So, you’ve seen my highlights of 2015, now here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016:


What will I find out about in 2016? What discoveries will be made by scientists? I don’t know yet, but I can’t wait. Working on such a diversity of projects means I’m learning all the time, becoming an enthusiast for something new from month-to-month, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Nature Mother of Invention

Right now I’m working on an exhibition raising the profile of one of the most interesting plants you’ve probably never heard of… intrigued? Come along to the exhibition opening in March to find out what teeth, golf balls, telegrams and the titanic all have in common.

3. Pulses

2016 is UNESCO International Year of Pulses, and I’m looking forward to raising the profile of current research in Scotland related to this and consideration of pulses’ part in food security. I think 2016 might be all about Demitarianism – a new word to me, look it up!

4. Architecture old and new

Early 2016 will see the opening of the Botanic Cottage, a ‘new’ 250 year old building – I was lucky enough to take a peek inside recently and it is going to be an amazing space for communities. In contrast I’m looking forward to hosting the Ideal Hut Show in May 2016 to see what inventive ways ordinary sheds have been adapted by designers.

5. After the Storm

Throughout 2016 I’ll be working with the Scottish Furniture Maker’s Association and Forestry Commission to realise an exhibition to commemorate 5 years since Cyclone Andrea, in which we lost over 40 trees at the Garden. I hope to show the positive transforming power of nature, exploring themes of resilience, regeneration and repair in both nature and our own lives.

6. Lichen

I’ve been becoming a bit obsessed with lichen the last few months… all due to our new exhibition Exchange / Lichenology, which will explain what lichen is and why it is so important, and will showcase an amazing jewellery collection Kate Bajik inspired by lichen.

7. Art

2016 marks the 30th anniversary of RBGE’s Inverleith House exhibition programme. I’m looking forward to seeing an exhibition looking back on those 30 years to be presented in the summer, but before that the excitement is building for British Art Show 8, opening in February.

8. Nepal 200

2016 will mark 200 years of friendship between the UK and Nepal. We’ll be celebrating this with an exhibition and events programme highlighting some of the amazing plants of Nepal.

9. Diversity

In 2016 I’m looking forward to developing permanent exhibitions that will highlight Scotland’s biological diversity, from the most remote areas to the heart of the city. But in a wider way, I’m looking forward to working with a broad range of people, engaging diverse audiences and continuing to be thankful for the great variety of projects I get to play a part in.

10. Surprises

You can plan all you like, but life always throws you some surprises, and sometimes surprises are best. What will 2016 throw at me?