Research into useful plants informed by Kew's collections, science strategy and heritage. Research portfolio includes plant fibres (barkcloth, textiles, basketry), medicinal plants and the history of useful plants and botanical institutions in the last 200 years. Strong collaborative links with universities, including AHRC-funded research projects with the University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway, and Newton-funded work with Birkbeck College. I carry out postgraduate teaching with these, and Camberwell, University of the Arts, the Royal College of Art, and the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
Curation of the Economic Botany Collection, including managing acquisitions, conservation, loans, sampling and hosting of researchers.
- BSc, Agricultural Botany, Univ. Reading, 1983.
- MSc, Bioarchaeology, Univ. London, 1984.
- PhD, Univ. College London, 1997.
- Visiting Professor, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.
- Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology, UCL.
- Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Kent.
- Editorial Board, Pharmaceutical Historian.
- Editorial Board, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.
- Committee, British Society for the History of Pharmacy.
- Honorary Research Fellow, Art History, University of Glasgow.
- Fellow of the Linnean Society
Cabalzar, A., Stern da Fonseca Kruel, V., Martins, L., Milliken, W. & Nesbitt, M. (eds). 2017
Manual de Etnobotânica: Plantas, artefatos e Conhecimentos Indígenas
Instituto Socioambiental, São Paulo. Available online
Brand, E., Leon, C., Nesbitt, M., Guo, P., Huang, R., Chen, H., Liang, L. and Zhao, Z., 2017
Economic botany collections: A source of material evidence for exploring historical changes in Chinese medicinal materials
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 200: 209-227. Available online
Nesbitt, M., Bates, J., Hillman, G. & Mitchell, S. 2017
The Archaeobotany of Aşvan: Environment & Cultivation in Eastern Anatolia from the Chalcolithic to the Medieval Period
London: British Institute at Ankara, Monograph 33
Nesbitt, M. & C. Cornish. 2016
Seeds of industry and empire: economic botany collections between nature and culture
Journal of Museum Ethnography 29: 53-70
Salick, J., Konchar, K. & Nesbitt, M. (eds) (2014)
Curating biocultural collections: a handbook
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available online
Cornish, C., Gasson, P. & Nesbitt, M. (2014)
The wood collection (xylarium) of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
IAWA Journal 35: 85-104
Brennan, E., Harris, L.-A. & Nesbitt, M. (2013)
Jamaican lace-bark: its history and uncertain future
Textile History 44: 235–253
Situating Pacific barkcloth in time and place
Recovering and sharing traditional knowledge from museum artefacts.
Increasing access to Richard Spruce’s ethnobotanical collections as a resource for environmental change and indigenous knowledge.
History and curation of economic botany collections
Researching collections of plant raw materials and artefacts that shed light on history, ethnobotany and indigenous knowledge.