We study the taxonomy, classification and evolution of economically and ecologically important plants.
Monography is the process by which we discover and describe species on a global scale, uncovering their evolutionary relationships.
Our focal plant groups – aloes, grasses, legumes, myrtles, orchids and palms – cover all major regions and habitats of the world and are used as models for plant diversity in those areas.
These plant groups include the relatives of food crops such as wheat, rice, soy, oil palm and coconut. Plus timbers such as eucalypts and rosewoods, and natural products such as Aloe vera.
Our methods combine plant taxonomic expertise with -omics technologies to complete the Tree of Life for focal plant groups and unlock fundamental biodiversity knowledge for the broadest audiences.
Kew’s botanical collections, which have been developed and refined by generations of experts, are the cornerstone of our research. They enable us to develop our expertise and build collaborative partnerships across the world.
Our work is crucial to the process of describing and understanding the diversity of ecologically and economically plant groups.
Senior research leader
Dr Olwen Grace
Honorary research associates
Dr Soejatmi Dransfield
John Michael Lock
Dr Barbara Mackinder
Dr Brian Schrire