Speakers – Day 3

Dr Elinor Breman 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK 

Elinor is the Senior Research Leader in Seed Conservation at RBG Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB). She manages the Seed Conservation Team which is responsible for maintaining the MSB Partnership and Kew’s global seed conservation projects. Through her work and that of her team, Elinor promotes plant conservation, sustainable utilisation of plant resources, habitat restoration and the improvement of livelihoods. She is particularly interested in questions relating to collection quality, making genetically representative collections, and increasing the use of wild seed collections held in seed banks. Elinor’s background is in plant sciences with a focus on tropical forest ecology (MA Cantab), forestry and land use (MSc Oxon) and palaeoecology (DPhil, Oxon). 

Dr Sammy Carsan 

World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Kenya 

Sammy is a Senior Agroforestry Scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) leading research and development work focused on smallholder sourcing and use of quality tree planting materials in Africa and parts of Asia. His work on tree seed access and propagation systems through nurseries and Rural Resource Centres is geared to help diversify farm production systems with native species to improve ecosystems adaptation, biodiversity, food and nutrition, and wood production goals. Sammy is currently implementing multi-country land restoration and ecosystem adaptation projects with large international NGOs covering at least nine African countries. Developing diverse tree seed input for planting and tree natural regeneration practices is a major emphasis, as a driver for achieving livelihood goals and nature conservation. 

Richard Deverell 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK 

Richard is the fifteenth Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has devoted his career to leading innovative and ambitious improvements to public engagement and education. At the BBC he revamped the Children’s BBC channel with a mission to raise the quality of programming for children, introducing new content that would educate and engage them. Since joining Kew, he has led the refresh of Kew’s strategy, bringing expertise from Kew’s global science into sharper focus and more actively engaging the public with contemporary science and conservation in Kew’s beautiful historic gardens. He is a passionate advocate for the power of plants and fungi to help solve the critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. He is also an official Champion for Food Forever, a global initiative that aims to secure biodiversity for the benefit of food security around the world. 

Professor Kingsley W. Dixon 

Curtin University, Australia   

Kinglsey is a keen botanist and restoration ecologist who has devoted his research career to unlocking and unravelling the ecology of Australian plants, with his most noted work being the discovery, for Australian plants, of smoke germination and the chemical responsible. He was the foundation Director of Science at Kings Park for 32 years, the 2016 WA scientist of the year and, in 2015, was awarded a personal Professorship in botany at Curtin University. 

Dr Stephen D. Elliott 

Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU), Chiang Mai University (CMU), Thailand  

Stephen joined CMU Biology Department as a lecturer in tropical plant ecology and wildlife conservation in 1986. He co-founded FORRU-CMU with Dr Vilaiwan Anusarnsunthorn in 1994 and continues to co-ordinate the unit's research program and supervise research students. He is also responsible for the unit's general administration, fund-raising, reporting to donors and English publications. His current main interest is automated forest restoration. 

Dr Kiros M. Hadgu 

World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Ethiopia 

Kiros is a Landscape and Production Ecologist and is a Country Representative for World Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Ethiopia. Kiros has experience in designing, managing and collaborating on several major projects, including the Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolios (PATSPO) to enhance productivity and resilience of forest landscape restoration in Ethiopia. Kiros is also engaged in other projects implemented in Ethiopia and other African counties contributing to restoration of forest-landscape, biodiversity conservation, integrated and locally adaptive watershed management, multifunctional agroforestry systems, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. His work aims to improve food and nutrition security, and better livelihoods, while also enhancing climate resilient ecosystems and societies. 

Kayri Havens 

Chicago Botanic Garden, USA 

Kayri holds a BS and an MA in Botany from Southern Illinois University, and a PhD in Biology from Indiana University. She spent three years as the Conservation Biologist at Missouri Botanical Garden before joining the Chicago Botanic Garden in 1997. She is currently the Garden’s Senior Director of Ecology and Conservation and Senior Scientist. Her research interests include the effects of climate change on plant species, restoration genetics, pollination networks, ex situ conservation, and invasion biology. She is on the adjunct faculty of Loyola University, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She chairs the Non-federal Cooperators Committee of the Plant Conservation Alliance, is active in plant conservation advocacy with elected officials, and collaborates with a variety of academic institutions, agencies and stewardship organisations to help improve conservation efforts for plants and plant communities. 

Dr Roeland Kindt 

World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Kenya 

Roeland Kindt is a senior ecologist at World Agroforestry's Tree Productivity and Diversity Theme (TREEs Theme). His research is on tree species suitability modelling and mapping, combining ensemble suitability modelling algorithms with information on distribution and species assemblages of potential natural vegetation types found in Vegetationmap4Africa, Useful Tree Species for Eastern Africa, and the Africa Tree Finder. Roeland also co-authored the Vegan community ecology package. He led the team that developed the Agroforestry Species Switchboard that provides links to information for more than 170,000 plant species across 55 web-based information sources. 

