Martin Gardner MBE, VMM

email: Martin Gardner

Phone: +44 (0)131 248 2963

Fax: +44 (0)131 248 2901


For over 25 years I have worked at RBG Edinburgh on many aspects of conifer conservation and currently I co-chair the IUCN Conifer Specialist Group. I co-ordinate  the International Conifer Conservation Programme which has played a major role in the completion of the Red List and first global reassessment for conifers; detailed information, distribution maps and images for all of the 211 threatened conifers can be found at Part of my work has been to establish one of the world's most comprehensive networks for the ex situ conservation of threatened conifers. My work has taken me to over 30 countries in order to study and collect research materials of threatened conifers and their associated species. Particular geographical areas of interest include New Caledonia and Latin America. For this conservation work, especially on Chilean plants, I have been awarded an MBE in 2013 and the Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2014.

Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile - a beautiful book in the making

Under the guidance of Martin Gardner an exquisite volume, featuring 81 unique commissioned water colour paintings by award-winning artists; Gulber Eski, Isik Guner and Hulya Korkmaznewly show the remarkable diversity of plants associated with the woods and forests of Chile. Included are many endemic species some of which are threatened wth extinction. For more information click here.

Current Research Interests

  • New Caledonian conifers
  • Distribution and conservation of poorly known threatened conifer species
  • Endemic flora of Chile
  • Establishing and maintaining ex situ conservation collections



Mill, RR, Ruhsam M, Thomas P, MF GARDNER &  PM Hollingsworth (2017) Araucaria goroensis (Araucariaceae), a new Monkey Puzzle from New Caledonia, and nomenclatural notes on Araucaria muelleri. Edinburgh Journal of Botany:doi: 10.1017/S0960428617000014.


Ruhsam M, Clark A, Finger A, Wulff AS, Mill RR, Thomas P, GARDNER MF, Gaudeul M, Ennos RA and PM Hollingsworth (2016). Hidden in plain view: cryptic diversity in the emblematic Araucaria of New Caledonia. American Journal of Botany 103(5): 888-898


Cavender N, Westwood M, Bechtoldt C, Donnelly G, Oldfield S, MF GARDNER, D Rae and W McNamara. (2015). Strengthening the conservation value of ex situ tree conservation. Oryx. 49(3): 416-424

Ruhsam M, Rai HS, Mathews S, Ross TG, Graham SW, Raubeson LA, Mei W, Thomas P, GARDNER MF, Ennos RA, Hollingsworth PM. (2015) Does complete plastid genome sequencing improve species discrimination and phylogenetic resolution in Araucaria? Mol Ecol Resour. 2015 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12375. [Epub ahead of print]


GARDNER, M.F.  (2014) Conifers under threat. Chartered Forester Winter Issue 2014/15: 16-18.

[This article first appeared in the Winter 2014/15 issue of Chartered Forester, the magazine for members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF), and is reproduced by kind permission of the ICF.]

Gaudeul M, GARDNER MF, Thomas P, Ennos RA, Hollingsworth PM. (2014) Evolutionary dynamics of emblematic Araucaria species (Araucariaceae) in New Caledonia: nuclear and chloroplast markers suggest recent diversification, introgression, and a tight link between genetics and geography within species. BMC Evol Biol. 5(14)171. doi: 10.1186/s12862-014-0171-6.

Kranitz ML, Biffin E, Clark A, Hollingsworth ML, Ruhsam M, GARDNER MF, THOMAS P, Mill RR, Ennos RA, Gaudeul M, Lowe AJ and Hollingsworth PM (2014). Evolutionary Diversification of New Caledonian Araucaria. PloS ONE 9: e110308


Gaudeul, M., Rouhan, G. GARDNER, M.F. and Hollingsworth, P.M. (2012) AFLP markers provide insights into the evolutionary relationships and diversification of New Caledonian Araucaria species (Araucariaceae) American Journal of Botany 99: 68–81

Kettle, C. J., R. A. Ennos, T. Jaffre, S. McCoy, T. Le-Borgne, M.F. GARDNER and P. M. Hollingsworth. (2012) Importance of demography and dispersal for the resilience and restoration of a critically endangered tropical conifer Araucaria  nemorosa. Diversity and Distributions 18: 248-259


Christenhusz, M.J.M., Reveal, J.L., Farjon, A., GARDNER, M.F., MILL, R.M. and Chase, M.W.  (2011) A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms. Phytotaxa 19: 55–70


Kettle, C.K., R.A. Ennos, T. Jaffre, M.F. GARDNER and P.M. Hollingsworth (2008) Cryptic genetic bottlenecks during restoration of an endangered tropical conifer. Biological Conservation 141: 1953-1961.


Soto, D.P., C. Le Quesne, A. Lara and M.F. GARDNER (2007) Precarious conservation status of Pilgerodendron uviferum forests in their northern distribution in the Chilean Coastal Range. Bosque 28: 263-270.


