12 June 2013

On 12 June, Dr Ian Denholm, from the University of Hertfordshire's School of Life and Medical Sciences, becomes the new President of the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI).

BSBI conservation projects

Ian has been a driving force behind the society’s recent initiatives in publicity and outreach. His presentation to journalists and conservationists, at the May 2013 launch of the State of Nature report, showcased BSBI as a key partner in this new coalition of conservation and research organisations supporting British wildlife.

The society is one of the world’s leading contributors of biological records and Ian co-ordinated last year's highly successful Mapping Conference, held at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Ian Denholm comments: "BSBI’s structured species' recording and mapping projects revolutionised approaches to monitoring our flora and fauna, and have had a lasting, international influence on how wildlife is recorded, mapped and monitored. The success of these projects is due to the dedication, expertise and enthusiasm of our thousands of members, past, present and future."

Ecology of wild orchids

Ian is research leader in Geography, Environment and Agriculture at the University of Hertfordshire with particular interest in the ecology and systematics of wild orchids. Orchids have an iconic status in conservation biology and are well suited for research at the interface of ecology and evolution. Ian and his BSBI co-referee, Professor Richard Batemen (Kew), are the botanical experts to whom the society’s 3,000 members and the wider botanical community, turn to for advice on correct identification of these difficult plants.

Agricultural scientist and researcher

Ian spent thirty years as an agricultural scientist at Rothamsted Research, heading their Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Department, while remaining very active in field botany and within BSBI. He now combines a Visiting Scientist role at Rothamsted with his research position at the University of Hertfordshire.

Ian hopes to build on the excellent contributions of his predecessor, Ian Bonner, and help reshape the society as it reconsiders its role in 21st century botany. He is particularly keen to see greater recognition and exploitation of BSBI’s scientific resources.