22 April 2021
I lead the Africa and Madagascar team within Kew’s Identification and Naming department. We undertake fundamental taxonomic research and botanical inventories of underexplored areas, resulting in the discovery of hundreds of species new to science, the publication of baseline taxonomic treatments and the evaluation of the conservation status of thousands of species. We are also responsible for curating a large portion of Kew's Herbarium collections. Immediate beneficiaries of our work include government agencies and non-governmental organisations designating and managing protected areas as well as land managers in the extractive industries tasked with mitigating their impacts on biodiversity rich areas. Long-term beneficiaries include all those wishing to understand, conserve and use the plants of Africa and Madagascar.
My own research is focussed on the floristics of West and Congolian Africa, especially Cameroon and Guinea.
- BSc (Hons), Univ. Reading, 1981
- MSc, Univ. Reading, 1983
- DPhil, Univ. Oxford, 1989
- Chair, cross-departmental team for Wet Tropics Africa
- Scientific and Horticultural Publications Committee (RBG Kew)
Flora Zambesiaca (FZ)
The definitive manual and identification tool for the vascular plant species of South-Central Africa, drained by the Zambezi (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana and the Zambezi Region of Namibia).
Tropical Important Plant Areas in Guinea-Conakry
Identifying Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) of Guinea-Conakry, West Africa.
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.
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.
Cheek, M., Kami, E. & Kami, T. (2014).
Baphia vili sp. nov. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) of coastal thicket of the Congo Republic and Gabon.
Willdenowia 44: 39-44.
Cheek, M., Challen, G., Merklinger, & Molmou, D. (2013).
Breynia disticha, a new invasive alien for Tropical Africa.
Aliens 33: 32-34. 230. Available online
Cheek, M. & Lachenaud, O. (2013).
Nordic J. Bot. 31: 569-573.
Onana, J.-M. & Cheek, M. (2011).
Red Data Book of the Flowering Plants of Cameroon: IUCN Global Assessments.
RBG, Kew. 578pp.
Cheek, M., Pollard, B. J., Darbyshire, I., Onana, J-M. & Wild, C. (2004).
The Plants of Kupe, Mwanenguba and the Bakossi Mts, Cameroon. A Conservation Checklist.
RBG, Kew. 508 pp 212.
16 March 2021
From the mountains of Africa: a new to science chimpanzee tree
10 March 2021
Painted by Marianne North in 1876, named in 2021
17 December 2020
Top 10 species new to science in 2020
24 September 2020
The possibly extinct Philippine pitcher plant
26 June 2020
The lost plant species of the Fouta Djallon, Guinea