Farjon, A., S. Bachman, M.F. GARDNER, D. Luscombe, C. Reynolds and P. Thomas(2006) Conservation Assessments of Data Deficient (DD) Conifers Using Herbarium and Geographical Information System (GIS) data. Edinburgh: RBG Kew, Bedgebury Pinetum, RBGE. 311 pp.

GARDNER, M.F. ,  Hechenleitner V., P. Thomas, Echeverría, C., Escobar, B., Brownless, P. and Martínez A., C. (2006). Threatened Plants of Central and South Chile: Distribution, Conservation and Propagation. Universidad Austral de Chile & Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 188 pp. (English language)

Rae, D., R. Cubey, M.F. GARDNER, J. Latta and K. Walter (2006) Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Catalogue of plants 2006. Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 598 pp. 


GARDNER, M.F. (2005). The International Conifer Conservation Programme. Plant Heritage 12: 23-26. 

GARDNER, M.F. and Hechenleitner V., P. (2005). Myrtles of Chile. Plantsman New Series 4: 152-158.

Hechenleitner V., P., M.F. GARDNER, P.I. Thomas, C. Echeverría, B. Escobar, P. Brownless and C. Martínez A. (2005) Plantas Amenazadas del Centro-Sur de Chile. Universidad Austral de Chile/ Real Jardín Botánico de Edimburgo. 187 pp. (Spanish language)

Smith-Ramirez, C., Campillo, B., Celis-Diez, J.L. and GARDNER, M.F. (2005). Historia natural de la enredadera endémica Berberidopsis corallina. En: Smith-Ramírez, C., J.J. Armesto & C. Valdovinos. (eds.). Historia, biodiversidad y ecología de los bosques costeros de Chile, pp. 284-288. 708 pp.  


GARDNER, M.F.  (2003) The International Conifer Conservation Programme. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 615: 405-409.

GARDNER, M.F. and A. Lara. (2003) The Conifers of Chile: an overview of their Distribution and Ecology. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 615: 165 - 170. 

A. Lara, M.F. GARDNER, A. Vergara and B. Escobar. (2003) The Use and Conservation of Fitzroya cupressoides (Alerce) Forests in Chile. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 615: 381-385. 


Bekessy, S.A., D. Sleep, A. Stott, M. Menucinni, P. Thomas, R.A. Ennos, M.A. Burgman, M.F. GARDNER and A.C. Newton (2002). Adaptation of Monkey Puzzle to arid environments reflected by regional differences in stable carbon isotype ratio and allocation to root biomass. Forest Genetics 9: 63-70.

Herbert, J., Hollingsworth, P. M., M.F. GARDNER, Mill, R. R., P. Thomas & Jaffré, T. (2002). Conservation genetics and phylogenetics of New Caledonian Retrophyllum (Podocarpaceae) species. New Zealand J. Bot. 40: 175-188.

Sinclair, W. T., Mill, R. R., Möller, M., M.F. GARDNER, Woltz, P., Jaffré, T., Preston, J., Hollingsworth, M. and Ponge, A. (2002). Evolutionary relationships of the New Caledonian heterotrophic conifer, Parasitaxus usta (Podocarpaceae), inferred from chloroplast trnL-F intron / spacer and nuclear rDNA ITS2 sequences. Plant Syst. Evol. 233: 79-104.


Allnutt, T., J. Courtis, M.F. GARDNER  and A.C. Newton (2001) Genetic variation in wild Chilean and cultivated British populations of Podocarpus salignus D.Don (Podocarpaceae). Edin. J. Bot. 58: 459-473.

Etisham-ul-haq, M., T.R. Allnutt, C. Smith-Ramírez, M.F. GARDNER, J.J. Armesto and A.C. Newton (2001) Patterns of Genetic Variation in in and ex situ populations of the threatened Chilean vine Berberidopsis corallina, detected using RAPD markers. Annals of Botany 87: 813-821. 


Allnutt, T., A.C. Newton, A. Lara, A. Premoli, J. Armesto and M.F. GARDNER (1999) Genetic variation in Fitzroya cupressoides (alerce), a threatened South American conifer. Jour. Molecular Ecology 8: 975-987. 

Fraver, S., M.E. González, F. Silla, A. Lara and M.F. GARDNER (1999) Composition and structure of remnant Fitzroya cupressoides forests of Southern Chile's Central Depression. Bull.Torrey Bot. Club 126: 49-57.

GARDNER, M.F., P. Thomas, A. Lara and B. Escobar (1999) Fitzroya cupressoides. Curtis's Botanical Magazine 16: 229-240.

GARDNER, M.F. (1999). Managing ex situ conifer conservation collections. In: S. Andrews, A.C. Leslie and C. Alexander (Eds). Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants: Third International Symposium, pp. 19-23. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 


Allnutt, T., P. Thomas, A.C. Newton and M.F. GARDNER (1998) Genetic variation in Fitzroya cupressoides cultivated in the British Isles, assessed using RAPDS. Edinburgh J. Bot. 55: 329-341.

Back to Top

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)