Professor Richard J. A. Buggs

Professional addresses:

1) Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Garden Kew, Richmond, TW9 3DS United Kingdom

2) School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS United Kingdom

Date of Birth:                   1979

Nationality:                    British

Current position

Senior Research Leader (Plant Health), Royal Botanic Garden Kew (80%; 2016-present)

Professor of Evolutionary Genomics, Queen Mary University of London (20%; 2018-present)

Previous positions

Reader in Evolutionary Genomics, Queen Mary University of London (20%; 2016-2018)

Senior Lecturer, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, UK (2012-2016)

NERC Post-doctoral Research Fellow, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, UK (2010-2013)

Post-doctoral Research Associate, Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics, Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, Museum Road, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA and Department of Biology, University of Florida, USA (2007-2010)

Degrees and Certificates

P.C.A.P            Queen Mary University of London, 2015

D.Phil. University of Oxford, 2005. Thesis Title: Factors affecting the location of a diploid-hexaploid contact zone in Mercurialis annua (L.). Supervisor: John Pannell.

M.A.     University of Cambridge, 2004

B.A.     University of Cambridge, 2000. Course: Natural Sciences. Grade: First Class.

External Funding

  • BBSRC grant, BB/S014896/1, Landscape scale genomic-environment diversity data to model existing and novel agri-systems under climate change to enhance food security in Ethiopia Amount: £1,230,680. Lead PI: Paul Wilkin. Co-Is: Richard Buggs, Richard Nichols, James Borrell, Jeremy Haggar, Meredith Williams, Sebsebe Demissew, Feleke Woldeyes Gamo, Wendawek Mengesha
  • Defra grant to Kew for oak genomics research 10/2017-3/2018 Amount: £300,000
  • Defra grant to Kew for ash genomics research 10/2017-3/2018 Amount: £100,000
  • Defra grant to Kew for ash genomics research 1/2017-3/2017 Amount: £300,000
  • Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant 1/4/2016-31/3/2018 Development of primary genomic resources for securing sustainable hazelnut production in Turkey. Amount: £100,000. PI: Richard Buggs. Collaborator: Stuart Lucas, Sabanci Universiy, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Science Without Borders PhD Studentship 6/2015-6/2019 Genomics tools for enhanced efficiency of selection for superior forestry trees. Amount £80,000. Supervisor: Richard Buggs. Student: Jonathan Stocks
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 1/7/2015-1/7/2017 FraxiFam: Reconstructing gene family evolution in the ash genus (Fraxinus). Amount €195,455 Supervisor: Richard Buggs. Fellow: Endymion Cooper
  • LWEC Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative – Phase 2 Grant, BB/L012162/1, 1/4/2014–1/12/2017 Identifying genomic resources against pests and pathogens in tree genera: a case study in Fraxinus. Amount £935,982 (QMUL: £640,038, Forest Research: £167,392, Oxford University: £128,552) Lead PI: Richard Buggs, other PIs: Stephen Rossiter (QMUL) Stephen Lee (Forest Research), Paul Jepson (Oxford)
  • Teagasc Walsh Fellowship 2014001 (9/14-9/18) Resources for the development of ash trees resistant to ash dieback Amount ~£70,000 PIs: Richard Buggs, Gerry Douglas (Teagasc, Ireland)
  • Wolfson Foundation Grant for Genomics Laboratory Refurbishment 2013 Amount: £150,000 PI: QMUL Principal and President. Coordinator: Richard Buggs
  • NERC Urgency Grant, NE/K01112X/1, 21/1/2013–21/1/2014 Ash tree genomics: an urgent need. Amount: £64,966. PI: Richard Buggs
  • LWEC Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative – Phase 1 Grant, 1/12/2012–31/3/2013 Deploying forest genetic resources for management of tree pests and pathogens – a review of prospects and capacity (GRIPP) PI: Stephen Cavers (CEH). Amount: £4,498 to Richard Buggs as sub-contractor
  • LWEC Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative – Phase 1 Grant, 1/12/2012–21/3/2013 Capacity building to promote innovative solutions for control of current and emerging threats to UK trees and woodlands from pest invertebrates PI: Rob Weaver (Fera). Amount: £1,373 to Richard Buggs as sub-contractor
  • Royal Society Research Grant, RG120345, 20 Nov 2012 – 20 Nov 2013 Genome size measurements by flow cytometry for high-throughput assessment of hybridisation frequency in natural plant populations Amount: £15,000. PI: Richard Buggs
  • NBAF Pilot Project Grant, 13 Dec 2012-13 Dec 2013 Genomic composition of a newly emerged allopolyploid Mimulus species. Amount: £5,977. PI: Mario Vallejo-Marin (University of Stirling), Co-PI Richard Buggs
  • European Science Foundation, Frontiers of Speciation Research, Short Visit Grant, 3585. 9 Aug 2010 – 14 August 2010, Trip to foster collaboration on Betula speciation research between University of London and University of Iceland. Amount: €1,010. PI: Richard Buggs
  • Systematics and Taxonomy Research Scheme (SynTax) Grant (NERC/BBSRC). 4 May 2011 – 4 May 2012 Status of homoploid hybrids in a model genus for sympatric speciation. Amount: £18,134. PIs: Andrew Leitch (QMUL), Ilia Leitch (Kew). Co-I: Richard Buggs
  • Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Open CASE Studentship NE/J017388/1. Sept 2012 – Sept 2015. Ecological and genomic research to optimize the conservation of dwarf birch in Scotland. Amount: £70,000. PI: Richard Nichols (QMUL). Co-I: Richard Buggs
  • Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Post-doctoral Fellowship, NE/G01504X/1. 22 Mar 2010 – 21 Mar 2013 Genomic patterns of introgression between hybridising birch species due to range shifts caused by climate change in the Scottish Highlands. Amount: £271,293. PI: Richard Buggs

