Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Feb 282017
Actionable, long-term stable and semantic web compatible identifiers for access to biological collection objects

Happy to see our paper on the use of internet technologies to mobilise specimen data finally in “print”. We are hoping this will add traction to the adoption of this approach to sharing data as the more institutions who adopt it the more useful it will become and the more kinds of research it will […]

Feb 122017
Two newly-found moss specimens from Darwin’s Beagle Voyage

Charles Darwin Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 (208 years ago this week), and died on 19 April 1882. Although he studied for a short time in Edinburgh, it was through his close friend and botany professor in Cambridge John Stevens Henslow that he was invited to join Captain Robert FitzRoy as naturalist on HMS Beagle for a round-the-world […]

Feb 012017
A collaboration between RBGE and Edinburgh College of Art

On 1st February 2017 an exhibition opens in the Library Foyer at RBGE displaying work which was produced through association between RBGE and Edinburgh College of Art and inspired by our research collections.  This exhibition will run until the first week of March.  Context In October 2016, the Edinburgh College of Art 2nd year Illustration […]

Jan 272017
How Green Is Edinburgh Really?

I’ve spent the last few days working on the data pipeline I first mentioned in The Cloud Lottery that is Scottish satellite imagery. This pipeline consists of a series of R scripts that will place an order for Landsat 8 surface reflectance data and vegetation indices from the United States Geological Service, download the products […]

Jan 202017
In grateful thanks: the rediscovery of some long-lost Acadian specimens of Archibald Menzies

Surely one of the most moving thanks ever penned for an act of botanical patronage was that written by Archibald Menzies from his surgeon’s post on HMS Assistance, from Halifax, Nova Scotia (known to the French as Acadia) on 30 May 1784. It was addressed to John Hope who had recognised the talents of a […]

Jan 122017
Protecting Scottish trees and herbs for the future at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank

This year RBGE staff and volunteers have collected seeds from 14 trees and 29 conservation priority herbs, to help deliver Scottish species into the UK National Tree Seed Project and the UK Flora Project. Both projects aim to protect British plants and are coordinated across the UK nations by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millennium […]

Jan 112017
Automated sampling of perceived naturalness across Edinburgh

We instinctively know that a walk in the garden or somewhere else filled with natural beauty is good for us but it is difficult to justify expensive or restrictive planning decisions on the basis of instinct alone. This is why scientists have been trying for years to quantify just how exposure to green space improves […]

Dec 222016
PROTREE: Computer games and tree health

Tackling the tree health problems caused by an ever expanding number of new pests and diseases is not just a matter of being vigilant and responding to outbreaks. Just as vital is the aim of building resilience into our forested landscapes. It is this second approach that has provided the focus of work by RBGE […]