Kew's Science Projects

Kew scientists are involved in hundreds of scientific projects of varying scales ranging from individual PhD research programmes to large-scale network endeavours involving more than 40 institutional partners, across several continents. These project profiles document all our significant science projects (whether externally or internally funded).

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Falkland Islands Plant Conservation - Project completed (2007-2009)

Developing a strategy for the long-term protection of the Falkland Islands' native flora through the sustainable management of key plant communities

Establishment of Montserrat Botanic Garden

Establishing a new botanic garden for Montserrat as a resource for islanders, an attraction for overseas tourists and a centre for conservation activity

Strengthening capacity for Species Action Planning in Montserrat

Providing support to Government and conservation NGOs on Montserrat in developing skills in producing Species Action Plans for the island's endemic plant species

Turks and Caicos Islands Pine Recovery Programme

The Caicos pine is under immediate threat from the invasive insect pest, pine tortoise scale. Kew’s UKOTs Programme is working with local and international partners on the Caicos Pine Recovery Project to save the tree from extirpation through in situ and ex situ conservation measures.

Project MGU - the Useful Plants Project

The purpose of this project is to improve the welfare of local communities and safeguard useful important plants from extinction in Latin America and Africa.

Vascular Plant Classification Committee (VPCC) – Linear Sequence

Vascular Plant Classification Committee (VPCC) – Linear Sequence

Vegetation mapping in the Geelvink Bay Papua, Indonesia

Building on the strong foundation of botanical exploration and collaboration in this region this project is to map the vegetation of the entire Geelvink Bay region in Papua, Indonesia

Vegetative key and synopsis of African forest Celastraceae

To develop an identification aid to the African forest Celastraceae based on vegetative features, together with a synopsis of the taxa.

Vegetation Management for Conservation in Mato Grosso, Brazil

Building capacity and providing scientific support for in situ conservation in areas of key strategic or biodiversity significance in the Amazon

Waxtongue – UK fungi of conservation concern

The "Waxtongue" project has been funded to carry out phylogenetic research into the genus Hygrocybe ("waxcaps") and the Geoglossaceae ("earthtongues"), two groups of major conservation concern in the UK. The objective is to make definition and identification of the species more robust, and to discover cryptic species that may have different conservation needs.

World classification and phylogeny of Salix & Populus

 This project aims to provide a world classification and phylogeny for Salix & Populus, two widespread temperate genera with great economic importance but notoriously difficult taxonomy.

Wood Anatomy of Leguminosae

Many species of Leguminosae provide commercial timber, and all woody species have anatomical characteristics that contribute to the properties of the wood and lend a wealth of information for identification, systematics, phylogeny and wood use. At Kew we study legume wood for all these purposes.

Wood anatomy of Malpighiales

Malpighiales is a recently recognised order that is very diverse in terms of habit and woodiness.This project aims to document the diversity of wood anatomy in a phylogenetic context.

Wood Anatomy of Myrtaceae

A survey of the wood anatomy of Myrtaceae is being conducted. This will form part of the next volume of Anatomy of the Dicotyledons. The tribe Chamelaucieae, which has been neglected in the past is a particular centre of attention.

World Monograph of the genus Convolvulus


Developing a online world Flora of Grasses.

World Checklist and Bibliography of Rubiaceae

Providing baseline diversity (taxonomic data) for Rubiaceae, the fourth largest plant family, and a key component of tropical ecosystems.

Xylem Function and Evolution

A project contributing to the understanding of secondary xylem evolution in woody plants, including ecological adaptations and physiological functions in extant wood.

Yams of Madagascar: systematics, conservation and sustainable use

This project seeks to deliver understanding of the diversity of yams in Madagascar. The knowledge obtained is being used to work towards threatened species conservation and sustainable utilization of populations critical for the food security of rural people in Madagascar.

Is there a biological rationale for the Framework Species Approach to land restoration?

Taxonomy of the genus Passiflora

Researching little-known and new species of Passiflora from Tropical America

Checklist of the Compositae of Bolivia

Providing an updated, fully synonymized, annotated checklist of the Compositae of Bolivia, available online and in print

Diversity of Neotropical Sloanea (Elaeocarpaceae)

Taxonomic and systematic studies of a poorly understood genus of forest trees

Lista do Brasil

An international collaboration delivering an on-line catalogue of the plants and fungi of Brazil

Toucan Cipó

Building capacity for in situ conservation in an area of outstanding diversity within Eastern Brazi

Data repatriation of Mexican specimens

Databasing, georeferencing and digitizing specimens to make data available worldwide  – a fundamental step towards sustainability of biological collections.

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