Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh

Institution (Original name) 
Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh
MAIN ADDRESS
Street 
20a Inverleith Row
Postal code 
EH3 LR
City 
Edinburgh
POSTAL ADDRESS
Country 
United Kingdom
Phone 

(+44) 131 552 7171

Fax 
+44 (0) 131 248 2901
TYPE OF INSTITUTION
Type of institution 
Botanical Garden
LEGAL STATUS
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
No
CETAF MEMBERSHIP
Category 
Full member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Simon Milne MBE, +44 (0)131 552 7171, s.milne@rbge.org.uk

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
CETAF DEPUTY
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Prof. Pete Hollingsworth, +44 (0)131 552 7171, p.hollingsworth@rbge.org.uk

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
OTHER STAFF MEMBERS WITH CONNECTIONS TO CETAF
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field + Working Group or Project involved in 

Dr David Harris, +44 (0)131 552 7171, d.harris@rbge.org.uk

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
Director / legal representative of the institution (title, name, phone, e-mail, research field) 

Simon Milne, Director, s.milne@rbge.org.uk

Prof. Pete Hollingsworth p.hollingsworth@rbge.org.uk

Dr. David Rae d.rae@rbge.org.uk

Dr. Alasdair Macnab a.macnab@rbge.org.uk

Ms. Heather Jackson h.jackson@rbge.org.uk

Organigram figure 
Governing and executive bodies 

RBGE is constituted under the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985. A Board of Trustees (up to 9 in number) is appointed by Scottish Ministers. The Board operates at arm’s length from Scottish Ministers but can be given ministerial direction. The RBGE is also a registered Scottish charity and is required to comply with the rules governing charities. The Regius Keeper (Chief Executive) is separately appointed as Accountable Officer and has specific duties laid down requiring him to be answerable to Parliament independently of Scottish Ministers and the Board of Trustees. Ordinarily, the Board give strategic direction to the Regius Keeper and his senior management team, who are responsible for the leadership and management of the Institution.

PERSONNEL
Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff5623
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections4423
c) Post-docs / PhD students
d) Others (Associates, etc.)
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)10046
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions54
f) Collection managers / technicians754
g) Others 862
TOTAL (e+f+g)16515
Total permanent staff 
222
Total non-permanent staff 
33
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
255
Male (%) 
52
Female (%) 
48
R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
5
List of laboratories 
  1. Molecular Biology Thermocyclers, Digital Gel Imaging System, Qiagen QIAxtractor, access to ABI DNA analysis system.
  2. Microscopy and Cytology Stereo dissecting and compound microscope for brightfield, DIC and Phase contrast, Zeiss axioimager M2 microscope with motorised z control and DIC optics.
  3. Plant tissue culture Environmentally controlled plant micropropagation and growing room/cabinets, Laminar flow work stations.
  4. Scanning electron microscopy LEO Supra 55VP scanning electron microscope, ultramicrotome, Graphics PC workstation incl. slide scanner, Photoshop.
  5. Histology and anatomy Microtomes – sledge, rotary and freezing, embedding oven.
Other scientific / R&D facilities 

Supporting Facilities and Services Includes the new Field Emission Gun SEM, Cytogenetic and Molecular Laboratories – offering the latest technology to facilitate phylogenetic and population genetic research. This includes the option for cytological study, or extraction and analysis of DNA using the extensive living collections.

Information Technology and Access All of the living collections and 10% herbarium, including an increasing number of type specimens, are databased in BGBASE. The living collections database can be searched via the web. RBGE have developed taxonomic databases for the floras of Bhutan, Nepal and Arabia, and the families Rosaceae, Umbelliferae and Zingiberaceae.

Exhibitions
Number of permanent exhibitions 
1
List of permanent exhibitions  
Name 
RBGE has one permanent exhibition area which currently covers themes of plant collecting, plant diversity, Scottish biodiversity, how plants work, biomimicry and Our Changing World (climate, food, energy, water, housing and transport)
Number of recent exhibitions 
15
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
Name 
Nature Mother of Invention
Name 
Glass life
Name 
Sea Change
Name 
Naturally: Garvald Artists at the Botanics
Name 
Sylva
Name 
Sea Flora
Name 
Botanical Images Scotia (BISCOT)
Name 
Images of a Green Planet - International Garden Photographer of the Year
Name 
Scottish Furniture Makers
Name 
Nature’s Beloved Son
Name 
Urban Bees
Name 
Photosynthesis
Name 
Wonders of Chile
Number of current exhibitions 
3
Current Temporary Exhibitions 
Name 
Flora of Nepal
Name 
No strangers | ancient wisdom in a modern world
Name 
Botanical Treasures
Number of future exhibitions 
1
Future exhibitions  
Name 
Sapotaceae
RESEARCH FIELDS
RESEARCH FIELD 
Summary of your Research programme 

At RBGE research reflects the expertise of the staff and the richness of the living and herbarium collections, the library and archives. The three major strategic objectives for research are: Conserving plant biodiversity in the face of global environmental change and mass extinction Provision of baseline taxonomic/botanical data as a foundation science.

