I am a botanist studying global patterns in the diversity of desert plants and their useful properties. My research combines phylogenetics with systematics and ecology, and uses evolutionary frameworks to investigate the chemical and utilitarian diversity of plants. I am particularly interested in the evolution of succulents—plants with specialised water-storing tissues—in regions where climate change is likely to influence their future value.
I am based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom.
Previously, I was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and I began my research career at the South African National Biodiversity Institute. I was awarded a PhD from the University of Pretoria, and my MSc and BSc (Hons) degrees in Botany from the University of Natal, in South Africa.