Professor Monique Simmonds

Deputy Director of Science



Biography Plus

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.

Qualifications and appointments Plus
  • PhD, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • BSc (Hons), University of Leeds


  • Fellow Royal Society of Entomology
  • Fellow World Innovation Foundation
  • Fellow of the Society of Biology
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society
  • Member of the College of Medicine
  • Member of Darwin Initiative Advisory Committee
  • Member of Science Advisory Board for the Forestry Commission
  • Member of Scientific Advisor Board for International Foundation of Science
  • Elected Director of the Association of Good Practise in traditional Chinese medicine
  • Editor-in-Chief, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
  • Editorial Board, Phytotherapy Research, Physiological Entomology, Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, Natural Product Communications
  • Awarded OBE for services to science, the environment, technological innovation and community
Selected publications Plus

Anastasiadi., M., Mohareb, F., Redfern, S.P., Berry, M., Simmonds, M.S.J. and Terry, L.A. (2017)

Biochemical profile of heritage and modern apple cultivars and application of machine learning methods to predict usage, age, and harvest season

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)

Variation of theanine, phenolic, and methylxanthine compounds in 21 cultivars of Camellia sinensis harvested in different seasons

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) 

Medicinally Used Asarum Species: High-Resolution LC-MS Analysis of Aristolochic Acid Analogs and In vitroToxicity Screening in HK-2 Cells

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)

Tissue biochemical diversity of 20 gooseberry cultivars and the effect of ethylene supplementation on postharvest life

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)

LC-MS-and 1H NMR-based metabolomic analysis and in vitrotoxicological assessment of 43 Aristolochia species

Journal of Natural Products 79: 30-37. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00556

Projects Plus