Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh

Original name(s)

  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (en - English)
Institution Address

20a Inverleith Row
EH3 5LR Edinburgh

Topics of interests

  • To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity and its uses for humanity.
  • To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew’s unrivalled collections as a global asset for scientific research.
  • To disseminate our scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management.

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

Type of organisation

Institution Address

20a Inverleith Row
EH3 5LR Edinburgh

Director Representative

Simon Milne


Structure Chart

url :
file : rbge_structural_chart.docx

Governing & Executive bodies

Directing board & legal representatives:



Staff fields

staff total322.0
scientific staff (permanent)56.0
scientific staff (non permanent)23.0
scientific staff collections (permanent)44.0
scientific staff collections (non permanent)23.0
staff collection managers technicians (permanent)75.0
staff collection managers technicians (non permanent)4.0
staff administrative (permanent)86.0
staff administrative (non permanent)2.0
staff exhibitions (permanent)5.0
staff exhibitions (non permanent)4.0

General Description

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).

  • Major Floras

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.

  • Tropical Diversity

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.

  • Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi

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.

  • Genetics and Conservation

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.


Link of the Research page : Research Page

Link of the Annual report :


Research Fields

  • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

Research Initiative

Activities and outreach with Universities
  • 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.


Activities and outreach with other public

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:



Head of Education
Dr Greg Kenicer
+44 (0)131 552 7171

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