Close up of palm leaf
kew.org > Blogs > Kew Science blog

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.
14th August 2017

Searching for rare plants in the Julian Alps of Slovenia

From dense forests to exposed mountain peaks, a Kew MSc student shares his experience of searching Slovenia for rare saxifrages.
Author
3rd August 2017

Discovering botanical treasures in Guinea

In this blog post, Xander van der Burgt of Kew reveals some of the discoveries Kew scientists have made since they started working in Guinea, West Africa.
Author
31st July 2017

Scanning trees with laser beams

The Science Festival is back at Kew Gardens this weekend (4–6 August)! Science Festival intern, Mair Bosley delves into the science behind one of our fantastic festival stalls to help us see the wood for the trees.
Author
27th July 2017

Putting bamboo and rattan on the map

This week, Kew launches a World Checklist and Atlas for Rattans and Bamboos. In this post, we explain Kew's involvement in these much needed books.
Author
Medicinal plant market in Anguo, China
21st July 2017

Plants, drugs and rocky soil

Owen Durant, Natural Product Researcher at Kew, explains how scientists are using plant science in the quest to discover life-saving drugs.
Author
Image showing Enset in the Agri-landscape of South West Ethiopia
17th July 2017

Enset: bananas on steroids!

Mair Bosley reveals the fascinating background behind enset, featuring in this summer's Science Festival.
Author
Image showing Restrepia contorta, an orchid endemic to Northern Andes region and a member of Pleurothallidinae, one of the most characteristic orchid groups of the Andean mountain flora
3rd July 2017

Andean orchids – not so ancient

Thousands of orchid species in the American tropics formed more recently than expected. Kew scientist, Oscar Alejandro Pérez-Escobar explains more.
Author
Image showing specimen bundles awaiting mounting by the Specimen Preparation Team
19th June 2017

Preserving plants for the future

Three of Kew’s specimen preparation team explain the history and process of mounting plant specimens for its herbarium.
Author
Mellissia begoniifolia (Saint Helena boxwood), reduced to a small handful of plants in the wild (Image: T. Heller)
5th June 2017

Seed conservation in the remote South Atlantic

Tom Heller describes the important role of seed conservation in protecting vulnerable plants, while Kew Associate Phil Lambdon recounts the challenges involved in his visit to Gough Island.
Author
Image showing the paired fruit of Marsdenia abyssinica
9th May 2017

Recurating the Apocynaceae carpological collection

Clare Drinkell and Nina Davies, curators in Kew’s herbarium, describe the mammoth task of reorganising the Apocynaceae carpological collection.
Author
Asian farmer with her cows on rice plantation in An Giang, Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam (Image: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock.com)
2nd May 2017

Burping cows are heating up our planet but scientists can stop them

New research led by scientists at Kew has revealed a ‘vicious cycle’ of warmer temperatures, tougher plants and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from livestock; but changing livestock diets may be the solution.
Author
Dominican Republic (Image: T. Ulian)
24th April 2017

Conservation and sustainable use of native trees in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean

Kew scientists Efisio Mattana and Tiziana Ulian discuss how Kew’s Global Tree Seed Bank project aims to preserve seeds from tree species across the world, including Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Author
13th April 2017

Putting Tropical Important Plant Areas on the map

Kew scientist Colin Clubbe reveals the first area to formally qualify as a Tropical Important Plant Area (TIPA), which was identified during a workshop held in the British Virgin Islands.

Author
11th April 2017

POWO puts botanical knowledge online

Kew has launched Plants of the World Online (POWO), a website that’s open to all, with information on Kew’s vast botanical collections and floras.

Author
Image showing Lauren Gardiner making a herbarium specimen from a leaf from a young adult Tahina spectabilis, near Amparahibe
3rd April 2017

Revisiting the Madagascan suicide palm: a spectacular discovery

In a surprise final part of the Tahina spectabilis story, Lauren Gardiner reveals a stunning discovery the team made in Madagascar last year after their return to the original site at Antsingilava, which they can only now reveal and which has just been published in the international conservation journal, Oryx.

Author
Image showing gigantic Dypsis carlsmithii in Palm Hotspot Analalava
30th March 2017

Working with local botanists in Madagascar: fieldwork in a biodiversity hotspot

MSc students from Kew and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) reflect on experiences from their field trip to Madagascar, where they worked with local botanists and saw astonishing plants and fungi.

Author
Trees
21st March 2017

For the love of trees

Kew celebrates International Day of Forests and reveals what is being done to protect trees for future generations.

Author
Image showing high rates of erosion are causing the Betsiboka River in western Madagascar to turn red
21st March 2017

Conservation in Madagascar: MSc field trip experiences

This year’s MSc students have just returned from their exciting field trip to Madagascar. Yannick Woudstra (MSc student) tells us about the students’ experiences with conservation and field work in this biodiversity hotspot. In Part one Yannick looks at Madagascar’s difficult conservation story.

Author
Bothrops asper is considered the most dangerous snake in Central America. (Image: Dogymho, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)
27th February 2017

Can plants be used to treat snakebites?

Peter Giovannini and Melanie-Jayne Howes in Kew’s Natural Capital and Plant Health Department assess the scientific evidence supporting the local use of plants to treat snakebites.

Author
Collecting Potamogeton acutifolius, Norfolk
23rd February 2017

Banking the UK’s Seeds: the MSB UK Programme

The last decade has seen a range of dynamic and innovative developments in UK biodiversity strategy and policy, in response to the many challenges facing our environment and wider wellbeing.

Author

Pages