Head, Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology: Dr William (Bill) Baker
Assistant Head, Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology: Ilia Leitch
Comparative research draws heavily on Kew’s wide-ranging collections of both living and preserved plants and fungi. By studying all levels of organisation, from whole organisms through morphological traits to molecular pathways, we construct fundamental predictive frameworks that explain how plants interact with their environment.
Research foci of the Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology department include:
This research represents a vital evidence base for numerous external stakeholders, including scientific institutions, governments, agri-tech companies, and food, timber, and pharmaceutical industries.
Delivering and developing the instrumentation and methodology for the department
Investigating the evolution of plant traits, from adaptation to deserts to genome sizes
Exploring the diversity and evolution of the world’s fungal flora
Examining diversity and adaptations in seeds, from seed bank to germination
Conducting baseline research on the classification of plants
Learn more about how we are working to better understand how the world’s plants and fungi are related to each other and how they have evolved.
Search for staff of Kew's Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology department as well as other Kew Science staff.
Learn more here about the interesting and diverse projects of Kew's Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology department.