GCRF Underutilised Plants of Tropical Africa Hub
Turning plant diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa into an economic resource for community livelihoods.
I research the traditional and economic uses of plants and fungi, their potential as cosmetic, novel food, pharmaceutical and agrochemical leads, and as sources of sustainably-harvested products. The research also involves the authentication of plants entering the trade as well as assisting different enforcement authorities identify plants.
I have a long-term interest in furthering our understanding of the role plant-derived compounds play in plant-animal interactions, especially their role in the host selection behaviour of insects. This fundamental knowledge can assist with the identification of plant-derived compounds that have use in pest control as well as in pharmaceutical research. As Deputy Director of Science I play a leading role in the co-ordination of projects with different business sectors that promote and utilise plant and fungal-based solutions to meet current global challenges.
Furthering our knowledge about the historical uses and potential new uses of plants assists support plant conservation and it is vital that there is dissemination of this knowledge in ways that engage with the public, especially the young. The majority of the work of this group is funded through research grants and commercial contracts.
As Deputy Director of Science I am involved in the development and implementation of a new science strategy for Kew, to focus and enhance its world-leading science and conservation work, strengthen its position as a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge, and promote plant and fungal-based solutions to current global challenges.
Anastasiadi., M., Mohareb, F., Redfern, S.P., Berry, M., Simmonds, M.S.J. and Terry, L.A. (2017)
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 65 (26): 5339–5356. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00500
Fang, R., Redfern, S.P., Kirkup, D., Porter, E.A., Kite, G.C., Terry, L.A., Berry, M.J. and Simmonds, M.S.J. (2017)
Food Chemistry 220: 517–526. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.047
Michl, J., Bello, O., Kite, G.C., Simmonds, M.S.J. and Heinrich, M. (2017)
Frontiers in Pharmacology 8 (215): 10.3389/fphar.2017.00215
Anastasiadi, M., Mwangi, P.M., Ordaz-Ortiz, J.J., Redfern, S.P., Berry, M., Simmonds, M.S.J. and Terry, L.A. (2016)
Postharvest Biology and Technology 117: 141-151
Michl, J., Kite, G.C., Wanke, S., Zierau, O., Vollmer, G., Neinhuis, C., Simmonds, M.S.J. and Heinrich, M. (2016)
Journal of Natural Products 79: 30-37. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00556