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Part 2/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Alessandra Leruste has been a Volunteer gallery assistant with Inverleith House since 2019. Alessandra has an MA in History of art from the University of Edinburgh and has her own art-writing blog. Here, Alessandra shares her experience from the afternoon of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

Part 1/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Klaudia Jaworska is in her third year at Edinburgh Napier University, studying International Festivals and Events Management and Marketing. As part of her course, she is currently carrying out a work placement in RBGE’s Public Engagement Department. Here, Klaudia shares her experience from the morning of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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…

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…

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 collaborated with Sarah Clarkson from Woolly Originals https://woollyoriginals.com/  who created a design based on our herbarium specimens of Salix lanata.   Sarah visited the Herbarium here at RBGE…

Disentangling the history of the Robert Brown specimens at RBGE

Robert Brown (1773-1858) Born in Montrose, Scotland in 1773, Robert Brown made his mark as a scientist in botany and palaeobotany. He is most famously known for his…

Alternative Methods for Collecting Plant Material for Future DNA Extraction – Part I

Quality and quantity of DNA recovered from stored plant material is becoming more important as DNA sequencing technologies change from the relatively simple Sanger sequencing, to next generation…