New appointments to Kew Gardens board

Two eminent professors in ecology and botany have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) by Lord Gardiner.

New trustees for Kew board. Image: RBG Kew
New trustees for Kew board. Image: RBG Kew

Professor Sue Hartley and Professor Liam Dolan were appointed in accordance with the code issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and will run from 1 March 2016 until 28 February 2019.

Hartley studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of York for her PhD on plant defences against insect herbivores. She then moved to the University of Sussex where her research included projects on the factors maintaining the biodiversity of tropical forests and the impact of climate change on plant resistance to herbivores.

In 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, becoming only the fourth woman to do since they began in 1825. In 2010 she moved back to the University of York to become director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, a new interdisciplinary research centre bringing together leading environmental researchers from a broad range of disciplines to tackle the key challenges facing humankind. In 2015 she was elected President of the British Ecological Society.

Professor Liam Dolan is from Dublin and graduated with a degree in botany at University College Dublin. He carried out PhD research on plant developmental genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent three years as a post-doctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, Norwich before becoming an independent project leader.

After 13 years running his own group in Norwich, Liam moved to the University of Oxford as the Sherardian Professor of Botany in 2009 and is now head of the department of plant sciences. Dolan was awarded the Presidents Medal of the Society of Experimental Biology in 2001, was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2009 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity to be made public. The appointees have not declared any political activity in the past five years.

Trustees do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.

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