Understanding the evolutionary processes that have given rise to the world’s botanical diversity There are four research programmes (see below). These four research programmes are led by Antje Ahrends (Genetics and Conservation), Chris Ellis (Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi), Toby Pennington (Tropical Diversity) and Mark Watson (Major Floras).

Research Field 
Major Floras
Summary of your Research programme 

Floristic studies of botanically important regions in Asia and the development of innovative bioinformatics methods of dissemination of floristic information to a range of end-users, including other taxonomists, ecologists and conservationists, and especially national governments to assist them in meeting targets derived from the CBD.

Research Field 
Tropical Diversity
Summary of your Research programme 

Biodiversity in the tropics, concentrating on widely distributed and species-rich genera and high priority conservation areas, and elucidation of the evolutionary processes giving rise to this biodiversity.

Research Field 
Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi
Summary of your Research programme 

Biodiversity of cryptogamic plants and fungi, exploration of the evolutionary processes giving rise to this biodiversity, and assessment of threats and development of strategies for conservation.

Research Field 
Genetics and Conservation
Summary of your Research programme 

Elucidation of population genetic processes underlying the evolution of plant biodiversity in high conservation priority groups and development of practical strategies to contribute towards their conservation.

Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
96
Annual journals/series 

Sibbaldia Horticultural Journal: A horticultural journal from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, edited by the Director of Horticulture Dr David Rae and Kate Hughes. Sibbaldia publishes a broad range of practical knowledge and experience in botanic garden cultivation built up over many decades. It is a must-have for horticultural staff and students, as well as scientists involved in cultivation practices at botanic gardens. Gardeners with an interest in unusual plants and conservation enjoy it too.

Published annually, each issue has separate ISBN. Issue 11 was published in November 2013.

URL: http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/publications/publications-catalogue/jour...

Quarterly journals/series 

The Botanics Magazine (ISSN: 0956-3237): We publish a 20-page full-colour magazine on a quarterly basis - in March, June, September and December. The latest issue of the Botanics magazine (57 Summer 2014). URL: http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/publications/the-botanics

Edinburgh Journal of Botany (ISSN: 0960-4286): An international journal of plant systematics covering related aspects of biodiversity, conservation science and phytogeography for plants and fungi. The journal is a particularly valued forum for research on South East and South West Asian, Sino-Himalayan and Brazilian biodiversity. The journal also publishes important work on European, Central American and African biodiversity and encourages submissions from throughout the world. Commissioned book reviews are also included. All papers are peer reviewed and an international editorial board provides a body of expertise to reflect the wide range of work published and the geographical spread of the journal’s authors and readers. Published 3 times per year by Cambridge University Press for RBGE. (March, July, November). URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=EJB

EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
...
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in database
2.1Botany2800000
2.2Mycology200000
Total specimens (all collections) 
3,000,000
Outstanding collection features 

The RBGE Library and Archives is a unique resource, providing researchers with access to a collection of botanical and horticultural works dating back to the 15th Century. In addition to the published works the collection includes nursery catalogues, index seminum and manuscript material (correspondence, field books, photographs, etc.) relating to the scientific research and collecting activity that has been undertaken at the Garden throughout its history.

Does your institution have an Index Seminum? 

N/A – Not since 1963-64.

Heritage sciences (art, manuscripts, maps, photographs...) 

Books: 60,000 items, Journals: 4,200 titles (approximately 150,000 volumes), Original art: 40,000 items, Photographic slides: 60,000 items, Microform: 500 titles. Reprints 30,000 items

Other information regarding heritage collections 

Herbarium A key aspect of RBGE's work is establishing 'which species grow where'. The Herbarium at RBGE is the best collection of Scottish plants in the world. These specimens are reference points for taxonomic, identification and distributional studies and also provide base-line data to underpin conservation projects.

Library As well as being a world-class repository of international botanical information, the Library at RBGE represents a specialised bibliographic resource relating to Scottish plant biodiversity. This ranges from all published local floras in Scotland, journals dedicated to plants in Scotland such as the Botanical Journal of Scotland, and many hundreds of unpublished reports on Scottish biodiversity.

