8 August 2019
My role involves co-ordinating projects and developing and maintaining partnerships within the Caucasus region (mainly Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and parts of Turkey, Russia and Iran). The Caucasus has an unusually high number of endemic species and is a recognised biodiversity hotspot, however, as with many regions with this specific profile, the floral diversity is also threatened by various factors (overgrazing, climate change etc.). The activities within this region involve collecting and conserving seeds, thereby contributing to the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership’s target to secure the safe storage of seeds from 25% of the world’s bankable plant species, as well as to ensure plant conservation and sustainable use.
Currently, I work closely with Kew’s partners in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan on two main projects; the Crop Wild Relatives and the Global Tree Seed Bank Project. The Crop Wild Relatives Project aims to collect and ensure the security of wild relatives of economically important crop species. The Global Tree Seed Bank Project aims to increase our knowledge on vulnerable tree species within the landscape, better understanding their response to changing climates, and to collect and safeguard rare, threatened and useful tree species.
- Bsc (2:1 Hons), Queen Mary University of London, 2008
- PhD Biological Science, Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with Institute of Zoology, 2013
- Technical Associate for Wild Asia, Malaysia (2013-2014)
Safeguarding the endemic, threatened and useful flora of the Caucasus.
Enhancing rural Caucasian livelihoods through fruit and nut conservation
Protecting important fruit and nut species in Georgia and Armenia through rural community engagements, ex situ seed conservation and research.
Adapting agriculture to climate change
Collecting and protecting the wild relatives of the world’s most important food crops to safeguard our future food security in a changing climate.