Rachael Davies

Germination Specialist

Headshot of Rachael Davies

Science Operations


Science Collections


Specialist in seed germination, dormancy and longevity. Research to support the effective management of the MSB's collections

My role as Germination Specialist involves solving seed germination and dormancy problems on Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) collections. Also of interest is seed longevity, with the aim of removing constraints to seed storage. This role also provides essential support to the three seed processing teams in the Collections Department. Expert knowledge and understanding of seed germination and dormancy and seed viability theory is used to solve collection related problems and set viability monitoring intervals that underpin the effective management of the MSB’s collections thus reducing the risk of undetected viability loss and maximising the potential use of the collections for habitat repair or sustainable use projects.

  • BSc (Hons) Biology, Univ. Sussex, 2004.
  • MSc Plant Conservation, Univ. Sussex, 2008.

Davies, R.M.*, Newton, R.J.*, Hay, F.R. & Probert, R.J. (2016)

150-seed comparative longevity protocol – a reduced seed number screening method for identifying short-lived seed conservation collections

Seed Science and Technology 44: 569-584. 

Alderton, E., Sayer, C.D., Davies*, R., Lambert, A.J. & Axmacher, J.C. (2017).

Buried alive: Aquatic plants survive in ‘ghost ponds’ under agricultural fields.

Biological Conservation 212: 105–110. 

Davies, R., Nadarajan, J. & Prichard, H.W. (2009)

Cryopreservation of difficult-to-handle palm seed. 

CryoLetters, 30: 382-397. Fundamental aspects of plant cryopreservation

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