3 August 2023
I am responsible for developing research projects on the taxonomy, distribution and conservation of African plant species. My taxonomic research focuses upon the Acanthaceae (Acanthus and shrimp plant) family in Africa and Madagascar, with a particular interest in the species-rich genus Barleria. I also have a research interest in the application of plant species data, in particular herbarium collections-based research, to conservation planning and management. On this theme, I am currently co-ordinating Kew’s exciting new cross-departmental programme of work on Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs). Working with our in-country partners, we will identify the most important sites for plant conservation on a national scale and will work to ensure that these findings are incorporated into policy development on conservation and land-use planning. As part of this work, we will conduct extensive field surveys, focusing on under-collected regions and on potential TIPAs for which contemporary data are lacking.
- PhD, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 2001
- BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1997
- Associate member, IUCN-SSC East African Plant Red List Authority
- Co-chair, IUCN-SSC Southern African Plant Specialist Group
- Associate editor, Kew Bulletin
Darbyshire, I., Anderson, S., Asatryan, A., Byfield, A., Cheek, M., Clubbe, C., Ghrabi, Z., Harris, T., Heatubun, C.D., Kalema, J., Magassouba, S., McCarthy, B., Milliken, W., Montmollin, B. de, Nic Lughadha, E., Onana, J.M., Saıdou, D., Sarbu, A., Shrestha, K. and Radford, E.A. (2017).
Biodiversity & Conservation 26: 1767–1800.
Kiel, C.A., Daniel, T.F., Darbyshire, I. and McDade, L.A. (2017).
Unraveling relationships in the morphologically diverse and taxonomically challenging “justicioid” lineage (Acanthaceae: Justicieae).
Taxon 66: 645-674.
Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. and Ensermu K. (2015).
Acanthaceae (Part II).
In J.R. Timberlake & E.S. Martins (eds.) Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 8(6). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 304 pp
Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. and Pickering, H. (2015)
The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan. An annotated checklist
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 400 pp
Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. and Ensermu K. (2010).
Acanthaceae (Part II).
In: H. Beentje (ed.) Flora of Tropical East Africa. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 470 pp.
Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs)
Identifying and mapping Tropical Important Plant Areas in critical sites for plant conservation across the tropics.
Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Cameroon
Identifying and promoting the long-term conservation and sustainable management of Cameroon’s most important sites for plant diversity.
Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Guinea-Conakry
Identifying Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) of Guinea-Conakry, West Africa.
Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Mozambique
Identifying and promoting the long-term conservation and sustainable management of Mozambique’s most important sites for plant diversity.
African Acanthaceae: diversity and conservation
Taxonomic research into this diverse plant family is helping to inform plant conservation planning in Africa.