Dr Bente B Klitgård

Senior Research Leader


Accelerated Taxonomy



As Senior Research Leader of the Americas team, I lead a team of nine researchers and curators with a focus on collections-based taxonomic and conservation research in the Neotropics. The team also curates the dry-preserved plant collections at Kew and provides teaching, undergraduate and graduate student project supervision, and capacity-building.

I lead Kew’s Bolivia TIPAs project and Neotropikey, a Kew-based international project publishing online identification tools for Neotropical flowering plants. My legume research focuses on the Detarioid and Dalbergioid legumes centred in the Neotropics and includes taxonomic, floristic, evolutionary, biogeographic, and conservation biology questions, combining multiple data sets to address these questions.

  • Founding member of Nepenthes (Danish foundation for the protection of tropical rainforests) (1982–1993)
  • Bifag (BSc equivalent), Biology, University of Aarhus (1985)
  • Cand. Scient. (MSc equivalent), Biology, University of Aarhus (1990)
  • Editor of the quarterly journal Regnskov (1990–1993)
  • Nordic Research Academy fellow, University of Gothenburg (1991)
  • Founding member of Nordic Phylogenetics Network (1992–2001)
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow, RBG Kew (1993–1995)
  • PhD, University of Aarhus (1995)
  • Manager of DANIDA-ENRECA project based at the National University of Loja, Ecuador (1996-1998)
  • Honorary Research Associate, RBG Kew (1998–1999)
  • Director's Research Assistant, RBG Kew (1999–2001)
  • IUCN-SSC, Tropical Tree Specialist Group (1999–)
  • Neotropical research botanist, Botany Department, Natural History Museum, London (2001–2008)
  • Senior research botanist, RBG Kew (2008-2014)
  • Council member Systematics Association (2009-2013)
  • Systematics Association, SRF Awards Secretary (2010–2013)
  • Associate editor, Systematic Botany (2010–2014)
  • Editorial board Kew Bulletin (2014–)

Baker, T.R., Pennington, R.T., Dexter, K.G., Fine, P.V.A., Fortune-Hopkins, H., Honorio, E.N., Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, I., Klitgård, B.B., et al. (2017)

Maximising synergy among tropical plant systematists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists.

Trends in Ecology & Evolution 32: 258-267.

Bruneau, A., Klitgård, B. B., Prenner, G., Fougére-Danezan, M. & Tucker, S. (2014).

Floral evolution in the Detarieae (Leguminosae): phylogenetic evidence for labile floral development in an early-diverging legume lineage.

International Journal of Plant Science 175: 392-417.

Klitgård, B. B., Forest, F., Booth, T. J. & Saslis-Lagoudakis, C. H. (2013).

A detailed investigation of the Pterocarpus clade (Leguminosae: Dalbergieae): Etaballia with radially symmetric flowers is nested within the papilionoid-flowered Pterocarpus.

South African Journal of Botany 89: 128-142.

Milliken, W., Klitgård, B. & Baracat, A. (editors) (2010)

Neotropikey – Webresources, including interactive keys and for the Neotropical flowering plant families

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available online

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