Rafaël H. A. Govaerts

Senior Content Editor, Plant and Fungal Names


Job title: 
Senior Content Editor, Plant and Fungal Names
Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis
Foreign languages: 
Dutch, French, German and basic Spanish


My role involves compilation and curation of core plant names datasets in particular the World checklist of selected plant families (WCSP) and datasets resulting from it like the Plant List (TPL)and the Plants of the World Online. I manage the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) team at Kew and a global network of reviewers and compilers for WCSP resulting in peer reviewed and high quality data. My research focuses on large scale questions that can be answered using the extensive World checklist dataset. I also deal with a wide range of queries received via the IPNI, WCSP and TPL websites from users worldwide as well as from specialists with whom I closely collaborate. Research into standardisation methods for the plant name and concept data and provision of information relevant to technical developments and funding proposals. I provide support to science staff and colleagues in nomenclature and taxonomy.


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), EHSAL, 1994
  • Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London


Selected publications: 

Darbyshire, I. & Govaerts, R. (2017). A synopsis of Chlamydocardia (Acanthaceae) including Linocalix. Kew Bull. 72(37): 1–5.

Thiede, J. & Govaerts, R. (2017). New combinations in Agave (Asparagaceae): A. amica, A. nanchititlensis, and A. quilae. Phytotaxa 306(3): 237–240.

Boltenkov, E.V. & Govaerts, R. (2017). Typification of names and nomenclatural notes on juno irises (Iridaceae) from Western Asia, Western Europe, and North Africa. Phytotaxa 303(2):125–140.

Vorontsova, M., Clark, L.G., Dransfield, H., Govaerts, R.H.A., Wilkinson, T. & Baler, W.J. (2016). World Atlas of Bamboos and Rattans. International Network of Bamboo and Rattan & the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Sandel, B., Monnet, A.-C., Govaerts, R.H.A. & Vorontsova, M. (2016) Late Quaternary climate stability and the origins and future of global grass endemism. Annals of Botany 119(2): 279–288.

Further information