10 December 2018

What a Kew scientist wants for Christmas

From a larger herbarium to a time-travelling gadget, our scientists give us their wish lists for the festive season ahead...

By Meryl Westlake

Berries growing in the Arboretum

Dear Father Christmas...

Lee Davies, Fungarium Collections Curator

"Please Father Christmas, I would like more space in our Fungarium, so that we can store even more of our collected fungi. I also would like to borrow some elves to help us digitise the rest of this enormous collection (but I’ll take humans too!)"

Elinor Breman, Conservation Partnership Coordinator

" I would like a drone to collect seeds from canopy trees to help meet our global tree conservation target, or Hermione Granger’s time turner so that I can get more conservation work done in a day."

Oliver Ellingham, laff Community Fungal Survey Technician

"I would like MinION DNA sequencer to go along with our recent new arrival the Bento Lab. Pairing these technologies together will allow identification of tricky fungal species in the field using DNA barcodes.

I would also like another mushroom growing kit from Grow Wild. My last crop grew remarkably well, but I have eaten all of those lovely oyster mushrooms. Or some new wellington boots so that I can get to those hard-to-reach fungal species in sphagnum bog environments."

Sonia Dhanda, CITES Science Officer

"I need a good 2019 calendar to help me schedule all my meetings where I can promote Kew Science’s data and evidence, which goes to inform global policies. A universal travel adapter would be useful, so I’m prepared to attend international policy meetings. I don’t want to be stuck with a flat laptop battery!"

Jonathan Kendon, Lab Technician, Analytical Methods

"I would like a laser scanning confocal microscope with live imaging capability to be able to view orchids growing from seed with their mycorrhizal fungi in great detail.  And some coloured pens to brighten up our labelling in the lab."

Maria Conejero, Imaging/EM Lab Technician

"It would be great to get a SBEM (a Serial Block-face Scanning Electron Microscopy). It means we can get high-res 3D images from all the samples we work with. Or an electric scooter to move faster from one lab to another."

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