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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.
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…
7th August 2018

Celebrating 25 years of Smith College Kew interns

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Smith College Kew Internship Program which was first initiated by a visit to Kew by Smith College alumna Paula Deitz in 1993. Kew’s Mike Fay shares how the Program has inspired some fantastic careers and achievements.
1st August 2018

Rescued from danger and flown to safety: Journey from field to Kew’s frozen vault

Kew scientists discover a critically endangered new plant species and secure its survival by conserving seeds at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.
Image showing Leaves of five different Aloe species, could you tell them apart? From left to right: Aloe arborescens, A. aageodonta, A. porphyrostachys, A. nyeriensis and A. megalacantha
24th July 2018

What plant is this? Scan the genomic barcode!

Kew researchers are involved in Plant.ID, a European training network to find better ways to identify plant samples using DNA as a plant’s ‘barcode’.
compilation of images from the trip to New york for the 50th and 25th anniversaries of CBHL and EBHL
18th July 2018

Celebrating 50 years of library collaboration

Fiona Ainsworth, Head of Library, Art and Archives at RBG Kew, reflects on the importance of meeting her counterparts in botanical and horticultural organisations across the world.
Unlike the widely cultivated and sterile Cavendish Banana, the Madagascar Banana Ensete perrieri has small fruit which contain seeds
6th July 2018

The critically endangered Madagascar Banana

Kew scientists tell the tale of the critically endangered Madagascar Banana (Ensete perrieri), a wild relative of the domesticated banana millions of us eat every day.
Image showing The germplasm or seeds. ‘Orthodox’ seeds are those that can be stored in traditional seed banks
28th June 2018

The tale of the sleeping beauties unveiled

Kew scientists delve deep into the seed vault of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to uncover the conservation value of the seeds stored at -20°C.
image showing Mycorrhizas of false truffles (Elaphomyces spp.)
6th June 2018

Peeking into the black box: Discovering fungal diversity below ground

In a ground-breaking study, scientists have been able to uncover the diverse world of soil-dwelling ectomycorrhizal fungi across Europe. Discovering the influences of soil, climate, pollution and tree host has revealed some surprising results.
Image showing Collecting alder seed in Northern Ireland
30th May 2018

The UK National Tree Seed Project: 10 million seeds later

Kew scientist Clare Trivedi describes the journey of the UK National Tree Seed Project from creation to fruition of Phase 1: collecting 10 million seeds from 60 native species.
Image showing Wild rice collected in Nepal
21st May 2018

Kew and the Convention on Biological Diversity

The 2018 International Day for Biological Diversity celebrates 25 years of Action for Biodiversity since the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came into force in 1993. What part has Kew played?