Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi

Studying algal, bryophyte and fungal diversity

The Team

Dr Christopher Ellis, Head of Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi Section

I am an ecologist and lichenologist with a particular interest in woodland epiphytes. I use my research to understand how habitat management can offset negative impacts of global change.

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Dr Neil Bell, Bryologist

I am a bryologist specialising in phylogenetics, taxonomy and architectural evolution. Much of my research is focussed on quantifying, understanding and promoting the diversity of Scotland's globally important bryophyte flora.

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Dr David Chamberlain, Research Associate Bryology

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Dr Brian Coppins, Research Associate Lichenology

Brian is RBGE's senior lichenologist with research interests in the taxonomy and biogeography of north-west European lichens, and with particular expertise in the genus Micarea.

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Dr David Genney, Research Associate Cryptogam Conservation

I work within a team of species specialists as a Policy and Advice Officer for Scottish Natural Heritage. I am national advisor on all Scottish bryophytes and fungi/lichens. To deliver this remit, I draw on research skills developed through my PhD and five years of post-doctoral research on mycorrhizal function and ecology.

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Dr Katy Hayden, Plant Health Officer

I am an evolutionary ecologist and the Quarantine and Plant Health Officer for RBGE. I research rapid evolutionary change in plant-pathogen interactions, such as when pathogens are introduced to new lands and new hosts, and how to use this knowledge to protect plants and livelihoods.

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Dr Stephan Helfer, Research Associate Mycology

I do research on parasitic microfungi, their biodiversity, taxonomy and distribution. 

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Mr Neville Kilkenny, Research Associate Mycology

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Dr Vladimir Krivtsov, Research Associate Ecosystem Services

Vladimir has a diverse academic and professional background in natural sciences. His main interest is in understanding indirect interactions in ecological and environmental systems.

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Dr Elizabeth Kungu, Research Associate Bryology

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Dr David Long, Research Associate Bryology

I am a taxonomist with expertise in bryophytes, and in the vascular plant flora of the Sino-Himalayan region.

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Dr Joanne Taylor, Research Associate Mycology

Jo is an ascomycete taxonomist and foliar fungal endophyte researcher. Her studies are currently focused on forest pathology and the potential role of beneficial fungal endophytic partners. She also contributes to the Scottish Plant Health Centre website.

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Dr Juan Carlos Villarreal, Research Associate Bryology

Juan Carlos is an evolutionary biologist and bryologist, based at the Institut de biologie Intégrative et des systèmes, Université Laval.

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Professor Christopher Walker, Research Associate Mycology

I worked for Forestry Commission in various roles, ending up in the Physiology Branch of the Northern Research Station, Roslin, working with mycorrhiza and tree roots. I took early retirement in 1996 to allow more time to follow my interest in the taxonomy of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

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Professor Roy Watling, Honorary Associate Mycology

Roy is an RBGE mycologist (retired). He received an MBE for contributions to mycology, particularly recognising his teaching and support for amateurs and those from developing countries. He received the Royal Society of Edinburgh Patrick Neill medal for contributions to Science. He was the first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award of Nature of Scotland 2012 for mycological contributions, and the first recipient of the Plant Life International Smart Award 2011 for activities in conservation.

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Dr Rebecca Yahr, Lichenologist

I am a botanist and mycologist, with an evolutionary perspective on diversity in lichens. Because I believe that people and the planet will all benefit from a better understanding of one another, I am also passionate about enthusing people at all levels about lichens.

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