Category: SciencePage 1 of 21

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Seedling and dried leaflets

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…

Yew trees, the Canaries and a Darwinian Connection in a Perthshire Churchyard

The kirkyard at Fortingall in Perthshire has, for several centuries, been a magnet for tourists with an arboricultural bent – for the sake of its ancient yew. This…

RBGE’s World War Two Memorial

Situated beneath the Memorial to the members of staff at RBGE who gave their lives during the First World War is a smaller, but no less poignant memorial…

A wide, brownish river with white-crested waves on the surface, flanked by dense green forest

Amazon fires; RBGE action

The current, unprecedented scale of fire in the Amazon, the largest area of tropical rainforest in the world, a biodiversity hotspot, and a crucial resource in the fight…

A Desperate Escape – George Forrest on the run in China, July 1905

Some of us may be lucky, or in this case, unlucky enough to experience a life altering event that comes to define us whether we want it to…

Join us on a virtual expedition to Myanmar!

Come and join us on our first, of a series of specimen-based virtual expeditions across Myanmar on the citizen science platform Digivol.

a botanical glimpse

We were delighted to be approached by graduating MA Art, Space and Nature student from the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), Audrey Yeo. Audrey presented a botanical glimpse…

Herbarium-inspired poetry

This Sunday, 2 June 2019, there is a chance to hear poetry read in the Botanic Cottage, with afternoon tea and nature-inspired poems from award-winning and widely published…

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…