5th May 2024 – Special Orchid Talk by Phil Seaton

Phil Seaton Biography:

My Fellowship in 2000 was a nine-week journey looking at the ex situ conservation of orchids in Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador, with a focus on orchid seed banking. (Although by no means fluent, I speak reasonable Spanish.)

I spent 32 years as a biology lecturer in a small local college. After taking early retirement, my Fellowship was key to me following my dream of working full-time in orchid conservation. In 2007 I became Project Manager of the Darwin Initiative Project, OSSSU (Orchid Seed Stores for Sustainable Use) based at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, a project with which I am still involved. The aim was to establish a global network of orchid seed banks. I have written and illustrated orchid manuals and books for Kew, and I am currently writing a book about orchid conservation with a colleague in the USA.

My work with OSSSU means that I have travelled extensively around the world promoting orchid conservation, and I regularly give workshops and presentations at conferences both in the UK and abroad. Conservation begins at home, however, and I run an orchid micropropagation lab in a local school, teaching students how to grow orchids from seed.

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