Conferences organised

The 6th International Workshop on the Genetics of Tree-Parasite Interactions: Tree Resistance to Insects and Diseases: Putting Promise into Practice. Mt. Sterling, Ohio, USA. August 2018 (co-organised with an international committee)

Symposium on “Polyploid evolution: Integrating ecological and genomic studies” at 15th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Lausanne, Switzerland. Aug 2015 (co-organised with Mario Vallejo-Marin, University of Stirling)

Workshop on Speciation Genomics, Plant and Animal Genome, San Diego, Jan 2015 (co-organised with Mike Barker, University of Arizona).

Workshop on Speciation Genomics, Plant and Animal Genome, San Diego, Jan 2014 (co-organised with Mike Barker, University of Arizona).

FRAXBACK COST action outreach meeting: “Living with ash dieback in continental Europe: present situation, long-term experience and future perspectives” 28 Nov 2013. The Linnean Society, London (co-organised with Dr Rimvys Vasaitis, Sweden).

Workshop on Speciation Genomics, Plant and Animal Genome, San Diego, Jan 2013 (co-organised with Mike Barker, University of Arizona).

Next Generation Plant Ecology and Evolution Workshop, 18-19 October 2011, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (co-organised with: Alex Twyford, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; David Burslem, University of Aberdeen; Richard Ennos, University of Edinburgh; Peter Hollingsworth, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Catherine Kidner, University of Edinburgh)

Ecological Genetics Group 2011, London, UK, 19-21 April 2011 (co-organised with Dr Steve Ansell, Natural History Museum) 

Invited talks

Rothamsted Research Seminar, 23 Sept 2019

Plants People Planet Symposium, RBG Kew, 5th Sept 2019 Watch on Youtube

“Thinking Higher: Towards biosecurity of forest trees” Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, 11 July 2019

Defra Ash Research Strategy Stakeholder Workshop, Westminster, 9 Jan 2019

“The Future for English Woodlands” Conference organised by The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers and The Royal Forestry Society, 30 Oct 2018, The National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire

“Plant Health Conference”, The Earth Trust, Oxfordshire, 17 Oct 2018

Shirley Sherwood Gallery, RBG Kew, 10 Oct 2018

Garnet Meeting, University of York, 19 Sept 2018

London College of Garden Design 10th Anniversary Graduate Day, 22 June 2018

Action Oak Partner Event, RBG Kew, 20 June 2018

John Innes Centre, Norwich, 15 June 2018

University of Birmingham, 29 March 2018

Forestry Commission’s “SE & London Tree Health Event 2018” attended by 130 tree health professionals, 12 Feb 2018

Dissemination event for the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative, at the Radisson Blu Grafton, London, 7 Feb 2018

Presentation to Ian Boyd, Defra Chief Scientific Advisor, Nobel House, Westminster, 24 Oct 2017

Defra Ash Dieback Health and Safety Taskgroup, Nobel House, Westminster, 11 May 2017

BSCB/BSDB/Genetics Society Spring Meeting, University of Warwick 2 – 5 April 2017

UK Plant Science 2015, Harper Adams University 14-15 Apr 2015

Forest Research Northern Research Station Seminar 18 Mar 2015

Defra/BBSRC Ash Dieback Oversight Group meeting, Nobel House, 27 Feb 2015

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Departmental Seminar 19 Feb 2015

Northeastern Forestry University, Harbin, China 14 Aug 2015

Moving Plant Evolutionary Biology Forward in the UK, Edinburgh, 8-9 Sept 2014

Genome Science: Biology, Technology & Bioinformatics, Oxford, 1-3 Sept 2014

Cheltenham Science Festival, 7 June 2014

Dept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University, USA, 17 Jan 2014

