Taxonomy at a crossroads
Department of Sociology, County College South, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK
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Research Team

Lancaster University

The Lancaster members of the Research Team work both at the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC) and the ESRC Centre for the Study of Social and Economic Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)

CSEC, founded in 1991, and located within Lancaster's Department of Sociology, has established an international reputation for a distinctive form of 'public sociology' in the area of environment and technology. The centre is particularly renowned for combining empirical and theoretical research with close interactions with non-academic (user) organisations and novel policy interventions. More on CSEC»

CESAGen's research focuses specifically upon bringing together natural and social scientists to explore the economic, social and ethical consequences of genomic and genetic science. More on CESAGen»


Rebecca Ellis is the main researcher on the team. She is a social anthropologist with an interest in the social and cultural dimensions of the making of scientific knowledge and the relationships between different knowledge systems.

Contact Rebecca Ellis


Claire Waterton is a co-Principal Investigator on the team. She is a Lecturer in Environment and Social Policy and has a specific interest in systems of classification and the relationships between science and environmental policy.

Contact Claire Waterton


Brian Wynne is a co-Principal Investigator on the team. He is a Professor of Science Studies with a specific interest in technology and risk assessment, public risk perceptions and public understanding of science, focusing on the relations between expert and lay knowledge and policy decision making.

Contact Brian Wynne


Natural History Museum

Johannes Vogel

Johannes Vogel is Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests encompass differnt topics, such as the sex life of ferns, genetic diversity and climate change andempowering citizens to participate in science and science policy.

Contact Johannes Vogel

Natural History Museum Logo

The Botany Department of the Natural History Museum is currently spearheading the 'Barcoding British Flora' project in collaboration with a Consortium of key UK taxonomic players .

The Botany Department together with the UK Biodiversity Programme is also known for pioneering innovative public participation initiatives which ensure the Natural History Museum's activities are not only accessible to the public but involve the contributions of varying public communities. See the UK Biodiversity Programme»


Mark Carine is a systematist working in the Botany Department at the Natural History Museum. His general research interest is in the systematics and evolution of flowering plants using both molecular and morphological data. His current specific areas of research include (i) molecular phylogenetics, evolution and biogeography of the Macaronesian flora; (ii) the use of molecular and morphological data to study species delimitation problems and hybridization in the genus Convolvulus; (iii) a taxonomic revision of the genus Strobilanthes (Acanthaceae) and (iv) the development of molecular tools for species identification in plants (DNA barcoding). Mark is assisting the Lancaster researchers in understanding the details of taxonomy and barcoding.

Contact Mark Carine


Karen James co-ordinates a UK consortium bid to develop a procedure for DNA barcoding in plants using the British flora as a model system.

Beyond barcoding, her other research interests revolve around innovative applications of genomic methods to systematics and evolutionary biology.

Karen is also Science Co-ordinator for Darwin200, a consortium aiming to celebrate the work of Charles Darwin and his legacy during the period of 2008-9. Karen is assisting the Lancaster researchers in
understanding the details of taxonomy and barcoding.

Contact Karen James

Our Partners

Lancaster University

Natural History Museum

CSEC home page

CESAGen home page


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