Meet the team
Meet the people behind the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants project and find out why they believe this work is so important for the future of plants and us.
Species Conservation Assessment Officer, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Steve is responsible for carrying out conservation assessments using IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. He is interested in the tools and techniques we use to produce assessments and helped to develop GeoCAT, an online rapid assessment tool. He also wants to increase the rate of plant Red List assessments; at present only approximately 5% of plants have been assessed for their extinction risk.
Speaking about his role in this project, Steve said “Present day human activities are pushing more plants towards extinction. We do have the potential to safeguard plant life and the creatures that depend on it, but we need to act now. Assessing the extinction risk of plants is the first step towards positive conservation outcomes.”
Dr. Neil Brummitt
Formerly Plant Diversity Analyst and co-ordinator of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew and now Researcher in Botanical Diversity and lead on the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at the Natural History Museum.
Talking about this project Neil said "The diversity of plants underpins all life on earth, so it is sobering that our own species is threatening the survival of many thousands of plant species."
“The work in this report took us several years to complete and is based on very careful assessments of thousands of species worldwide by hundreds of scientists. For the first time we have reliable data on which types of plants are most threatened, where and why. It would not have been possible without modern developments in computers and satellite imagery: anyone can see the extent of habitat conversion with Google Earth, but our report relates this to the status of individual species all over the world and clearly shows the depth of the biodiversity crisis we face.
GIS Unit Manager & Project Direction/Supervision, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Justin manages Kew's Global Information Systems (GIS) Unit and leads the development of the use of GIS at Kew. His work provides a GIS interface for conservation, taxonomy, systematics and phytogeography. Justin is particularly interested in vegetation mapping and area conservation assessments (Kew Key Measure 2d), using remote sensing and GIS techniques to give up-to-date and accurate vegetation mapping and vegetation change (temporally).
Talking about his part in the project, Justin says “Technology is changing the face of conservation and increasingly we have the ability to manage masses of data to inform governments on the impact of human activities on biodiversity."
Dr. Eimear Nic Lughadha
Senior Responsible Owner, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Speaking about this project and Kew's role Eimear said “This landmark report represents the culmination of a huge amount of work by Kew staff, volunteers and collaborators over several years. It illustrates the unique and critically important role that Kew’s data and expertise have to play in informing policy and guiding practical conservation action on the ground.
“It’s vital that we maintain and update the data set with field observations so that we can monitor trends over time, but it’s equally important that we make it easy for other scientists to adopt a similar approach. The methodology employed by the project is widely applicable and has attracted significant interest for use at national level. But much of the data that would be required is effectively locked up in our Herbarium and an accelerated effort is needed to digitise it and make it widely available to those who need it in order to manage their plant resources effectively.”
Project Coordinator, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Janine joined Kew in 2012 and is currently coordinating the Sampled Red List for Plants project. As the project moves into its second phase Janine has been managing the SRLI team and working to identify key tools and methods that will be used during fieldwork: creating protocols and guidelines for data collection, producing reports on best practice and identifying key collaborators.
Talking about the project, Janine said “As global population and economic growth increases, so will the demand for ecosystem services provided by plants - increasing vulnerability of ecosystem collapse and extinctions. Understanding the global status, threats and trends in plants is vital in driving effective conservation action and policy. Phase II of the Sampled Red List for Plants project will help provide this information as part of an ongoing international monitoring scheme”
Species Conservation Assessor, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Maiko started at Kew in 2012 as Species Conservation Assessor for the Sampled Red List Index for Plants project. In her current role Maiko carries out species conservation status assessments, reviews assessments produced by the SRLI team, trains volunteers in Red Listing and assists in all aspects of the planning for Phase II of the Sampled Red List Index Project. Maiko has recently returned from the field where she has tested the methods and protocols for Phase II of the project.
Species Conservation Assessor, IUCN Sampled Red List Index Project for Plants at Kew
Helen joined the SRLI team as a research intern in March 2009. Her current role involves the production and editing of plant conservation assessments using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categories and criteria.
This includes mapping the distribution of plant species from herbarium records and literature sources, researching threats, habitat requirements and the population status of plant species and determining if there are any conservation measures in place, such as protected areas.
Helen feels that the project has a significant role to play in establishing the conservation status of plants and in raising awareness of the degree of threat to plant species globally. Plants are a fundamental part of ecosystems and essential to a sustainable planet. This research will help to identify and monitor the impact that human activities are having on plant species and highlight needs for conservation action.
Assistant Herbarium Keeper, Biodiversity Information and Conventions & Line-manager, IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants at Kew
Alan's principal role is to manage the staff of the Biodiversity Information and Conventions section and to seek ways of maximizing the impact of information held within the Herbarium collection on conservation and sustainable use. This includes supervision of a number of teams and liaising with the Secretariat of the CBD on progress on Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC - a widely accessible list of all known plant species).
Alan also has a strong interest in developing preliminary conservation assessments (Target 2 GSPC) from specimen data. Leading the cross-departmental Lamiaceae team, with his own research centred on African and Asian Labiatae, writing accounts of the family for ‘Flora of Thailand’ and ‘Flora Zambesiaca’. He is also pursuing monographic and phylogenetic research in tribe Ocimeae and has published several multidisciplinary papers on Ocimum (basil).
Full team - Sampled Red List Index for plants
Sara Albuquerque, Elina Aletrari, Kei Andrews, Guy Atchison, Elisabeth Baloch, Barbara Barlozzini, Alex Bell, Raffaele Boccardo, Alice Brunazzi, Julia Carretero, Marco Celesti, Helen Chadburn, Edoardo Cianfoni, Chris Cockel, Vanessa Coldwell, Benedetta Concetti, Sara Contu, Vicki Crook, Farida Danmeri, Anna Dennis, Aisling Devine, Philippa Dyson, Poppy Fraser, Lauren Gardiner, Nadia Ghanim, Hannah Greene, Janine Griffiths, Alice Groom, Ruth Harker, Della Hopkins, Suzanne Jenkins, Helen Lockwood, Maiko Lutz, Christine Loftus, Debora Lombrici, Lucia Lopez, James Lyon, Patricia Malcolm-Tompkins, Cliodhna McCartney, Kirsty McGregor, Laura Moreno, Lynda Murray, Keara Nazar, Emily Power, Mireya Quiton, Florence Romand-Monnier, Rosalind Salter, Will Saunders, Robert Segrott, Hannah Thacker, Leighton Thomas, Sarah Tingvoll, Barbara Turpin, Gemma Watkinson and Katerina Wojtaszekova.
We'd like to extend a special thanks to the following colleagues without whom this project would not have been so successful:
Jonathan Baillie, Monika Bohm and Ben Collen (ZSL), Craig Hilton Taylor (IUCN), Aljos Farjon (IUCN Conifer Specialist Group), John Donaldson (IUCN Cycad Specialist Group), Mark Hughes and Stuart Lindsay (Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh), Bob Magill (Missouri Botanical Garden), Tom Meagher (University of St. Andrews) and to the many experts at Kew, NHM and around the world who contributed their taxonomic or regional expertise to the assessments.
The Sampled Red List Index for Plants project was designed and undertaken as a contribution to work of: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation; the Consortium of Scientific Partners to the CBD; the IUCN and its Red List; and the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.
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