Thomas M Heller

Conservation Partnership Coordinator

Thomas Heller

Ecosystem Stewardship


UK Overseas Territories and Islands


Diversity and conservation of islands flora, especially Caribbean and South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories. Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae) systematics.

As a member of the Islands team, I work in collaboration with partners in the UK Overseas Territories and other islands to document and conserve the wide diversity of these floras. I provide support and training to partners in plant identification and targeting, collecting seeds, herbarium specimens and data in the field. My current focus is on threatened plants and forest diversity in the Caribbean, with active projects in the Virgin Islands (British and US) and Puerto Rico. I have a particular interest in the genus Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae), currently conducting research into its evolution and ecology in the Caribbean through field study and molecular approaches (population genetics and phylogenomics). I have also worked extensively in seed conservation, managing projects in the South Atlantic (Falkland Islands, St Helena and Ascension Island), Caribbean (Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Puerto Rico), and the United Arab Emirates.

  • BSc (Hons), Botany, University of Bristol, 2000
  • MSc, Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, Edinburgh University, 2003

The BVI TIPAs National Team (2019)

Retaining nature’s little secrets - A guide to the important plants and Tropical Important Plant Areas of the British Virgin Islands.

Edited by T. Heller. Richmond, Surrey, UK: Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. doi: 10.34885/167.

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Thomas Heller