York Scientist and YESI Director is appointed Kew trustee

News | Posted on Wednesday 23 March 2016

A University of York scientist has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Professor Sue Hartley, who is the Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI) and a member of the University’s Department of Biology, was appointed to the Board for the next three years by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Minister Lord Gardiner.

Professor Hartley, who is also the University’s Research Champion for Environmental Sustainability and Resilience, studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of York where she did a PhD on plant defences against insect herbivores.

Later, at the University of Sussex, her research included projects on the factors maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical forests and the impact of climate change on plant resistance to herbivores. In 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, becoming only the fourth woman to do since they began in 1825.

In 2010, Professor Hartley returned to York to become Director of YESI, a new interdisciplinary research centre bringing together leading environmental researchers from a broad range of disciplines to tackle the key challenges facing humankind. In 2015, she was elected President of the British Ecological Society.

She said: “"I am thrilled and honoured to be appointed a trustee at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and I’m very excited to join the Kew team. Kew is an iconic institution globally recognized for world-leading botanical collections and scientific research and I'm really looking forward to contributing to its future development.”