3 December 2019
Dr Christopher P Cockel
UK Conservation Projects Coordinator
Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
UK Flora, Crop Wild Relatives, Medicinal Plants, Invasive Species, Red Listing, East Asia, Riparian ecosystems, Urban environments
My role coordinating the UK Native Seed Hub (UKNSH) funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, brings together Kew’s science, seed collections and horticultural expertise to support UK habitat conservation in the UK. The seed hub supplies UK native seed and plants to support habitat restoration and species reintroduction projects, using our seed collections and expert nursery facilities at Wakehurst. We work with colleagues across Kew Science to provide research and evidence-based advice to conservation organisations, government agencies and businesses, as well as providing seed testing and advice to support Kew’s Grow Wild project.
In addition, I support Kew’s work as part of the Living Ash Project (LAP) Phase 2, which alongside partners at the Future Trees Trust and Forest Research, aims to secure ash dieback-tolerant trees for future seed production and reintroduction.
Prior to taking on my current role, I worked as the Coordinator of the Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change (Crop Wild Relatives) Project at the Millennium Seed Bank. Consequently, I also manage some of the Millennium Seed Bank’s partnerships in Asia, including with partners in India, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, and Vietnam, with a particular focus on the Pakistan Medicinal Trees and Shrubs Project which is part of the Garfield Weston-funded Global Tree Seed Bank Programme. From 2007-2011 I worked as a volunteer in the Herbarium at Kew on the Sampled Red List Index Project (SRLI).
- BCom (Upper Second Class Hons.), University of Birmingham, 1994
- MA, Environment and Development (Merit), SOAS, University of London, 1999
- PhD, Queen Mary, University of London 2011
- Member of the Society of Biology
- Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
- Member of the IUCN SSC Crop Wild Relative Specialist Group
- Member of the IUCN SSC Seed Conservation Specialist Group
UK Native Seed Hub
Mobilising Kew's seed collections, facilities and expertise "to enhance the resilience and coherence of the UK's ecological network by increasing the quality, quantity and diversity of native plants and seeds available for conservation and habitat restoration."
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.
Medicinal and aromatic plants of Pakistan
Traditional herbal remedies are still widely used in Pakistan, yet many medicinal plants are threatened by unsustainable levels of harvesting, habitat degradation, climate change and a lack of regulation.
Global Tree Seed Bank Programme
Conserving some of the world’s rarest, endangered and useful tree and shrub species as well as conducting vital tree conservation research in order to retain a significant resource for humanity.
Native Seeds for Restoration: diversity and resilience in the UK
Supporting the effective selection and use of native seed in the restoration of climate-resilient, genetically diverse plant populations in the UK.
Viruel, J., Kantar, M. B., Gargiulo, R., Hesketh-Prichard, P., Leong, N., Cockel, C., et al. 2020)
Crop wild phylorelatives (CWPs): phylogenetic distance, cytogenetic compatibility and breeding system data enable estimation of crop wild relative gene pool classification.
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 195(1): 1-33.
Kersey, P.J., Collemare, J., Cockel, C., et al. (2020)
Selecting for useful properties of plants and fungi – Novel approaches, opportunities, and challenges.
Plants, People, Planet, 2: 409– 420.
Cockel, C. (2020).
Narrow Gauge Railways of Taiwan: Sugar, Shays and Toil, written by Michael Reilly, (2017)
International Journal of Taiwan Studies, 3(2): 367-369.
Ulian, T., Pritchard, H.W., Cockel, C.P. & Mattana, E. (2019)
Enhancing Food Security through Seed Banking and Use of Wild Plants: Case Studies from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability. Editor(s): Pasquale Ferranti, Elliot M. Berry, Jock R. Anderson. Elsevier. Pages 32-38. ISBN 9780128126882.
Skelton, A., Buxton-Kirk, A., Fowkes, A. et al. (including Cockel, C.) (2019)
Potato spindle tuber viroid detected in seed of uncultivated Solanum anguivi, S. coagulans and S. dasyphyllum collected from Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.
New Disease Reports 39, 23.
Bickler, C.A., Taylor, L., Mousavi-Derazmahalleh, M., Wyse, S.V., Cockel, C., et al. (2019).
Searching for new genetic and adaptive diversity for carrot improvement.
Acta Hortic. 1264, 19-28
Cockel, C.P., Gurnell, A.M. & Gurnell, J. (2014)
Consequences of the physical management of an invasive alien plant for riparian plant species richness and diversity.
River Res. Applic., 30: 217-229.
Cockel, C.P. & Gurnell, A.M. (2012)
An investigation of the composition of the urban riparian soil propagule bank along the River Brent, Greater London, UK, in comparison with previous propagule bank studies in rural areas.
Urban Ecosyst 15: 367–387.
Cockel, C.P. & Tanner, R.A., (2011)
Impatiens glandulifera Royle (Himalayan balsam).
A handbook of global freshwater invasive species, pp.67-77.