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Kew Science blog

Explore some of the research and activities of our global science and conservation programmes. Keep up to date with current developments in Kew science and science policy.
Hazel studying a map while working on Adam's case
14th February 2019

Hazel Patricia Wilkinson (1932–2019)

Paula Rudall and Peter Gasson remember "Kew's Miss Marple".
Scrub on a sea cliff
6th February 2019

For the Love of Scrub

Ian Willey describes Kew's search for scrub species as part of the UK National Tree Seed Project.
Naturally dried forest coffee, south-west  Ethiopia: Alan Schaller, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
16th January 2019

A high extinction threat for wild coffee species and implications for the coffee sector

Many wild coffee species are threatened with extinction: what might this mean for the future of coffee farming? Dr Aaron Davis explains.
Plant and Fungal Tree of Life
4th January 2019

Completing the tree of life for plants and fungi

The Tree of Life allows us to discover, understand, utilise and conserve life on Earth. In this blog, Bill Baker explains how Kew is leading the charge in a new genomic age for tree of life research on plants and fungi.
21st December 2018

New Kew discoveries for 2018

This year Kew Scientists have published, with partners, 172 varieties, species or genera of fungi and plants new to science. Martin Cheek describes some of these discoveries and the stories around them.
18th December 2018

Weird weather and forgotten fruits

After an excellent season for fruiting, Mike Fay considers some of our less familiar species and their uses.
12th December 2018

Hunting the wild tobaccos

Kew’s Mark Chase discusses a diverse group of wild tobacco species found in a challenging environment…
27th November 2018

Kew's 2017-18 Sandwich Students Report back

Each year Kew’s Science Directorate hosts a number of twelve-month sandwich internships across its six research departments which contribute to a diverse range of projects. Two of the 2017-18 interns report back on their experiences over the past year
20th November 2018

Fungus in Parliament: transcribing a slice of history

Volunteer transcriber Ben Hirschler finds some fascinating historical nuggets buried among the dried mushrooms in Kew’s Fungarium, the largest collection of fungal specimens in the world.
12th November 2018

Agnes Arber: celebrating a pioneering female scientist

Kew scientist Paula Rudall comments on the lasting legacy of botanist Agnes Arber.
6th November 2018

Plant cryobiotechnology at Kew: past, present and future.

As outlined in Kew’s State of the World’s Plant and Fungi reports, plants and fungi are under threat worldwide. If we want to preserve the Earth’s ecosystems for future generations we need to use all of the conservation tools available. This includes an urgent investment into cryobiotechnology.
15th October 2018

A blossoming partnership in Japan

New partners in the Global Tree Seed Bank Project, the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa begin a programme of tree seed collection and research.
9th October 2018

The art of seduction: understanding plant-pollinator interactions

Jaume Pellicer describes Kew's research into understanding how genetic traits increase a flower's attractiveness.
1st October 2018

Gymnosperms on the EDGE of extinction

Researchers at Kew have identified the most Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered species of gymnosperms. Felix Forest explains.
26th September 2018

Training the next generation of seed conservationists

Bobbi Hope explains how training is increasing the capacity of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership to conserve the world’s plant species.
19th September 2018

Museu Nacional (Brazil): Can Kew assist?

On the 2 September 2018, Brazil’s Museu Nacional, and most of its collections, caught fire. This was a massive disaster, both for Brazil and for science. Kew scientist William Milliken shares how Kew can lend a helping hand.
17th September 2018

Fungi-themed Q&A

Fungarium curator Lee Davies took over the Kew Science Twitter and Kew Gardens Instagram channels for Ask a Curator day. Here is a selection of the questions that he received.
6th September 2018

Fighting the ash dieback disease

Kew scientist Maryam Rafiqi explains how we are fighting back against a devastating fungal disease.
31st August 2018

The secret sex life of anthropomorphic orchids

‘Orchid Hunter’ and PhD student Leif Bersweden describes the genetic mix-and-match life of human like orchids
23rd August 2018

The fever tree: help us transcribe a bit of history

PhD Student Kim Walker provides an introduction into a plant sourced anti-malarial medication, Kew’s Cinchona collections and asks for your help…