Dr Christopher P Cockel

UK Conservation Projects Coordinator

Christopher P. Cockel

Enhanced Partnerships


Millennium Seed Bank Partnership


UK Flora, Crop Wild Relatives, Medicinal Plants, Invasive Species, Red Listing, East Asia, Riparian ecosystems, Urban environments

My role coordinating Native Seeds for Restoration: Diversity and Resilience in the UK funded by the Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery brings together Kew’s science, seed collections and horticultural expertise to support UK habitat conservation and restoration in the UK. The project 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, for example the National Trust-led Changing Chalk Project, 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 coordinated the UK Native Seed Hub, and from 2016-2021 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

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. & Tanner, R.A., (2011)

Impatiens glandulifera Royle (Himalayan balsam).

A handbook of global freshwater invasive species, pp.67-77.

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Chris Cockel