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

Nationality: British

Current position

Senior Research Leader, Plant Health & Adaptation (2016-present) and NERC Individual Merit Researcher (2020-present), Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (80% FTE)

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

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

  • NERC grant, NE/X015351/1, The role of structural variants in rapid adaptation, (3 Apr 2023 – 2 Apr 2026) Amount: £719,539. PI: Laura Kelly (Kew). Co-I: Richard Buggs (Kew) and Richard Nichols (QMUL).
  • Wolfson Foundation Grant for Conservation and Research Nursery at Wakehurst (Announced December 2022) Amount: £1,000,000.
  • Defra grant, CFP2202, Genetic basis of silver birch adaptation to local environments and disease (4/2022-3/2025) Amount: £675,306 (Kew: £410,349, Forest Research: £264,965). PIs Richard Buggs, Richard Whittet (Forest Research)
  • Defra grant, CFP2205, Restoration of ‘lost’ tree species and cultural connections (4/2022-3/2026) Amount: £182,000 (Kew: £14,000, Forest Research: £42,000, University of St Andrews £126,000). PIs Richard Buggs, Mariella Marzano (Forest Research), Rehema White (University of St Andrews)
  • Defra grant, CFP2209, Distribution and diversity of existing UK elms (09/2022-3/2025) Amount: £255,712 (Kew: £220,978, Forest Research: £34,734). PIs Richard Buggs, Joan Webber (Forest Research)
  • Defra grant, CFP2211, Completion and analysis of Defra oak GWAS panel (4/2022-3/2025) Amount: £435,810 (Kew: £362,622, Forest Research: £73,188). PIs Richard Buggs, Sandra Denman (Forest Research)
  • Defra ‘Centre For Forest Protection’ grants on Genomics of Tree Health and Adaptation (6/2021 – 3/2022) Amount: £462,000
  • Defra ‘Future Proofing Plant Health’ grant DNA markers for Oak SNP analysis (12/2020-3/2021) Amount: £127,000
  • Defra ‘Future Proofing Plant Health’ grant DNA markers for ash dieback resistance in an English woodland (10/2019-3/2020) Amount: £79,761
  • 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 (4/2019 – 3/2021) 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 Future of the Elm Tree: Restoring Elm to the Landscape. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 28 June 2022 (co-organised with Sir Harry Studholme, Geraint Richard, and the Institute of Chartered Foresters)

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 research talks

Brasov, Romania 12-15 September 2023 (Watch online)

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, 4 May 2023

School of Biosciences, University of Sheffield, 24 April 2023

EUFORGEN Webinar #2 – Biotic outbreak management of the GCUs Network: Case study on Ash Dieback, 10 February 2023 (Watch online)

London Evolutionary Research Network (LERN) seminar, Grant Museum of Natural History, University College London, 30 January 2023

North West Tree Health Group (organised by Forestry Commission), 26 January 2023

Forest Genetic Resources for a Changing Environment: Taking Stock and Future Directions One-day virtual workshop, 24 November 2022

Inaugural lecture at Queen Mary University of London, 16 November 2022 (Watch online)

International Plant Health Conference (co-organised by the IPPC Secretariat and Defra), Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, 21-23 September 2022.

Defra Ash Research Workshop, 6 & 14 September 2022

Royal Society of Biology Plant Health Summer Conference, 21 June 2022

Potential and Limitations of Evolutionary Processes conference, Nazareth, Israel, 8-12 May 2022

Darwin Society, Christ’s College, Cambridge, 25 April 2022

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 21 April 2022

The Garden: a Community of the Curious 5 April 2022 (Watch online)

Lichfield Science and Engineering Society, 8 March 2022

Our Plants Our Future Conference (British Society for Plant Pathology), Birmingham, 7 December 2021

Novogene European NGS Forum, 20 October 2021 (Watch online)

Webinar for Front Line Genomics: Applying Personalized Genomics to Ash Trees, 3 June 2021 (Watch on Youtube)

2021 Birmingham Institute of Forest Research Annual Community Meeting, 28 Jan 2021

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, 2020, 2020, 2021, 2021, 2021, 2023), Czech Science Foundation (2010, 2012), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2013, 2023), French National Research Agency (2013), German Research Foundation (2012), Innovate UK (2023, 2024), 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, 2021, 2022, 2023), National Geographic Global Exploration Fund (2014), National Science Center Poland (2014), Nordic Forest Research (SNS) (2021), 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, 2023, 2023), Annals of Forest Science (2014, 2020), AoB Plants (2011, 2015), Aquatic Botany (2011), Bioinformatics (2021), Biological Invasions (2011), BMC Bioinformatics (2014), BMC Biology (2020), 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, 2021, 2022, 2023), Evolutionary Biology (2011, 2011), Evolutionary Ecology (2007, 2009, 2010), Forestry (2019), Forests (2021), Forest Pathology (2019, 2022), 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), Kew Bulletin (2021), Molecular Ecology (2009, 2009, 2010, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, 2021, 2022), Molecular Ecology Resources (2012), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), Molecular Plant (2021, 2022), Nature Ecology and Evolution (2018, 2021, 2022, 2023), Nature Communications (2018, 2021, 2022, 2023), Nature Plants (2023), New Forests (2021), New Phytologist (2009, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2023), Physiologia Plantarum (2014), Plant and Soil (2010), Plant Cell and Environment (2024), Plant Communications (2020), Plant Physiology (2023), 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, 2022), Religions (2023), Royal Society Open Science (2019), Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research (2018), Scientific Reports (2018), Tree Genetics & Genomes (2015), Trends in Plant Sciences (2022).

Memberships etc.

Panel member for UKRI Future of UK Treescapes: enhancing the impact of research (2023)

NERC Deep Dive Working Group for Cross-Cutting Capability (2022)

Member of UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group (2021-present)

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)

Fellow of The Garden (2022-2023)

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)

BBSRC Plant Health Working Group (2021)

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)


2020-2021: MSc module organizer: Research Frontiers in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation (QMUL/Kew)

2016-2020: 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.

PhD Examinations

University of Cambridge (External examiner, 2022)

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Opponent, 2022)

Queen Mary University of London (Internal Examiner, 2021, 2022, 2022, 2023)

University of Pretoria (External examiner, 2019)

University of Aberystwyth (External examiner, 2014)

University of Turku (Pre-publication examiner, 2012)