As a university herbarium, RNG’s main roles are to act as a source of research material and to serve as an inspirational resource for teaching and learning. The herbarium puts students directly in touch with ongoing research into the biodiversity of the planet, and students receive first-hand experience in specimen preparation, cataloguing, digitisation and databasing.
Many students use the herbarium to help with their studies, including work on comparing plant morphologies and using specimens for DNA sequencing. There have even been cases of students finding and describing specimens never seen before!
University herbaria not only offer a space for people with similar interests to interact and work together but also provide a platform for different interest groups to get involved, such as archaeologists, historians, or typographists. All a student needs to do to begin their botanical journey at the RNG Herbarium is open a cabinet and look!