Search By Topic


Kathy Willis to explore the importance of plant science for environmental change research in major new radio series

Kathy Willis, a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of PAGES (Past Global Changes), will explore the relationship between people and plants over the last 250 years as part of a major new series on BBC Radio 4 beginning today.

The series features Kathy in her capacity as Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), and is the result of a major new partnership between the BBC and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Over the course of the 25-part series, Kathy will consider the development of modern plant science through the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The series will also reflect on the importance of plant science, and of studying long-term ecosystem dynamics – on timescales covering decades to millions of years – for understanding and addressing the challenges of global environmental change.

‘Plants: from Roots to Riches’ will be available as a podcast from the BBC Radio 4 website shortly after it is broadcast.

More information about palaeoecology can be found in the 2014 research paper ‘Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology’ (Seddon AWR, Mackay AW, Baker AG, Birks HJB et al.), which was the result of a PAGES supported workshop held at the Biodiversity Institute, University of Oxford, in December 2012.