Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
— RBGK —
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned as an international centre of excellence for the study of plant and fungal diversity with unrivalled collections and staff expertise. Drawing on its roots as a Georgian royal garden and thriving on the legacy of Victorian collections and discovery, RBGK has become a global centre for plant and fungal science research tackling urgent environmental challenges, with active scientific partnerships in over 100 countries. In addition to ~300 scientific staff we also host ~50 Ph.D. students and, in partnership with Queen Mary University of London, teach an M.Sc. in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation. RBGK’s scientific activities are delivered by five departments, focused on Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis, Comparative Plants and Fungal Biology, Conservation Science, Identification and Naming, and Natural Capital and Plant Health, supported by a further department maintaining our collections. These comprise over 8.5 million objects, including seed collections from over 40,000 species held at the Millennium Seed Bank, over 7 million herbarium specimens, around 1 million fungarium specimens, and 19,000 plant species under cultivation in our living collections. RBGK is a leading global resource on plant and fungal nomenclature and taxonomy and is actively involved in policy discussions around conservation of, and trade in, biodiversity.
Role within AGENT
RGBK will play a significant role in work package 5, “Development of standards and technology for data interoperability”, and will lead work package 6, “GenRes Data infrastructure”. Alongside the other work package partners, we will contribute to the definition, standardization, validation, submission, storage and dissemination of the genotypic and phenotypic data to be developed in the project. Working with existing environments wherever possible, most significantly the European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources, our task is to ensure that data emanating from genebanks is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable to (in the first instance) project partners, and thence to the wider European and global research, conservation breeding communities. RBGK will contribute expertise around data management and will help develop new applications bringing exploiting the integrated data sets enabled by the project. RBGK will also contribute material for genotyping in work package 2, and will contribute to staff exchanges designed to share best practice in genebanks in work package 7.