Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh

Botanical Garden

Original name(s)

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

20a Inverleith Row
EH3 5LR  Edinburgh
GB - United Kingdom

Type of organisation

Institution Address

20a Inverleith Row
EH3 5LR Edinburgh
GB - United Kingdom

Botanical Garden (Public)

Director Representative

Simon Milne


Structure Chart

Governing & 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.

Staff fields

scientific staff collections non permanent: 23.0.scientific staff collections permanent: 44.0.scientific staff non permanent: 23.0.scientific staff permanent: 56.0.staff administrative non permanent: 2.0.staff administrative permanent: 86.0.staff collection managers technicians non permanent: 4.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 75.0.staff exhibitions non permanent: 4.0.staff exhibitions permanent: 5.0;staff total: 255.0

Membership fields

Full member

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). Research Page 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.

Research Fields

  • Plants of Southwest Asia, Sino Himalayan, Southeast Asia, Neotropics, Central Africa, Chile, UK
  • Cryptogams – Lichens, rusts, bryophytes, diatoms
  • Gesners, gingers, legumes, sapotaceae, begonia

Research Initiative

On-line outreach activitie : : ['Yes, through Launched in 2013. Initial courses on-line, but vision/aim to put all on-line.']
other outreach activitie : : ['Many short courses on plant biodiversity and botanic garden-related topics\nSchools programmes for pre-school to secondary level, including continuing professional development (CPD) training courses for teachers']
Non academic trainings : : ['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.\nFor more info see RBGE web site for details on all:']
Academic trainings : : ['HND/BSc in Horticulture with Plantsmanship with University of Glasgow and SRUC\nfour year undergraduate programme focussing on horticulture, with an emphasis on plants, plant collections and plant diversity\nMSc in Biodiversity & Taxonomy of Plants with University of Edinburgh\none year masters programme incorporating our Certificate in Field Botany (delivered in Belize), and an extensive individual research project\nMLA Landscape architecture with University of Edinburgh\nwe train Landscape architects in botany and plant diversity, as well as the ecology components of their course.']
General description : : ['A number of training and capacity building projects delivered by RBGE staff with a number of partners. Summarised as follows:\n\nBespoke Training (in-country)\nBespoke Training (at RBGE)\nRBGE Certificate Programmes\nTrain the Trainer Programme\nStaff Attending RBGE Full-Time Courses']


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