Dr Aaron P Davis

Senior Research Leader


My role at Kew is Senior Research Leader of Crops and Global Change. Our team is dedicated to the identification and understanding of the beneficial traits of crops and associated organisms, particularly within the context of environmental stress resilience and climate change.

My research background is in taxonomy and systematics. I now focus on climate change resilience, sustainability, and crop development, with an emphasis on the application of underutilized plant diversity. I mainly work on coffee (Coffea) with a regional focus on tropical Africa and Madagascar.

  • BSc (Hons), University of Reading, 1990
  • PhD, University of Reading, 1994
  • Technical Advisory Committee member for World Coffee Research (WCR)

Schuit, P., Moat, J., Gole, T. W., Challa, Z. K., Torz, J., Macatonia, S., Cruz, G. & Davis, A. P. (2021)

The potential for income improvement and biodiversity conservation via specialty coffee in Ethiopia.

PeerJ 9: e10621.

Davis, A. P., Gargiula, R., Fay, M. F., Sarmu, D. & Haggar, J. (2020)

Lost and found: Coffea stenophylla and C. affinis, the forgotten coffee crop species of West Africa.

Frontiers in Plant Science 11.


Vega, F. E., Ziska, L., Simpkins, A., Infante F, Davis, A. P., Rivera, J. A., Barnaby, J. Y. & J, W. (2020)

Early growth phase and caffeine content response to recent and projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide in coffee (Coffea arabica and C. canephora).

Scientific Reports 10: 5875.

Davis, A. P., Chadburn, H., Moat, J., O’Sullivan, R., Hargreaves, S. & Nic Lughadha, E. (2019) 

High extinction risk for wild coffee species and implications for coffee sector sustainability.

Science Advances 5: eaav3473.

Davis, A. P., Wilkinson, T., Challa, Z. K., Williams, J., Baena, S., Gole, T. W. & Moat, J. (2018)

Coffee Atlas of Ethiopia, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Moat, J., Williams, J., Baena, S., Wilkinson, T., Gole, T.W., Challa, Z.K., Demissew, S., & Davis, A.P. (2017).

Resilience potential of the Ethiopian coffee sector under climate change.

Nature Plants 3: 17081.