Reflora lightbox


Kew's Science Directorate is led by the Director of Science, Professor Katherine J Willis. The directorate comprises six scientific research departments, supported by the Office of the Science Directorate, and Library, Art & Archives.

Kew Science departments

GeoCAT analysis tool

Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis

The vast amounts of data held in Kew's collections and associated databases represent a huge, often untapped resource.

Rhododendron dalhousiae (Image: copyright Yannick Fourié)

Collections Department

Kew’s scientific collections contain over 8.5 million items, representing over 95% of known flowering plant genera and approximately 66% of known genera of fungi.
Identifying a plant in the field

Identification and Naming

Accurate taxonomy forms the bedrock on which all of Kew’s pure and applied science is based.

Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology

This department provides authoritative and wide-ranging expertise on the structure, development, evolution, classification and genomics of major plant and fungal groups.
Fieldwork in Mexico (Credit: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Conservation Science

The Conservation Science department undertakes rigorous, evidence-based research and conservation activities to improve the global outlook for biodiversity.

Coffee fruits (Credit: Jenny Williams)

Natural Capital and Plant Health

The Natural Capital and Plant Health department uses collections-based science to identify and evaluate the roles plants and fungi play in providing services to humankind.

Sempervivum calcareum

Office of the Science Directorate

The Office of the Science Directorate provides support to all of Kew's science departments.

Flowers and Fruit of the Maricojas Passion Flower, Brazil (by Marianne North)

Library, Art & Archives

The Library, Art & Archives collections are used to support Kew’s science and horticulture, and are also frequently consulted by visitors from across the globe to support their research in a diverse range of academic disciplines.