Category: SciencePage 1 of 28

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

When is a Nepalese pine not a Nepalese pine?

At the Natural History Museum I’ve recently catalogued a collection of 314 botanical watercolours made at the Saharunpur Botanic Garden in northern India between 1843 and 1866 for…

COP15: a ‘Paris moment’ for nature

This week saw the conclusion of arguably the most significant meeting for biodiversity since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Read our take on COP15 in Montreal, what…

Professor Mathew Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser

As COP15 comes to an end, so does our series profiling just a few of the many innovative and impactful scientists working in Scotland to conserve biodiversity at…

Dr Joan Cottrell, Forest Research

Molecular approaches to support forest resilience “Early influences have a profound effect on how our later lives develop,” says Dr Joan Cottrell. “Born to Scottish parents, I was…

Sarah Watts, Corrour Estate and University of Stirling

Research underpinning the conservation and restoration of Scotland’s montane woodlands. “I am a plant ecologist and early career researcher undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Stirling,…

Dr Neil Bell, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Defining the fundamental units of bryophyte conservation. “As a phylogenetic taxonomist working on bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts), I feel I have a responsibility to be a tireless…

Dr Tom Parker, James Hutton Institute

Using fundamental ecosystem understanding to inform land management. Dr Tom Parker’s research focuses on the role of plant roots and associated fungi in ecosystem processes such as carbon…

Lisa Chilton, National Biodiversity Network Trust

Sharing the data needed for nature’s recovery. As CEO of the National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN Trust), Lisa Chilton is devoted to the charity’s mission of ‘making data…

Professor Dan Haydon, University of Glasgow

Fusing ecology and evolution with animal health. “Academia was never the intended plan,” says Professor Dan Haydon, but after becoming obsessively interested in ecological stability and its relationship…

Professor Euan James, James Hutton Institute

Exploiting plant symbioses is the key to sustainable agriculture. Euan James is a plant and microbial scientist specialising in root-nodulating symbiotic interactions between (mainly) legumes and soil bacteria…

Dr Janet Fisher, Edinburgh University School of Geosciences

Untangling the motivations for conservation. “The idea of the Anthropocene reminds us how profoundly we are now altering the earth system,” says Dr Janet Fisher. She describes herself…

Professor Jennifer Smart, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

A team effort for waders. From UK wetlands to global grasslands “Species conservation has been at the heart of my whole career,” says Professor Jennifer Smart. My research…

Professor Rod Page, University of Glasgow

Making biodiversity data accessible and discoverable. With a background in taxonomy, phylogenetics, and biodiversity informatics, Professor Rod Page’s current work focuses on making biodiversity information accessible and discoverable….

Dr Deborah Long, Scottish Environment LINK

Bringing history to bear on contemporary problems. Dr Deborah Long makes connections between specialists and policy makers, prehistoric landscapes and today’s policy. “I bring the long eye of…

Professor Jeremy Wilson, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and University of Stirling

Developing the evidence base for nature conservation. “I have spent over 30 years as a conservation scientist, studying the relationships between land-use change and biodiversity, and focusing mainly…

Dr Rebecca Yahr, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Sharing a love of lichens. “As a biodiversity scientist, I think there are three main themes that must be a part of my focus: diversity, conservation and people….

Dr Helen Senn, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Ensuring the long-term survival of highly threatened species, in Scotland and around the globe. “What gets me out of bed in the morning is the feeling that I…

Dr David O’Brien, NatureScot

Using evidence-based conservation to inform policy. Nature is everywhere While many think of Scotland as a land of mountains, glens and lochs, in fact most of us live…

Professor Xavier Lambin, University of Aberdeen

Building the complexity of species interactions into conservation policy and practice. Professor Xavier Lambin’s research uses population ecology to solve pressing applied issues in wildlife management and conservation…

Dr Alessandro Gimona, The James Hutton Institute

Understanding the interconnected impacts of climate change and land-use change. Dr Alessandro Gimona is an ecologist and a geographer working at a range of scales, from regional to…