Professor Richard Buggs is a scientist using genomic technologies and bioinformatics to help us conserve tree species and understand how plants evolve. His research group is currently sequencing the genomes of ash trees to help in the fight against ash dieback.

Richard’s evolutionary research helps us to understand the causes and effects of the development of reproductive barriers in natural populations. He is particularly interested in the role of hybridisation in the origin and extinction of species. Therefore this work can aid us as we seek to care for the biodiversity around us.

He is currently Senior Research Leader (Plant Health) at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary, University of London. This is a personal webpage and views expressed here are expressed in a personal capacity.

Previously Richard was a Research Fellow at QMUL, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). He worked on the genetics of birch tree species in the UK. In particular, he is examined the genomic consequences of hybridisation between dwarf birch, which is rare, and other more common birch species.

Richard was previously a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Florida, in the lab of Doug and Pam Soltis examining the evolutionary genetics of plant species with different numbers of chromosome sets. He studied the rapid loss and silencing of genes after natural whole genome duplication events.

He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford for a doctoral thesis on the evolutionary ecology of two closely-related plant species. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Cambridge, where he was elected Bateman Scholar at Trinity Hall, and gained a first class Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences.

Interview with The Naked Scientists: “Can genes save our trees?”