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Fellows Directory

Peter Crane

Peter Crane

Sir Peter Crane FRS


Elected: 1998


Peter Crane is a botanist and former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, where he expanded the organisation’s scientific, conservation and public engagement programmes. Peter’s research interests centre on linking the studies of fossil and living plants in order to better understand plant evolution.

His work has added considerably to the fossil records of early flowering plants, or angiosperms, with careful reconstructions of whole plants. Peter’s findings have provided additional weight to the currently accepted model of plant evolution. His extensive research into the origin of angiosperms has led Peter to publish many papers and several academic books on the subject.

Peter is currently Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University in the United States. He is the co-author of a popular science book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot (2013), which explores the origin of the ginkgo — the oldest tree on Earth — and details its history as well as its medical and nutritional uses.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Evolution, Plant sciences / botany, Taxonomy and systematics
  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
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