Australia’s new leader in botanical science

Australia has a new scientific institute that brings together an astoundingly broad sweep of botanic research organisations and collections, services and facilities. 

The Australian Institute of Botanical Science is positioned to become a world leader in plant science, in particular established to drive effective conservation solutions – ensuring the survival of plants, and all life that depends on them. 

The mission statement also includes a significant recognition of indigenous knowledge, saying that “We recognise that our understanding of plants and their environment is informed by thousands of years of knowledge generated by First Nation’s people in plant taxonomy, ecology and ecosystem engineering in order to sustainably manage the landscapes of Australia. Our aim is to generate science that will continue this connection with country and to work in partnership with First Nation people to promote a broader appreciation of Australia’s unique flora.”

The new Institute combines the Institute of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, including the living collections at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, the National Herbarium of NSW, the Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience, the Australian PlantBank, the Centre for Education and Engagement, and the historic Daniel Solander Library. 

A launch video explains the new institute’s role, along with relevant and exciting science — you can view it at the top of this article.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Plantbank seed vault of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Chief Executive Denise Ora says that the Institute aims to engage with partners across Australia and globally. 

“If we are to tackle the critical environmental challenges the world currently faces, we must do so through collaboration with likeminded institutions, focusing on innovative scientific research and engagement,” Ms Ora said. “Botanic gardens have a responsibility to lead, encourage, and contribute to research into climate change, particularly relating to plants and their habitats – and that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do with the establishment of the Australian Institute of Botanical Science. 

“As fires, droughts and other devastating events in Australia have exemplified, protecting plants is no easy task, but indeed a vital one.” 

For further information about the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, click here.

Australian Institute of Botanic Science

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