Rae joined the garden (RBGE) in 1978 as a lecturer in the School of Horticulture and has been in his current post since 2000.
From 1989 he worked as the RBGE’s conservation coordinator and in 1985 and 1995 he completed an MSc and PhD respectively, both by part-time research.
From 1996 to 2006 he was the UK representative on the European Botanic Garden Consortium. He is currently Honorary President of PlantNetwork-the Plant Collections Network of Britain and Ireland and on the Board of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawai’i.
In 2003 he launched the Journal Sibbaldia, the journal of botanic garden horticulture. He has undertaken fieldwork in more than 15 countries, spoken at numerous conferences, initiated two major Darwin Initiative projects and published more than 50 papers.
He is, or has been, a member of eight horticulture-related trusts, is a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. In 2008 he was awarded the Scottish Horticultural Medal and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.
He retires on 31 October but will continue working with the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust.
The RBGE is currently advertising for Rae's replacement and has set a closing date of 8 September.