UK and Islands - Madagascar

From our base in Madagascar, we deliver science-based plant conservation to enhance the quality of life on the island.

Family in Madagascar walking down a road lined with Baobab trees

Team leads (interim): Dr Colin Clubbe and Dr Paul Wilkin

The Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC) is a team of, predominantly Malagasy, botanists with exceptional field skills and knowledge of the island's flora. We deliver the Kew Science Strategy through a multi-disciplinary programme of research combining cutting-edge science, innovative technologies and local expertise.

Despite the gloom about biodiversity loss and climate change, this is an exciting time for research as Madagascar represents the perfect workbench for studying the evolution of species, floras and vegetation, due to its 85+ million years of isolation from other landmasses and resulting high levels of endemism.

The study of plants and fungi is being transformed thanks to rapidly developing technologies in genetics, bioinformatics and machine learning. For plants, although we are continuing to describe new species as they are discovered, the taxonomic backbone is sufficiently complete that the greatest gains in our knowledge will come from the massive increase in data generated by low cost DNA sequencing. 

Our focus is to support phylogenetics research, such as the Plant and Fungal Trees of Life (PAFTOL) project, understanding the evolution and diversity of the flora, resolving the most diverse genera and developing new methods for rapid identification and inventories. For fungi, we are building a comprehensive fungarium collection with sufficient material for sequencing, both to support PAFTOL and for PhD students undertaking phylogenetics of small groups.

Whilst Kew develops the science, KMCC implements that science in real-world situations. Our broad thematic programme covers a range of research interests from management of protected areas and modelling extinction risk of species to ex-situ conservation.

Team members

Research leader
Stuart Cable

KMCC manager
Dr Hélène Ralimanana

KMCC accountant
Bodo Mbolatahiana

KMCC senior spatial analyst
Hery Andriambolantsoa

KMCC ecosystem team leader
Solofo Rakotoarisoa

KMCC protected areas team leader
Tiana Randriamboavonjy

KMCC species team leader
David Rabehevitra

KMCC biodiversity team leader
Dr Franck Rakotonasolo

KMCC livelihoods team leader
Dr Mamy Tiana Rajaonah

KMCC senior botanists
Linah Rabarivola
Fabien Rahaingoson
Landy Rajaovelona
Vonona Randrianasolo

KMCC botanists
Ando Andriamanohera
Andry Rakotoarisoa
Velosoa Razafiniary
Henintsoa Razanajatovo

KMCC senior technician
Roger Rajaonarison

KMCC drivers
Joel Rakotonirina
Tatamo Ranaivomanana

KMCC horticulturalist 
Eric Rakotoniaina

Ambanja team leader 
Feno Rakotoarison

Ambanja technicians
Geodain Meva
Théophile Rajaonilaza
Miraille Razafindravelo

Bongolava botanist
Haja Razafimandimby

Bongolava technician
Merveille Bernard

Morondava senior botanist
Fetra Randriatsara

Morondava technician
Fidelis Randrianasolo

Itremo senior botanist
Sedera Ramaromanana

Itremo community technicians
Sergio Rakotomalala
Jean Aime Tanjoniaina
Jose Rafanomezantsoa

PhD students
Andriamalala Rakotonasolo
Anna Ralaiveloarisoa
Cédrique Solofondranohatra