Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Jul 212016
Main Research Providers Inter-Institutional Post Graduate Research Competition

Scottish Government’s Main Research Providers Inter-Institutional Post Graduate Research Competition And Dr Sandra Knapp’s Science For Life Lecture “Bringing the ends of the plant science circle together for Earth’s future” Every year, Scottish Government’s Main Research Providers hold an Inter-Institutional Post Graduate Research Competition and “Science For Life” Lecture. This year on Tuesday 28th and […]

Jul 212016
10th International Flora Malesiana Symposium

Last week the RBGE hosted the 10th International Flora Malesiana Symposium. This brought together over 170 taxonomists, horticulturists and conservationists from around the world. Over the 5 days there were 160 presentations on the science and conservation of the floristically mega diverse region of Malesian. In addition to presentations there were also workshops on topics […]

Jul 202016
A rapid phylogeny of Marchantia, from the RBGE collections. I. Sampling

Not long ago, the only non-crop plant that the mainstream scientific community seemed to be aware of was the brassica Arabidopsis thaliana – easily cultivated, with a short generation time and small nuclear genome, it seemed the perfect plant model. The model moss Physcomitrella patens came along some years later, again with a short generation […]

Jul 192016
Schistidium caps an old wooden fence

Recently in Kufstein, the home of Austrian bryologist Wolfgang Hofbauer, the demolition of an attractive old building and clearing of trees and other plants from the land, leaving a bare gravel patch used as a parking space, did have one interesting outcome: The new clearing led Wolfgang’s eye to a decaying wooden fence between concrete […]

Jul 182016
A Cleghorn tree trail at RBGE

Walking home though the garden recently, after a hard day in the herbarium, my eye alighted on a small tree that I must have passed many thousands of times, but had never previously noticed. Such are the riches of the RBGE collection (both ‘living’ and ‘dead’), that, even after a 30-year career, they continue to […]

Jul 182016
Cleghorn drawings to feature in a forthcoming exhibition

On 23 July a show entitled ‘I still believe in miracles’ will open in Inverleith House. It is a retrospective of the exhibitions of contemporary art, and of botanical drawings selected from the RBGE archives, that have been curated by Paul Nesbitt and myself since 1986, when RBGE ‘reclaimed’ the former Regius Keeper’s residence from […]

Jul 142016
From Borneo to the Botanics: When the expedition ends, what happens to a botanist’s collection?

This Blog post was written by Olivia Nippe, a PhD intern who spent three months working in the RBGE Herbarium: The RBGE herbarium contains over 3 million pressed plant specimens that are systematically filed according to evolutionary relationships. Such an establishment enables researchers to access vast amounts of material that could not possibly be studied […]

Jul 082016
Meeting the Prime Minister of Nepal

Whilst visiting Nepal in late June, Mark Watson met the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, Khadga Prasad Oli, at his Residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. Mark was joined by Prof. Ram Prasad Chaudhary of Tribhuvan University (right) and Dr Bishwa Nath Oli (left), Secretary of the Ministry of Population and Environment, to discuss the Flora […]

Jul 062016
Impressions of a workshop: New model systems for early land plant evolution, 22 - 24 June 2016, Vienna, Austria

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days in Vienna, my first visit in 11 years, when I was last over for the 2005 XVII International Botanical Congress. The location was practical – the hotel neatly nestled underneath a main road overpass, but extremely convenient from the airport, only a short train ride, […]

Jul 052016
Scrophularia landroveri - botanical whimsy

Botanical names have a tendency to be utilitarian, geographical or commemorative, but very rarely are they whimsical. In 1964 however, Per Wendelbo described a new species of Scrophularia, from Afghanistan and called it S. landroveri. He and Ian Hedge from RBGE had collected the specimen from the Shibar Pass  northwest of Kabul during their 1962 […]