OSSSU - Orchid Seed Science And Sustainable Use

I joined Kew more than 30 years ago to research orchid seed longevity and have retained a strong interest in orchid seed biology ever since, with > 10% of my > 100 international peer review journal publications on that topic. Apart from editing the book ‘Modern Methods in Orchid Conservation (CUP, 1989), I have co-written three major reviews on orchids: seed storage (1993, Selbyana) with Phil Seaton; conservation (2010, Bot Rev) with Seaton and others; and cryobiotechnology (2016 Biotech Adv) with Elena Popova et al. Innovative findings from my research include: the first successful cryopreservation of orchid seeds, including with their fungal symbionts; that orchid seed generally have short lifespans compared to other angiosperms; and with Tim Marks, the kinetics of orchid pollen longevity. I retain an interest in improving orchid seed storage and am also progressing work with OSSSU collaborators on orchid seed germination across the family. I led the original Darwin Initiative-funded project on OSSSU with 15 countries in Latin America and Asia. I am a member of the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group.

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