Volunteer at Kew Gardens - Herbarium
Find out more about volunteering opportunities in Kew's iconic Herbarium. Perfect for people with a passion for plants and conservation.
Be part of a team that discovers new things about plant life around the world.
Introducing Kew's Herbarium
The Herbarium at Kew, one of the largest of its kind, was founded in 1853 and houses 7 million dried and mounted plant specimens from almost every geographical region of the world. It plays a vital role in providing training in areas such as plant identification techniques, taxonomic nomenclature and conservation. It also acts as a centre for information exchange and a channel for networking between plant specialists, students and researchers in other related areas of study from around the world.
Kew's Herbarium offers a series of opportunities for volunteers with either its regional teams, that work in specific geographical areas, or its basic research teams, whose work is centred on systematic botany (i.e. comparative plant biology). Other sections include the GIS Unit that is responsible for mapping (both vegetation and species) and the UK Overseas Territories Programme which carries out conservation and biodiversity research.
The main goals of Kew’s research are to define the units of plant diversity (species and higher categories) and organise them into meaningful classifications that reflect their evolutionary relationships. We then apply that knowledge to conservation science. This work generates vital basic data for habitat and plant conservation and sustainable development strategies.
Volunteer opportunity in the Myrtaceae section of Kew’s Herbarium
A medium (between 4 to six months) to long term placement is available to volunteer at the Myrtaceae section of Kew’s herbarium. This opportunity involves filling and adding detail to a database. The database is assembling a list of species for use in restoration in Eastern Bahia and needs to be completed before the end of the year. Species are selected on the basis of 1) their success in re-colonising disturbed vegetation and 2) their value to local communities. This information is incoming from surveys being carried out now. Once a species is selected, information about them needs to be fleshed out from the literature and often the internet and entered into a species summary sheet.
This volunteer position would be mostly desk based but will require consulting the collections too. Portuguese language would be desirable.
How to apply
We recommend that applications are made for specific volunteering opportunities as advertised above. However, general applications will be held on file and we will be in touch if appropriate opportunities arise.
Please complete the application form and return it to our Herbarium Volunteer Co-ordinator.
Amélia B. Baracat (Volunteer Co-ordinator)
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Kew Gardens.
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22 Jan 2013
To celebrate the opening of Orchids at Kew Gardens, our 'book of the month' feature shines the spotlight on this popular family with an introduction to Hardy Cypripedium by Werner Frosch and Phillip Cribb.