Centre for Plant Diversity and Systematics
Biodiversity is high on the political agenda. The University of Reading has a long-established and continuing reputation in the study of Plant Diversity in many disciplines from Floristic Inventory through Biodiversity Informatics to Molecular Systematics, and Plant and Habitat Conservation. We hold a substantial Herbarium of vascular plants used extensively in teaching and research as well as a smaller bryophyte and lichen herbarium.
Long-term Floristic studies include those of of the Mediterranean basin. Major works include Flora Europaea and the Euro+Med PlantBase and now research is expanding into North Africa, especially Morocco.
Phylogenetic studies include research into plant diversification in Mediterranean-type climate zones including South Africa, but also in other areas.
The study of the effect of climate change on plant evolution has led to the development of novel approaches to climate optimisation on phylogenies that helps us understand the impact of climate change over evolutionary timescales.
In addition, the Centre coordinates teaching of the MSc Plant Diversity that was initiated in 1969 and has run continuously since providing trained staff for taxonomic institutions around the World.
The reference book 'Flowering Plant Families of the World' was written largely by members of CPDS together with staff from Kew and University of Copenhagen.