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Science

Our Role in RBG Science

The objective of the Science at Royal Botanical Gardens is to generate and disseminate new knowledge focused on the world of plants, with emphasis on RBG’s own horticultural programs, nature sanctuaries, cultural and scientific history, and the relevance of plants to people and society.

This includes, for example:

  • Management of and development of support for the needs of users for RBG’s key “knowledge resources:” our Library, Archives and Herbarium
  • Delivery of original research in select scientific fields, such as plant taxonomy and floristics, ecology or habitat restoration
  • Managing and delivering specific, focused projects in such fields as horticultural systematics which support RBG’s larger mandate and which synergize with living collections and the programs of other departments
  • Providing support and assistance for dissemination of new knowledge through research publications or other relevant products generated by other departments within Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Facilitating the projects of RBG Research Associates, visiting researchers and others making use of RBG’s facilities, resources and knowledge-base for the development of new knowledge
  • Developing partnerships with other botanical gardens, universities and other agencies and institutions that share RBG’s goals of promoting the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity, especially where such partnerships or collaboration are intended to generate and disseminate new knowledge
  • In cooperation with the Conservation Department, assisting in the management, reduction and publication of research results of monitoring or research programs within the Nature Sanctuaries
  • In cooperation with the Horticulture Department, assist in development or planning of science content for gardens or other horticulture programs
  • In cooperation with the Education Department, assist in delivery of interpretation in both the nature sanctuaries and gardens

Herbarium

An herbarium is a collection of dried plant specimens carefully preserved, labelled, and arranged for reference.

Today, RBG’s Herbarium (known internationally as HAM) houses approximately 60, 000 vascular plant specimens, and is quite unique as it includes both wild and cultivated plants. Over 1,500 genera, from 230 families, are represented within the collection.