiaceae, Cactaceae and Loganiaceae with a regional focus on Brazil, in collaboration with institutes in Brazil, Argentina and the USA. Her taxonomic research covers monographs, regional revisions and checklists; systematic research covers generic delimitation and molecular systematics. Her main study groups include Rudgea, Faramea, and Mitracarpus (Rubiaceae) and Rhipsalis, Pilosocereus and Haageocereus (Cactaceae).

Daniela is committed to training and supervision within Kew and in Latin America. She has a long-standing research interest in Cactaceae, and acts as scientific advisor to CITES and IUCN for cacti.

Selected publications: 

Zappi, D.C. ; William Milliken ; Hind, D. J. N. ; Biggs, N. ; Rando, J. G. ; Malcolm, P. ; R. Mello-Silva (2014). Plantas do Setor Noroeste da Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais - guia ilustrado. 1. ed. Richmond: RoyalBotanic Gardens, Kew, 312p .

Moraes, E M ; Perez, M F., Teo, M.F., Zappi, D.C., Taylor, N P., Machado, M C (2012). Cross-species amplification of microsatellites reveals incongruence in the molecular variation and taxonomic limits of the Pilosocereus aurisetus group (Cactaceae). Genetica 140: 277-285. Available online

Rafaela C Forzza, José Fernando, Carlos Baumgratz, M Eduardo, Dora A L Bicudo, A Canhos, Jr Carvalho, Marcus A Nadruz Coelho, Andrea F Costa, Denise P Costa, Ariane Luna Peixoto, José R Pirani, Jefferson Prado, Luciano P Queiroz, Castro Souza, João R Stehmann, Lana S Sylvestre, Bruno M T Walter, Daniela C Zappi, Lúcia G Lohmann (2012). New Brazilian Floristic List Highlights Conservation Challenges. Bioscience 62(1): 39-45.  Available online

Milliken, William ; Sasaki, Denise ; Pennington, R. Toby ; Hopkins, Mike ; Zappi, Daniela (2010). Amazon vegetation: how much don’ t we know and how much does it matter?. Kew Bulletin 65: 691-709. Available online

Menini Neto, Luiz ; Forzza, Rafaela Campostrini ; Zappi, D.C. (2009). Angiosperm epiphytes as conservation indicators in forest fragments: A case study from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation 18(14): 3785-3807. Available online