Science & Collections Projects

The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne plays a vital role in the study and conservation of Australia’s plant life, enriching our understanding of native plants, especially in Victoria. This work is based at the National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL), a centre of excellence for plant biodiversity research.  

Research undertaken at the Gardens provides valuable support to Government in conserving threatened species and ecosystems and in identifying plants. Programs focus on taxonomy and systematics and how this information can be applied to new and innovative conservation methods. 

Biodiversity research focuses on documenting the diversity of plants, algae and fungi of Victoria and on finding and explaining patterns of historical relationships among Australian plant species and between plant species and the areas they occur. Our botanists have expertise in flowering plants, including some of the largest and most iconic Australian families, e.g. Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, Myrtaceae and Proteaceae, as well as bryophytes, fungi and stoneworts (Charophyceae).

We also contribute to research on conservation of Victoria's plants and fungi, in fields such as rare plant translocation and orchid symbiotic germination. Ex situ conservation initiatives include the Victorian Conservation Seedbank and the Rare and Threatened Species Collection of living plants.