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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

We announce a new educational partnership with Kew

From September 2015 QMUL will be offering a new MSc Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.


QMUL will help develop a new generation of taxonomists who will be provided with the skills needed to identify the many species of plants and fungi as yet not formally described by science, and tackle the world’s major conservation challenges. The new MSc has been developed in collaboration with Kew and will address the extensive skills gap identified in the fields of taxonomy and systematics identified by the Natural Environmental Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Living with Environmental Change.

Graduates from the masters degree will be taxonomists with cross-disciplinary skills leading to applications in wide variety of careers in academia, government, industry, consultancy and non-governmental organisations.Taught modules on the course will include angiosperm taxonomy and diversity, fungal taxonomy and diversity, conservation and ecosystem science, statistics and bioinformatics, research frontiers in evolutionary biology.

As well as learning at QMUL’s campus and at Kew students will undertake fieldwork in Madagascar where they will be surrounded by some of the richest biodiversity, and starkest conservation issues.

The partnership on this course forms part of Kew’s Science Strategy which runs until 2020 and also includes plans to digitise its plant and fungi collections and an annual health check of the world’s flora.

Professor Matthew Evans, an ecologist and Head of QMUL’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences which will deliver the course, said: 

There is a widely acknowledged shortage of skilled plant and fungi taxonomists and this course will prepare graduates to fill that gap. By collaborating with the world's leading botanical gardens we can deliver unequalled access to cutting edge research and incredible fieldwork opportunities around the world.

More Information:

  • Applications are now open for the MSc Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation.
  • Photo of an unwrapped seed of Ravenala madagascariensis (Strelitziaceae) - traveller’s palm; native to Madagascar (courtesy of: W Stuppy) - original photo

In this video, representatives of Kew explain why we need taxonomy and the future of it.



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