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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

Rhododendron dalhousiae (Image: copyright Yannick Fourié)


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.

Wood anatomy slide

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.

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.