Science

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Aug 252016
 
A Story Behind Every Plant

  Every wild collected plant in the huge living collection at RBGE comes with a story. Of course, some are more interesting than others… In 2014 Katherine Dixon contacted the Garden and enquired after collections made in the 1960s in Borneo; these collections were made by her grandfather, Cyril Giles, along with the late Keith […]

Aug 172016
 
Flora of Nepal: a 200-year connection

A celebratory exhibition of contemporary and historic plant portraits As Britain and Nepal mark 200 years of diplomatic relations, RBGE is celebrating its own unique relationship with Nepal. By the time the Treaty of Segauli was signed, in March 1816, RBGE’s scientific links were already well-established. They extended back to 1802 when Scottish surgeon-naturalist Dr […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: Barcoding British Liverworts: Metzgeria

University of Edinburgh/RBGE student Kimberley Fackler, studying for the Masters degree in the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants; thesis submitted August 2013. Supervisors: David Bell, Dr David Long and Dr Laura Forrest.   Kim sampled from the six species of Metzgeria generally recognised to occur in the UK. She used standard DNA barcode markers rbcL, […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: Barcoding British Liverworts: Plagiochila (Dumort.) Dumort.

University of Edinburgh/RBGE student Lucy Reed, studying for the Masters degree in the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants; thesis submitted August 2011. Supervisors: Dr David Long, Dr Michelle Hart and David Bell. The leafy liverwort genus Plagiochila is known for high levels of infraspecific morphological variation and blurred species boundaries. To address this, Lucy sequenced […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: DNA barcoding British liverworts: Lophocolea

University of Edinburgh Biotechnology student Kenneth McKinlay’s 4th year honours project, 2013. Supervisors: Dr David Long, Dr Laura Forrest Kenneth barcoded all six species of British Lophocolea, L. bidentata, L. bispinosa, L. brookwoodiana, L. fragrans, L. heterophylla and L. semiteres, attempting to get data from three plastid regions (rbcL, matK, psbA-trnH) and one nuclear region […]

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 […]