Pete Hollingsworth's home page

Prof Pete Hollingsworth is Director of Science at RBGE, responsible for managing a team of ca 100 staff, students and volunteers. The Science Division at RBGE includes a herbarium of 3 million specimens, a world class botanical library and archive,  publication and photography department, laboratory facilities, and five major research teams (Tropical Diversity, Major Floras, Genetics and Conservation, Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi, Centre for Middle Eastern Plants).

Pete’s personal research aims to:

  • Develop effective mechanisms for DNA-based characterization of plant diversity
  • Enhance the integration of genetic data into conservation planning
  • Use large-scale distributional data to enhance strategies for plant conservation
  • Increase understanding of the processes governing evolutionary diversification of plants

Awards/Honorary Posts:

Honorary Professor Chinese Academy of Sciences Kunming Institute of Botany
Visiting Professor University of Edinburgh
Honorary Research Fellow University of Glasgow
Honorary Research Fellow University of Edinburgh
Honorary Research Fellow Scottish Crop Research Institute
Saltire Society/Royal Society of Edinburgh ‘Scottish Science Award’ for Biological Sciences
Linnean Society Bicentenary Medal

Committee membership/advisory

DNA barcoding: International Scientific Cooperation Committee, International Barcode of Life Project (2013-present); Chair, Scientific Steering Committee, International Barcode of Life Project (2011-2013);  Chair, Plant Working Group, International Barcode of Life Project (2008-2013); Chair, Plant Working Group, Consortium for the Barcode of Life (2007-2013); Implementation Board, Consortium for the Barcode of Life (2007-2011); Leading Laboratories Group, Consortium for the Barcode of Life (2007-2011); Scientific Advisory Board, Canadian Barcode of Life Network (2008)

Editorial: Editoral board of Heredity (2000-2014); Associate editor Conservation Genetics (2006-2010); Editorial board Edinburgh Journal of Botany (2000-present); Editorial board Plant Ecology and Diversity (2008-2010); Editorial advisory board DNA Barcodes (2014-present)

Societies: Trustee, Bumblebee Conservation Trust (2015-present); Council member, Systematics Association (1998-2001; 2005-2007); Council member and local secretary, Botanical Society of Scotland (1999-2002)

Conservation: Science and Technical Committee for the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy; National Species Reintroduction Forum; IUCN SSC Re-introduction and Invasive Species Specialist Groups' Task Force on Moving Plants and Animals for Conservation Purposes; Inter-agency Conservation Genetics Working Group (a forum linking academic researchers and representatives of UK government conservation agencies); Chair of the Euphrasia UK Biodiversity Species Action Plan (SAP) Group; Salix lanata and Melampyrum sylvaticum UK Biodiversity SAP Groups

Gender equality: Chaired RBGE’s 2016 successful Athena Swan Bronze application process and action plan

Media coverage: Links to selected media coverage can be found here. DNA barcoding was featured on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ programme, on Boxing Day 2014 (; @ 19 min)

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