Major Floras

Taxonomic research underpinning conservation and sustainability

The Team

Dr Mark Watson, Head of Major Floras

I have over 30 years’ experience in floristics, plant systematics, botanical nomenclature and biodiversity informatics. My work is centred on the Sino-Himalayan region, especially Nepal, where I collaborate with international and in-country partners and local communities to generate high quality data and knowledge products to support plant conservation and the sustainable use of plant resources.

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Dr Bhaskar Adhikari, Flora of Nepal Researcher

I have been working on the Flora of Nepal for more than 10 years. My expertise is in plant taxonomy and systematics. I am interested in using our scientific knowledge of plants to work with local communities to improve livelihoods, conserve biodiversity, and sustainably utilise natural resources.

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Dr Alan Forrest, CMEP Researcher

My work is driven by a desire to contribute to plant species and ecosystem conservation using a variety of tools and methods. I manage a diverse portfolio of programs focusing on research into the conservation and sustainable use of plants in Soqotra, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. A certified IUCN Red List assessor and trainer, focusing on Red Listing plants in Arabia and SW Asia and integrating conservation assessments into protected areas and management planning


Dr Roger Hyam, Biodiversity Data Systems Developer

I have a background in botany - gaining an MSc and PhD in taxonomy in the late 1990s. After spending a period working as a commercial software engineer at the turn of the century I combined my taxonomy and information technology skills to started working in the field of biodiversity informatics. My work ranges from developing mobile phone apps to collaborating on information exchange standards to data driven research based on remote sensing data.

When I set out as biologist in the 1980s my motivation was to help conserve the biodiversity of the world by increasing our understanding of it. Over the last thirty years there has been little sign of any slow down in biodiversity loss. It is clear that this loss is caused by human behaviour and so my research interests have moved more towards quantifying our relationship with the natural world. I am using data driven research to study how our need for a connection with nature (biophilia) relates to our health and ultimately our pro-enviromental behaviours.

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Dr Sabina Knees, CMEP, Research Associate

Former Editor of the Flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra I am a taxonomist with research interests in horticulture, plant taxonomy and plant conservation. I am a member of the Horticultural Taxonomy Group (Hortax), the IUCN SSC Arabian Plant Specialist Group and the Executive Committee of the Friends of Socotra.

Dr Barbara Mackinder, CMEP, Research Associate

My research interest is the classification and identification of Legumes. I am working on an account of the family for the Flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra.

Tony Miller, CMEP, Research Associate

I was employed as a SW Asian botanist at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh from 1974 to 2017. My research focussed on floristic, taxonomic and conservation studies in SW Asia. Field work activities included: assessing the status of vegetation and threatened species, surveying biodiversity hotspots; ethnographic studies and biodiversity impact and richness assessments for landscape potential and for restoration. During these surveys I have discovered and scientifically described many species new to science. I have written numerous scientific papers, several books and contributed to many workshops and conferences

Dr Sophie Neale, Head of CMEP

I am a botanist with over 15 years of experience in the Middle East. My work currently focuses on biodiversity assessment and conservation planning as well as on regional capacity development. I am also responsible for our advisory and consultancy work.

Dr Henry Noltie, Research Associate

Henry Noltie is interested in the history of collections and the history of botany in India. His work has concentrated on the RBGE collections, especially the botanical drawings made by Indian artists for Scottish East India Company surgeons.

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Dr Colin Pendry, Editor of Flora of Nepal

My expertise is in plant taxonomy and systematics, with a background in plant ecology. Since 2004 my primary focus has been the Flora of Nepal, for which I write accounts, as well as coordinating and editing the contributions of other authors. Previously I have worked in Latin America, South East Asia and the Caribbean, collecting plants and carrying out floristic and monographic studies.

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Dr Alan Elliott, bioinformatician

My role is split between the World Flora Online and the Global Conservation Consortium for Rhododendron.


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Claire Banks, Botanical Illustrator

Since 2009 I have worked closely with the science

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Dr Gail Stott, CMEP Researcher

My research focuses on analysing biodiversity data

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