We research, safeguard, identify and name Kew's Herbarium specimens from Asia and the Pacific.

Tree ferns in New Guinea

Team lead: Dr Timothy Utteridge 

Our taxonomic and systematic research is specimen-based and mostly in Malesia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Thailand where our fieldwork with partners is concentrated.

We publish revisions and Flora accounts (for example, Flora Malesiana, Flora of ThailandFlora of Singapore) for species-rich but poorly-studied groups including: Acanthaceae, Actinidiaceae, Annonaceae, Araliaceae (Schefflera), Convolvulaceae (Erycibe and Neuropeltis), Cyatheaceae, Cyperaceae, Ebenaceae, Gesneriaceae, Icacinaceae, Lamiaceae, Leguminosae, Loganiaceae, Orchidaceae, Pittosporaceae, Poaceae, Primulaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rhamnaceae, Rubiaceae, Stemonuraceae, Urticaceae and Vitaceae.

We curate Asian specimens in Kew's Herbarium, this includes: monitoring pest damage, preparing and incorporating new specimens, specimen identification, rearranging specimens by published revisions, and hosting visiting researchers. Our specimen identifications are fed into project databases, and ultimately released through the Herbcat portal and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

With our South-East Asian partners, we are demonstrate the need for in situ conservation, its prioritisation and implementation, through the Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPA) protocol in Indonesian New Guinea, particularly for the province of West Papua. We undertake habitat assessments, and deliver training in plant identification, taxonomy, vegetation survey and extinction risk assessment both at Kew and with South-East Asian partners. 

With Asian partners, as well as the Conservation and Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis departments at Kew, we are developing research to understand the forests of South East Asia, in particular, the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia, to understand vegetation change and potential for sustainable economic growth in the region towards improving livelihoods of local communities.

Team members

Senior research leader
Dr Timothy Utteridge

Research leaders
Dr Gemma Bramley
Dr André Schuiteman
Dr Anna Trias Blasi

Research Fellow
Dr Carmen Puglisi

Career development fellows
Ruth Clark

Postdoctoral research associate
Dr Liam Trethowan

Singapore Botanical Liaison Officer
Ian Turner

Research Assistants
Sophie Kirklin
Laura Jennings

Honorary research associates
John Edmondson
Dr Aljos Farjon
Helen Fortune-Hopkins
Dr Shahina Ghazanfar
Michael Gilbert
Pranom Chantaranothai
Dr George Staples
Melanie Thomas
Ian Turner
Dr Michiel van Slageren

Honorary research fellows
Peter Ashton
Mark Coode
Christopher Grey-Wilson
Monika Shaffer-Fehre