Dr Natasha De Vere
Natasha joined the Garden in 2008 aiming to develop the Gardens’ conservation and research programme and ensure it represents Wales on the world stage in that sphere. She is a botanist with particular interest in conservation biology (BA hons Biology, MSc Plant Taxonomy, PhD Plant Conservation Genetics) and also a qualified teacher with over 10 years of teaching and lecturing experience in secondary schools and universities. Before taking up her post at NBGW she worked for six years as conservation officer for the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, responsible for conservation research programmes within three zoos (Paignton Zoo, Newquay Zoo and Livings Coasts), three nature reserves in the UK and ten countries overseas, mostly in Africa.
She is committed to making NBGW a world renowned centre for plant sciences research and a national institution that the people of Wales can be proud of. The main emphasis of this research is the conservation of Wales’ biodiversity and, in a time of climate change, using Wales as a nationwide laboratory for understanding ecosystem processes. A major success has been DNA barcoding the whole of the native flora of Wales – making it the first nation in the world to achieve this. The project has now extended to Barcode UK and development of applications that use this resource for biodiversity conservation and to improve peoples’ lives. In 2012 Natasha was appointed (25% fte) as a Senior Lecturer at University of Aberystwyth IBERS. Both in her Garden and University roles she is dedicated to providing research training for the next generation of plant scientists, and works with A-level, undergraduate and post-graduate students from throughout the UK. Widely involved in public engagement with science, and with particular interests in developing arts-science collaborations, Natasha has been actively developing links and collaborative projects throughout the world. She currently leads the Garden’s Two-year Strategic NRW partnership grant ‘Assets and Treasures’.