Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

May 192016
Let us know how it went! Feedback on Lichens Air Pollution Survey

Congratulations on completing your Lichens – Making the Invisible Visible Air Pollution Survey We hope you enjoyed the experience and that through exploring your local area in new ways detail, you discovered some new things and found out about your local air quality. Mapping Edinburgh’s Air Quality As part of the Edinburgh Living Landscape initiative […]

May 132016
In plain sight - the mosses that grow on British walls

Plant diversity does not have to be far-flung and exotic to be worth studying; even within Scotland, there are unanswered questions about plant distributions. Growing in our towns and cities, sharing our walls and pavements, there are bryophytes, tiny mosses and liverworts. We pass these every day, step over them, walk past them, hardly noticing that they […]

May 132016
Thailand - Flora and Craft

We are currently hosting an exhibition ‘New for Old’ which presents the outcomes of craft exchange and collaboration between eight Thai craft makers, and four Scottish craft makers who travelled to Thailand in January this year. Though Thailand is rightly famed for its crafts, it should be feted for another reason – its outstanding biodiversity. […]

Apr 262016
The Aneura Working Group meeting, Trondheim, 8th-12th February 2016

Sitting in Edinburgh airport on a Monday morning, waiting for David Long to join me, checked in through to Trondheim via Copenhagen, I felt completely unprepared. The previous week had been a fluster of lab work and reading DNA sequences, trying to get everything ready in time – a stressful Friday evening, trying to copy all […]

Apr 212016
Using DNA to investigate Giant panda diet

What do Giant panda eat?  The answer might seem obvious but the reality is far from simplistic. The diet of the Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is highly specialised on bamboo, but there are hundreds of different bamboo species and over 60 of them are eaten by Giant panda. The bamboo species consumed vary geographically and […]

Apr 072016

Just one of the amazing things about lichens is… You don’t have to go to a tropical rainforest, the Caledonian Forest or the far west coast of Scotland to see them, you can go on a lichen safari right here in Edinburgh and in all our urban environments. You’ve probably walked past hundreds of them […]

Apr 052016
Lichens & Air Pollution

Outdoor Air pollution Air pollution is a huge global environmental health issue, as recognised by the World Health Organisation.  The air quality in Scotland is generally very good, however in our cities we have ‘hotspots’ that regularly exceed national and EU limits for air pollution.  These limits are set because of the harmful impacts on […]

Apr 052016
Lichens - Making the Invisible Visible - An Air Pollution Survey

The idea formed quite early on in my TCV Natural Talent Traineeship based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh  to develop a specific tool kit to help people engage with the concept of ‘biodiversity leading to environmental & human well-being‘.  The ‘tool kit’ uses lichens as indicators of air quality to help us explore the […]