About us

“We are the botany makers, and we are the dreamers of plants, wandering by coastal shingle structures, and sitting by Potamogeton-filled streams…”   (with apologies to Arthur O’Shaughnessy).

This website has been created especially for Reading Botany 2019, a year-long series of events celebrating 50 years of masters teaching in botany and over 100 years of botanical research at the University of Reading!

Beyond 2019 this website will continue to promote Reading Botany and its role in training the next generations of botanists to deal with critical issues of the identification, conservation and sustainable use of global plant resources in the 21st century.

Led by Dr Jonathan Mitchley, the Reading Botany 2019 Team includes Dr Alastair Culham and Professor Julie Hawkins with support from other Reading staff and students. We are running the events this year to celebrate 50 years of masters teaching in botany and over 100 years of botanical research at the University of Reading. We are involved in botanical teaching, research and outreach in the School of Biological Sciences based at the Whiteknights campus. This campus is a large green oasis in Reading that has a parkland with many fine trees, species-rich meadows, woodland, lakes and the beautiful Harris Garden. Additionally, our glasshouses and the Herbarium provide us with invaluable botanical resources for students and researchers alike.

Botany at Reading also thrives in other Schools at the University of Reading through the work of Dr Simon Mortimer in Agriculture, and Professors Nick Branch and Frank Mayle in School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science.

Botanical teaching and research at Reading has a rich heritage. Reading Botany alumni are found around the world making significant contributions in plant science, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, ecological consultancy, agriculture and horticulture. There is a wide range of career paths open to botanists and our website will demonstrate this as we link up with our alumni and hear their stories.

If you are interested in botany teaching and inspiring future generations in the wonder and importance of plants, please join the discussions at our Symposium on Botany Teaching in our schools on 8 November 2019.