Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Feb 132016

There is renewed optimism for the future of ash trees in the UK, following new research which has identified genetic markers for susceptibility to Ash Dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. For the first ever time in trees, a technique called, “Associative Transcriptomics”, has identified three genetic sequences linked to susceptibility. By identifying potentially resistant trees […]

Jan 302016
A mixed message on PCR additives in Aneura

This last week I’ve actually managed to spend a bit of time in the lab, trying to get some gaps filled in a DNA barcoding matrix for simple thalloid liverwort Aneura. David Long and I are heading off to Trondheim in just over a week to combine our data set with one generated by Ana […]

Jan 292016
Reading between the rings: detecting competition between tundra shrubs using dendrochronology

By Sandra Angers-Blondin, PhD student, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh The Arctic is warming rapidly and, as a result, tundra plants are growing faster and colonising new environments. This “greening” of the tundra is expected to have important consequences on the ecology as well as on the energy and carbon budget of the Arctic, […]

Jan 202016

Background information for Yes / No question ? Is this specimen in the subfamily Cichorioideae? (ie. with only ligule flowers & latex) Handout as a PDF Background The Herbarium at RBGE holds three million specimens with the oldest specimen dating back to 1697. Each of these specimens is a valuable piece of information about the […]

Jan 202016
Street furniture

How a particularly grand piece of street furniture such as this one has not been captured on Google Maps I do not know… Almost invisible to the casual viewer eye with it’s coffee coloured exterior this Automatic Air Monitoring Station blends right in against a back drop of the beautiful honey coloured buildings of the […]

Jan 202016
First report from Indonesia

A team of five staff from RBGE (three scientists and two horticulturists) have set out on an expedition to Indonesia; Phase 1 of a project which aims to discover the biodiversity and promote the conservation of the Indonesian flora. The group are particularly interested in key research groups Begoniaceae, Gesneriaceae, Sapotaceae and Zingiberaceae. Here is […]

Jan 012016
In the footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

In amongst the institutional archives of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are items relating to the teaching of botany here, including lists of students going back to 1798.  It occurred to me that it should be possible to find amongst these lists the name, and perhaps even a signature, of someone still in the public […]

Dec 232015
Ash Dieback 2015

Ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (aka Chalara) infection was first recorded in the UK in 2012. Symptoms include blackened or withered leaves, crown dieback and diamond-shaped bark lesions. The disease has been recorded in growing numbers of sites in England, Scotland and Wales, though Northern Ireland hasn’t reported any cases in the wider environment […]

Dec 222015
CETAF Specimen URI Tester

Back in July 2013 we held a workshop here at RBGE on the use of HTTP URIs (also known as URLs or just plain web addresses) for specimens. This is an important technology that will allow scientists to refer to the specimens they use in their research. The desire is to allow “clicking through” to […]