Olwen Grace


I am a botanist studying water-storage in desert plants and their useful properties. I use evolutionary frameworks to investigate plant relationships and diversity, as well as 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. My work focuses on the genus Aloe (Asphodelaceae) and other African taxa.

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.