In addition we hold historically important archive material pertaining to Scottish plants, including phenological data and the archives of the Botanical Society of Scotland, the Scottish Alpine Botanical Club and the Cryptogamic Society of Scotland. Images A large collection of photographs of Scottish plants is housed at RBGE and includes images of native higher plants, bryophytes, fungi, lichens and algae as well as more general habitat photographs. Visit the image collections web page for more information.

Size and importance of living collections 

 224 Families  2,698 Genera  13,420 Species  34,632 Accessions  175,000 Plants

Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
No
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
No
COLLECTION’S RELATED INFORMATION
Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
85 / 4,000
Number of accessions (specimens) per year 
12,000
Number of scientific visitors per year 
180
MAIN AREAS OF TAXONOMIC EXPERTISE 
Plants of Southwest Asia, Sino Himalayan, Southeast Asia, Neotropics, Central Africa, Chile, UK
Cryptogams – Lichens, rusts, bryophytes, diatoms
Gesners, gingers, legumes, sapotaceae, begonia
COMMUNICATION MATERIAL
Main activities of communication and outreach 

The Communications Team works proactively and reactively with print, broadcast and electronic media locally, nationally and internationally to engage audiences at all levels with the work being undertaken by the organisation. Press releases, by-lines and other forms of sell-in range from coverage of new initiatives/collaborations to funding announcements and human interest stories, features and blogs. The intention is to continue and increase coverage across all media from niche scientific journals to general news, art, horticulture and visitor attraction publications – always underscoring any story with key scientific messages.

On average, RBGE records 1,500 press mentions per year, from arts listings to news items and features. Outreach Projects: BioBlitz Edible Garden Project

Logo 
Contact person at your institution for communications / press / external relations (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Ms. Shauna Hay, +44 (0)131 552 7171, s.hay@rbge.org.uk

Visitors
Last year:  
774 000
Trends (past and future) 

Number for 2013

Website visitors
Last year  
1 363 482
Institution news
Workshops / Events
Online media galleries
If your institution is involved with non-university-based teaching or education programmes, please describe them & the partners 

Wide range of RBGE Certificates and Diplomas in botany, plant ID horticulture and allied disciplines some in partnership e.g. Certificate in Practical Horticulture endorsed by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and the RBGE Diploma in Garden History endorsed by the UK Garden History Society.

For more info see RBGE web site for details on all: http://www.rbge.org.uk/education/home

If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 
  • HND/BSc in Horticulture with Plantsmanship with University of Glasgow and SRUC
  • four year undergraduate programme focussing on horticulture, with an emphasis on plants, plant collections and plant diversity
  • MSc in Biodiversity & Taxonomy of Plants with University of Edinburgh
  • one year masters programme incorporating our Certificate in Field Botany (delivered in Belize), and an extensive individual research project
  • MLA Landscape architecture with University of Edinburgh
  • we train Landscape architects in botany and plant diversity, as well as the ecology components of their course.
If your institution is involved in online courses, please describe them and the partners 

Yes, through http://propagatelearning.net/. Launched in 2013. Initial courses on-line, but vision/aim to put all on-line.

If your institution is involved in training projects, please describe them and the partners 

A number of training and capacity building projects delivered by RBGE staff with a number of partners. Summarised as follows:

  • Bespoke Training (in-country)
  • Bespoke Training (at RBGE)
  • RBGE Certificate Programmes
  • Train the Trainer Programme
  • Staff Attending RBGE Full-Time Courses
Other relevant information on education and / or training carried out 
  • Many short courses on plant biodiversity and botanic garden-related topics
  • Schools programmes for pre-school to secondary level, including continuing professional development (CPD) training courses for teachers
Contact person at your institution for education / teaching / training (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Dr Greg Kenicer (Head of Education), +44 (0)131 552 7171, g.kenicer@rbge.org.uk

Dr Louis Ronse De Craene (MSc Course Director) , +44 (0)131 552 7171, l.ronsedecraene@rbge.org.uk

Ms. Susie Kelpie (Schools Programme Manager), +44 (0)131 552 7171, s.kelpie@rbge.org.uk

Ms. Suzanne Harris (Adult Education Manager), +44 (0)131 552 7171, s.harris@rbge.org.uk

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF CURRENT INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1. Monographic and floristic research 

2. Conservation research including impact of climate change 3. Public Engagement and Education

3. Public Engagement and Education

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF FUTURE INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1. Digitisation of Collections (mobilisation of data) 

2. Predictive modelling of the biosphere

 3. Public Engagement and Education 

4. World Flora Online

WHICH NETWORKS OR ORGANISATIONS SHOULD CETAF BE A MEMBER OF? 

1. EUBON/GEOBON

 2. IPBES 

3. TDWG

Last update 
11.24.16