School of Biology, Newcastle University, UK, 11 Dec 2013

FRAXBACK COST meeting, Malmo, Sweden, 6 Sept 2013

Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg, Germany, 2 July 2013

Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 14 May 2013

FRAXBACK COST meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 7 May 2012

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK,15 Apr 2013

London student conference, Russell Square, London, 7 March 2013

Plant Biology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Helsinki, 5 June 2012,

International Conference on Polyploidy, Hybridization, and Biodiversity, Průhonice, Czech Republic, 10 May 2012

Workshop on Ecological Genomics at Plant and Animal Genome, San Diego, Jan 2013

Darwin Day 2012, Natural History Museum of Milan, Italy, 10-12 February 2012

Biennial Meeting of the Systematics Association, Queen’s University, Belfast, 5 July 2011

Webinar for Sequenom Inc., 29 Sept 2010

Seminar, Darwin Centre, Natural History Museum, London 21 April 2010

Workshop of Polyploidy at Plant & Animal Genome XVIII, San Diego, CA, 9-13 Jan 2010

Workshop of Polyploidy at Plant & Animal Genome XVI, San Diego, CA, 12-16 Jan 2008

Peer Review Provided

Funders: Austrian Science Fund (2010, 2012), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK (2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), Czech Science Foundation (2010, 2012), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2013), French National Research Agency (2013), German Research Foundation (2012), Leverhulme Trust (2015), Leverhulme (2016), Marsden Fund, New Zealand (2014), Medical Research Council (2018), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (2016), National Science Foundation, USA: Genes and Genome Systems Program (2009), Natural Environment Research Council (2012, 2013, 2014, 2014, 2014, 2015, 2015, 2016, 2016, 2018, 2018, 2018), National Geographic Global Exploration Fund (2014), National Science Center Poland (2014), United States Geological Survey (2008), United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (2014)

Journals: American Journal of Botany (2013), Annals of Botany (2006, 2008, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016), Annals of Forest Science (2014), AoB Plants (2011, 2015), Aquatic Botany (2011), Biological Invasions (2011), BMC Bioinformatics (2014), BMC Evolutionary Biology (2009), Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society (2012), Botany (2011), Canadian Journal of Forestry (2013), Chromosome Research (2011), Ecology Letters (2014), Evolution (2012, 2018), Evolutionary Applications (2019), Evolutionary Biology (2011, 2011), Evolutionary Ecology (2007, 2009, 2010), Forestry (2019), Forest Pathology (2019), Frontiers in Plant Science (2018), Genetics (2016), Genome (2016), Gigascience (2016), Global Change Biology (2008), Heredity (2007, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012), Journal of Evolutionary Biology (2012, 2013), Journal of Heredity (2008), Molecular Ecology (2009, 2009, 2010, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Molecular Ecology Resources (2012), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), Nature Ecology and Evolution (2018), Nature Communications (2018), New Phytologist (2009, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), Physiologia Plantarum (2014), Plant and Soil (2010), Plant Systematics and Evolution (2010, 2012), PLoS One (2010), PLoS Genetics (2013), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (2013, 2018), Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2014, 2017), Royal Society Open Science (2019),Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research (2018), Scientific Reports (2018), Tree Genetics & Genomes (2015).

Memberships etc.

Editor of Plants, People, Planet journal (2017-present)

Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology (FRSB) (2018-present)

Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS) (2005-present)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2015-present)

Chartered Biologist (CBiol) (2005-present)

Member of Research sub-group for Action Oak (2017-present)

Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs Future Proofing Plant Health Project Management Board (2016-present)

Plant and Fungal Trees of Life Output Board , RBG Kew (2016-2018)

UK National Tree Seed Project Advisory Group, RBG Kew (2016-present)

NERC Panel E (2015)

NERC Peer Review College (2012-present)

United Kingdom Management Committee Member for European Cooperation in Science and Technology (E-COST) Action FP1103: Fraxinus dieback in Europe: elaborating guidelines and strategies for sustainable management (FRAXBACK) (2014-2016)

Member of the Royal Society for Biology (MRSB) (2005-2018)

Member of Christians in Science (2002-present)

Member of Future Trees Trust (2010-present)

Member of the British Ecological Society (2000-present)


2016-present: MSc module organizer: Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology (QMUL/Kew)

2013-2016: MSc programme proposer and organizer: Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics (QMUL)

2013-2016: MSc programme organizer: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (QMUL)

2013-2016: 3rd year undergraduate module organizer Human Genetics and Genomics (QMUL)

2013: 3rd year undergraduate lecturer: Project Skills in the Life Sciences (2013) (QMUL)

2014: 2nd year undergraduate lecturer: Genes and Bioinformatics (2014-) (QMUL)

2013-2016: Undergraduate Advisor (QMUL)

2008-present: Supervision of undergraduate and graduate students in the laboratory (QMUL)

2001-2004: Tutorials for final year Oxford University undergraduates on the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems.