Integrated Monography

We study the taxonomy, classification and evolution of economically and ecologically important plants.

PhD student looking at Aloes outside of Kew's Alpine House

Team lead: Dr Olwen Grace

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. 

Team members

Senior research leader
Dr Olwen Grace

Research leaders
Dr Gwilym Lewis
Dr Eve Lucas
Dr Oscar Alejandro Pérez Escobar
Dr Maria Vorontsova
Dr William J Baker

Honorary research associates
Derek Clayton
Tom Cope
Dr Soejatmi Dransfield
John Michael Lock 
Dr Barbara Mackinder 
Dr Brian Schrire 
Roger Polhill
Steve Renvoize

PhD students
Watchara Arthan
Anteneh Desta
Gertrude Evusa
Eshetu Fentaw
Caroline Mashau
Andrimalala Rakotonasolo
Cedrique Solofondranohatra
Neng Wei
Yannick Woudstra