Category: SciencePage 1 of 21

DNA sequence variation within the common urban moss Grimmia pulvinata

Even with a plant as common, and as commonly overlooked, as this pollution-tolerant urban bryophyte, there is still genetic diversity to explore and explain.

The first steps towards the Flora of Myanmar

In collaboration with New York Botanic Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is producing the first botanical inventory of the highly diverse Northern Forest Complex in the Hkakaborazi-Hponganrazi landscape, Myanmar. This is a first critical step towards producing a Flora of Myanmar.

Mystery of the angiosperms just got deeper

The most comprehensive study yet finds a baffling “gap” in the history of plant life on earth. The angiosperms – or flowering plants – are by far the…

Herbarium Recuration & Increasing the Resolution of South Asia

Traditionally at RBGE region 5 has included Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. At present this area contains over 400,000 specimens. Creating subdivisions within region 5 make the specimens easier to access for researchers.

Science festival

Festival Fun with Frankenstein’s Plants

This year for the first time, the herbarium team ran Frankenstein’s Plants, an event for the Edinburgh Science Festival. Participants were able to build their very own unique…

Enlisting the crowd to unlock our specimen data!

The herbarium at RBGE holds around 3 million herbarium specimens. Each specimen consists of pressed plant material and a collection label mounted on archival card. They are used…

Towards a European Research Infrastructure for Scientific Collections

RBGE is a partner in an ambitious initiative to create a Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) as a new European Research Infrastructure. This currently includes 115 organisations…

RBGE publication: Guide to Collecting Herbarium Specimens in the Field

In a time of habitat destruction and species loss it is vitally important to ensure that fundamental botanical work is being carried out to identify, assess and conserve…

RBGE’s Silica-dried Collections

We have been working towards protocols for the management and storage of the RBGE specimens dried in silica gel. The bulk of this material is collected by RBGE…

Taking digitisation to the next level for the Flora of Nepal

The Himalayan region is recognised as one of the ‘hottest’ global Biodiversity hotspots, with a third of all plant species within its range occurring in Nepal. This makes…

Integration of Glomeromycota slides in to the RBGE collection

The RBGE was donated a large and important collection of specimens of Glomeromycota (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) by Dr. Chris Walker. The collection mainly consists of nearly 16,000 scientifically…

Joint digitisation project

We have recently completed a joint project with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Natural History Museum London (NHM), to digitise important genera in the pea and…

The Tale of Anne and Beatrix

Research about Victorian botanical illustrator Anne Pratt turns into a Beatrix Potter book binding mystery… Anne Pratt was born in 1806 and, suffering from poor health as a…

Inspired by Seaweeds from the Herbarium

On Friday 15 March 2019, the RBGE Herbarium and Edinburgh Shoreline Project joined forces for a half-day mixed media workshop inspired by algae specimens in the RBGE Herbarium….

Salix lanata and Woolly Originals

We have been collaborating with Sarah Clarkson from Woolly Originals https://woollyoriginals.com/  who will be appearing at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival at the Corn Exchange from 21st to  23rd…

The hidden distinctiveness of a threatened British moss

When conservation scientists are trying to decide which species are most in need of protection, the main consideration is usually how likely they are to become extinct, as…

A Herbal Mystery

Whilst helping to catalogue the library’s rare book collection for my Book History and Material Culture placement, I came across a herbal from 1586 that contained a very…

Food Security? Try Raspberry Pi!

Often problems are small and solutions simple, but a little bit of tech can make things a lot easier. If we get it right then no one will…

International declaration calls for a halt to plant extinctions

Earlier this month, the RBGE’s Deputy Keeper and Director of Science, Professor Pete Hollingsworth, travelled to China to join an influential meeting at the beautiful Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical…

Christmas Island and other ventures – legacy of RBGE gardener David Reid Tait

When I was contacted by Dr Bill Lynch in August 2018 with a query about a former RBGE gardener called David R. Tait and his work for Sir…