Andrea Ledward 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK  

Andrea is the International Biodiversity and Climate Director at Defra (the UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Her responsibilities include Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) international nature and biodiversity strategy, Defra’s ODA spending, and policy responsibilities for the Illegal Wildlife Trade, greening supply chains and sustainable land use and deforestation. Prior to this she was the domestic Natural Environment Director at Defra and the Director of the Civil Service Group in the Cabinet Office. Andrea’s earlier civil service career was spent in the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. At DFID she was Head of the Climate and Environment Department, managing the £3.87bn International Climate Finance portfolio across HMG and representing the UK on the Green Climate Fund Board. She was also the head of DFID’s largest bilateral programme in Ethiopia and led DFID’s Bilateral Aid Review in 2010. Prior to DFID, she spent eight years in the Social Exclusion Unit and also led policy teams focused on social exclusion and community empowerment. She was educated at Oxford University and University College London and was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University. 

Dr Kathy MacKinnon  

IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Switzerland 

Dr Kathy MacKinnon is the Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). She has spent a lifetime working on conservation and protected area issues globally, including time as the Lead Biodiversity Specialist at the World Bank. She is an IUCN Councillor and also serves on the Board of Botanic Garden Conservation International. In 2018 Dr MacKinnon was awarded the Midori Prize for Biodiversity from the AEON Environmental Foundation of Japan and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for outstanding contributions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use at local and global levels. 

Dr Justin F. Moat  

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK 

Justin is the research leader for Spatial Analysis within the Informatics and Spatial Analysis Science department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His role is to lead on spatial analysis, which covers both GIS (Geographic Information Science) and remote sensing, providing a scientific and spatial interface for RBG Kew’s work in conservation, taxonomy, systematics and phytogeography. Justin has specialist expertise and interests in spatial modelling, Web mapping, vegetation mapping, conservation assessments and the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) for mapping and monitoring of the environment. 

Dr Simone Pedrini 

Curtin University, Australia 

Simone Pedrini is a research fellow at the Centre for Mine Site Restoration at Curtin University, Australia. His main focus is on optimising the native seed supply chain for ecological restoration, from seed collection and production, seed processing, quality testing, dormancy treatment, seed enhancement, and seed use in the field. Simone was co-founder and managing director of the first Italian native plant nursey and seed supplier, Flora Conservation, from 2012 to 2015. He then obtained a PhD on "Seed enhancement technology application to native seeds" from Curtin University. Simone is a certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and Co-founder and chair elect of the International Network for Seed Based Restoration. 

Dr Paul Smith 

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), UK 

With a career spanning 25 years working in conservation, Paul joined BGCI as Secretary General in March 2015. He is the former head of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) and, during his nine years at the helm, seeds from more than 25,000 plant species were conserved in the MSB. 

Solofo E. Rakotoarisoa 

Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Madagascar 

Solofo is the Ecosystems Team Leader at Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, where he manages the seed banking programme. His role includes coordinating and planning field collecting work and liaising with seed bank partners. He is also responsible for assisting the database manager in maintaining high quality data, gathering herbarium data, identifying priority target species and sites, and training staff for GIS (Geographic Information System) and data management software. He is a specialist of the Madagascar dryland flora and part of his research is the taxonomic studies of the genus Aloe of Madagascar. 

Kirsty Shaw 

Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Kenya 

Kirsty is Head of Ecological Restoration and Tree Conservation at Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). She has worked at BGCI since 2012, and established the BGCI Africa office in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2017. Since joining BGCI, Kirsty has been working with botanic gardens in Africa on tree conservation and forest restoration projects, particularly focused on getting a broader mix of native species, including threatened species, into tree planting projects. She now leads BGCI’s global tree conservation programme, including our contributions to the Global Trees Campaign, and BGCI’s ecological restoration programme, including the Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens, a global consortium of botanic gardens actively engaged in ecological restoration. Kirsty is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Plant Conservation Committee, the IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group and the IUCN SSC Eastern African Plant Red List Authority. 

Dr Frank van Schoubroeck 

DIBcoop & FarmTree.earth, The Netherlands 

Frank is co-owner of a consultancy, DIBcoop in Wageningen. His mission is to enable farmers and project staff to make cost-benefit analyses of Agroforestry systems, covering livelihoods, environmental and financial performance. In this end, he is capturing farmers’ knowledge and literature in a quantitative tree and crop database, developing a simulation model in a software-as-a service package. Through consultancies he applies and expands this model, doing long-term impact calculations for Landscape Restoration and other projects. Frank has worked in Asia and Africa for both local and national-level projects integrating trees in smallholder agricultural systems with the motto, “everybody can grow trees and earn”. Frank holds an MSc in Agronomy and a PhD in Communication and Innovation Studies from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. 

Jenny J. Williams 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK 

Jenny is a Spatial Information and Remote Sensing professional providing technical and analytical research services for a range of projects at RBG Kew involving geospatial analyses, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aerial-surveys, smartphone mapping, species distribution modelling, as well as delivering online mapping services. Her current research in Madagascar utilises high resolution UAV imagery from fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAVs to survey and map areas of destructive deforestation caused by both illegal forest removal activities and forest fires, as well as the identification of areas for potential reforestation.