Conservation Assessment and Analysis

Providing evidence to enable monitoring, conservation and evaluation of the status of the world’s plants.

Green landscape of New Guinea

Team lead: Eimear Nic Lughadha

We are interested in understanding the status of the world’s plant diversity. We study the patterns and processes underlying documented threats and reported extinction risk.

Our research questions are framed at global level or focused on groups or areas of particular conservation concern, see examples below. 

  • Methodological studies designed to enhance the speed and accuracy with which we can evaluate extinction risks in plants, to enable more effective pinpointing of taxa and areas in which action is most urgently required. 
  • Analytical approaches including machine learning and modelling in a phylogenetic context in order to understand the processes and drivers of plant diversity loss and extinction. 
  • Species-by-species extinction risk assessments targeting plants from a particular area, clade, or group of interest. Each assessment initiative addresses a specific research question or a conservation need such as the recognition and designation of Tropical Important Plant Areas. Collectively, our assessment outputs enhance representation of tropical plants in global information resources on plant conservation. 

Most of our primary research data comes, directly or indirectly, from herbarium specimens, so we also undertake collaborative research projects exploring how to maximise the effective use of herbaria for conservation science.  

These include:

  • Identifying novel ways to connect herbarium specimen data with other field data, including remotely-sensed data
  • Quantifying the impact of herbarium management processes (such as curation or digitisation) on conservation knowledge.

Team members

Senior research leader
Eimear Nic Lughadha

Research leader
Steven Bachman

Kew research fellow
Tarciso Leão

Conservation Science Analyst
Matilda Brown

Species conservation assessors
Amy Barker
Jack Plummer

Royal Society Newton International Fellow
Cassia Bitencourt

Long-term research visitor
Liping Li

Honorary research associates
Natasha Ali
Richard Lansdown
Professor Thomas Meagher

PhD students
Zeren Yang