A scientist who studies plants

Training, qualifications and skills An MSc degree in a field related to biological sciences. PhDs are becoming increasingly necessary but the most important thing is to be passionate about plants.
Career progression opportunities The sky is the limit! Research Leader, Head of Science, Government advisor, Consultant, Curator of living or preserved collections, Lecturer, Conservationist, TV presenter, Author
Useful links In Defense of Plants
Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
Kew’s Plants of the World Online
Field Studies Council (FSC)
Plantlife UK
The Nature Conservancy
Natural England

Focus on: Botanist

Mathew Rees
Full time, salary up to £35k
Wisley, Surrey

During the height of the growing season I focus my efforts on plant identification for members of the RHS, with an average of 4,500 enquiries per year. This comes with an extensive knowledge of wild and cultivated plants that I acquired through my work as a horticulturist.

Get to know your plants. Each has an interesting story to tell. Some are known, some are yet to be discovered.

In the winter, I deliver training for students and take part in research on ecosystem services of cultivated plants. This is a dynamic field that allows us to promote the beneficial use of plants for the current and upcoming challenges society faces – such as mental wellbeing, water usage and mitigating our impacts on climate change.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.