Analytical Methods

Delivering and developing the laboratory infrastructure and techniques to support Kew Science.

Researcher looking at computer screen with a image of seeds from the microscope

Team lead: Dr Félix Forest

We deliver and develop laboratory infrastructure and equipment to ensure that Kew’s scientists and partners can undertake world-class research that maximises the value of our collections. The Analytical Methods team is responsible for the maintenance and operation of equipment, the purchase and monitoring of laboratory consumables, and the development and implementation of new methodologies. We train staff, students and visitors in laboratory techniques and equipment use, and help with project design, costing, execution, and troubleshooting.  

Our laboratory facilities and staff support are arranged to support the following areas of research: Small Molecule Analysis, Molecular Biology, Bioimaging and Flow Cytometry, Seed Biology, and In-Vitro Biology.

Small Molecule Analysis Our Small Molecule Analysis Laboratory at Kew profiles the small molecules produced by plants and fungi and identifies target compounds. Data on metabolites are used to investigate ecological interactions between organisms, authenticate traded extracts, discover new uses for plants and fungi, and map the evolution of chemical traits. 

Molecular Biology Our Molecular Biology Laboratory at Kew offers a range of highly-specialised techniques, including DNA extraction, plant and fungal Sanger sequencing, high-throughput sequencing (using short read and long read technologies) and population-genetics (DNA micro-satellites and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms).

Biomaging and Flow Cytometry Our bioimaging and flow cytometry laboratories provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise in light and electron microscopy and flow cytometry. We specialise in the imaging of plants and fungi but can also cater for a wide range of imaging requirements for insect and animal cells. We offer advice on choice of techniques, experimental design, image interpretation and analysis.

Seed Biology These laboratories are based at Wakehurst within the Millennium Seed Bank Building. We have facilities that allow seed ripening, drying, processing and germination testing. We have a range of microscopy and imaging techniques that include digital X-ray analysis. We can offer biochemistry and chemical analysis, as well as molecular analysis. There are cryo and low temperature facilities as well as biophysics and moisture determination. We also have in-vitro facilities as well as a selection of growth chambers offering a range of temperature and humidity conditions for plant development studies.

In-Vitro Biology The In Vitro Biology Laboratory comprise facilities enabling initiation and maintenance of in vitro plant and fungal cultures for the purposes of research, propagation and conservation. 

Team members

Senior research leader
Dr Félix Forest

Laboratory Managers
John Adams
Dr Dion S Devey
Dr Geoffrey C Kite
Christina Prychid

Laboratory Technicians and Assistants
Pablo Gómez Barreiro
Maria Conejero
Robyn Cowan
Laszlo Csiba
Jonathan Kendon
Dr Penny Malakasi
Dr Robyn Powell

Paul Bailey