Category: SciencePage 2 of 23

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Hot, steep and spiny – Exploring the forgotten forests of Latin America

Working in the dry forests of the Marañón valley in Peru can be pretty intense. Firstly, as you might expect, it can get exceptionally hot. While clouds might…

Climate Emergency: Tropical Forests Approach Tipping Point

RBGE scientists contribute to a landmark study suggesting that increasing global temperatures may cause both Amazon and African rainforests to become net sources, rather than sinks, of carbon…

Siân Bowen’s Leverhulme Research Fellowship Exhibition: After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants

After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants marks the culmination of my four-year collaboration with the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Having held my first solo exhibition in Scotland at Inverleith House at RBGE in 1995, it is wonderful to be able to exhibit here once again. In 2017, I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to carry out the project. The Leverhulme Trust is known for supporting experimental proposals with an emphasis on outward facing journeys. The journey that the award facilitated has certainly been extraordinary – opening up possibilities to work with botanists, ecologists, historical researchers, cultural geographers, taxonomists and curators. It has allowed encounters with rare plants in darkened herbaria and light-filled South Indian forests and swamps; epistemologies used to ‘reveal’ specimens and sensory differences between plants’ live and preserved states.

A botanical wild cat

The Scottish native wild apple (Malus sylvestris), like the Scottish wild cat, could be regarded as being under threat from interbreeding with its domesticated counterpart. In the cat’s…

Tjipetir – the next chapter…

The Think Plastic- materials and making exhibition which has just opened is a collaboration between artists Lorna Fraser, Carol Sinclair, Fiona Hutchison, Fiona Pilgrim and Carla Edwards and…

RBGE and Monitoring Ecosystem Health in the Tropics

At the core of RBGE’s scientific mission is to “explore” the world of plants and on the 350th anniversary of our foundation, the herbarium’s 3 million specimens from…

IUCN Threatened accessions in the RBGE Living Collection as of 20 Jan 2020 (Staff Conference)

Today in the staff conference Simon was asked the number of threatened plants that the RBGE is growing. This is a dynamic figure as plants at the RBGE…

The simple thalloid liverwort Aneura – a digitized resource at RBGE

The simple thalloid liverwort Aneura has become a flagship genus for DNA barcoding at RBGE. Only a single widespread species, Aneura pinguis, is traditionally recognized in the UK,…

RBGE World War One Service Roll

1914-1919 The Service Roll is different from the Roll of Honour in that it shows the names & a short statement of service of all members of staff…

RBGE’s World War One Roll of Honour

We Will Remember Them Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Roll of Honour, 1914–1919 At the outbreak of war in August 1914 the appeal for H.M. Forces met with ready…

To half a million specimen images and beyond!

Today we have reached a new landmark with half a million herbarium specimens imaged and freely available online on our herbarium catalogue.

The Divine Bog-moss, Sphagnum divinum, found but now lost in Scotland

A recently described moss, Sphagnum divinum, the Divine Bog-moss, has been discovered in Britain and Ireland, though the only Scottish site yet found has sadly been lost. Its taxonomic discovery has a long history, starting over 250 years ago with a French explorer in southern South America.

The untold story of an unassuming Berberis

All plants have stories. The Botanics over its 350 years has managed to create many, from intrepid tales of plant hunters to discovering plants new to science. Some…

Things in cupboards – Rhododendron arboreum

This unassuming section of trunk was sitting on a desk in the herbarium office after being “discovered” in the back of a carpological cupboard. It arrived in our…

A particularly exquisite Rhododendron

It will be of no surprise that an attractive plant has been found in this particular genus. One in which has been so highly regarded by the garden,…

The seeds of Dead Man’s Finger

Seeds are phenomenal structures which have adapted incredible ways to disperse. One of the of the most eye catching seed pods in the garden at this time of…

The beautiful bemba forest

In the forests of central Africa there is an amazing species of tree. It is called Gilbertiodendron dewevrei. Fortunately, the people who live there have shorter names for…

Lindenberg’s Featherwort – liverwort child of the Atlantic

Geography, and particularly climate, have distinguished the extreme western parts of Scotland from the rest of the country for thousands of years. Many of our rarest plant species…

Evidence, action, inspiration – how nature-based solutions help combat the climate emergency

This week (7th-13th October 2019) is Scotland’s Climate Week, which this year comes at a decisive time for our planet, its people and its biodiversity. As UN Secretary-General…

Why I love Volunteering for Microsculpture & Talking About Insect Vision

As a life-long lover of insects, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at the Microsulpture exhibition at the Inverleith House Gallery at the Botanics .  I had…