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Cambridge University Herbarium


Professor Samuel Brockington - Academic Lead

In addition to providing Academic Leadership to the University Herbarium, I am Head of the Evolution and Diversity Group in the Department of Plant Sciences and Curator of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. My research is both comparative and integrative, combining systematics, morphology, development, molecular genetics, and physiology.

I teach on the first year course Evolution and Behaviour; give practical classes on plant diversity and morphology as part of the second year course Plant and Microbial Sciences; and lecture on phylogenetics and homology as part of the third year Part II Plant Sciences module Evolution and Ecosystem Dynamics. I regularly give public lectures on the history of botanic gardens, the global network of botanic gardens, and the current and ongoing activities in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Department profile:


Dr Lauren Gardiner – Curator

I am responsible for curating and managing the Herbarium. I was appointed in 2017 and now manage a team of three members of staff, and a range of volunteers, students, and visitors from all over the world, working across a range of curation, research and digitisation projects. In recent years I have been focusing on raising awareness of the collection, improving access, establishing operational policies and procedures, and developing long-term strategies for the herbarium. I also deliver lectures, practical classes and herbarium tours to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Plant Sciences and related subjects, and a wide range of external visitors.

Before joining the Department, I spent over a decade on the staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, specialising in orchids and palms, and conservation in Madagascar, and I serve on a number of committees including the RHS Orchid Committee and the Trustees of the Botanical Research Fund.

Department Profile:


Sally Loesch - Digital Engagement Coordinator

I am responsible for specimen imaging, managing citizen science projects, and generating database records in order to make our collections more accessible to researchers. With a background in archives and records management, I have an interest in using emerging technologies to improve access to research data and generate public interest in heritage collections.