Keith has been working at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens since 2007 and became its Director in 2011. His background is in the biological sciences and he has a broad knowledge of terrestrial natural history, most notably plants, insects and birds. He is particularly interested in the ecology and conservation of species and habitats in Gibraltar and the succulent flora of Morocco. In addition to his work at the Botanic Gardens, he is a member of four statutory bodies in Gibraltar: the Nature Conservancy Council, the Scientific Authority, the Gibraltar Port Authority and the Development and Planning Commission. He also sits on the Gibraltar Regional Committee for European Funding (JLAG) and the Council of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS).
Jon was trained as an arborist and spent twenty years working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – part of it as a team leader – before he and his family decided to relocate to Gibraltar. He was recognised for his excellent skills as a tree surgeon whilst at Kew and featured prominently in some of the television series that the BBC produced with Kew, most notably ‘The Trees that Made Britain’. Although Jon is now mainly involved in day to day management of operations and personnel at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, but he still carries out important arboricultural work.
Andrew heads our plant and horticultural policy at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and is responsible for developing the Gardens’ plant collections. He has been involved in horticulture since the age of seven, when he began to develop his interest in cacti and other succulent plants. Andrew has since diversified to develop an extremely strong knowledge base in all aspects of horticulture. He is however an expert on succulents first and foremost, with an emphasis on cacti, which he has studied at an academic level as well. In addition to his work at the gardens themselves, Andrew also studies succulent plants in the field.
Andrew spent thirteen years in the family food wholesaling business, before making a drastic career move and gaining a certificate in Amenity Horticulture at Pershore college, followed by an amenity diploma with an arboriculture specialism at Askham Bryan near York. He joined the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens straight from college in September 1992, making him the longest-serving staff member. Since then, he has done the lion’s share of garden tours, particularly with schools and cruise liners. This has led him to increasingly specialise in educational activities as the Alameda developed its children’s programmes. In addition, he helps to maintain and develop different sections of the gardens, especially the South African collection. He is very interested in the many uses of plants in craft and artwork.
Christine was awarded the National Diploma in Horticulture with Distinction from the Horticultural College at Pershore. In order to further her career, she moved to Gibraltar to gain experience in Mediterranean Gardening, where she ran the nursery for a local landscape contractor for ten years before joining the team at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens in 2010. Christine was initially employed to take over the propagation section, but her role now includes developing the gardens’ Education centre by encouraging youngsters to enjoy a range of activities, promoting the importance of gardening, growing food and understanding the natural environment.
Charlie has been based at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens since 2002 and became a full-time member of its Technical Team in 2007. Before this, he was involved in broadcasting but always had a background in natural history. Charlie co-authored the ‘Upper Rock Management Plan’ (2005) with Keith Bensusan and authored the ‘Biodiversity Action Plan, Gibraltar’ (2006). He has a broad knowledge of terrestrial biodiversity on the Rock. In addition to his work, he is a member of two statutory bodies in Gibraltar, the Nature Conservancy Council and the Development and Planning Commission. He is also a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and a Council member of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS).
Rhian started working at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens in 2008 and joined the Technical Team on a permanent basis in 2014. She is primarily an entomologist who specialises in the study of the taxonomy and faunistics of European and Mediterranean ants. Her extensive training has provided a broad knowledge of ecological and conservation science and she is part of the Gardens’ ecological consultancy team. Rhian’s BSc is in Zoology, with an MSc in Ecology and Conservation and a PhD in the chemotaxonomy of ants. She is also an active member of the Invertebrates section of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS).
Leslie is the foremost authority on Gibraltar’s indigenous flora and first author of the book ‘The Flowers of Gibraltar’. A physics and mathematics teacher by profession, Leslie became interested in plants via his other interest, photography, when he began photographing wild flowers in the 1970s. Leslie is a long-time collaborator of the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and and frequently participates in work involving indigenous species and habitat surveys. He is currently the Head of the Botanical Section of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society.
Maurizio is a veterinarian who specialises in livestock of arid pastoral areas, particularly the Dromedary Camel Camelus dromedarius. This has taken him to many arid areas of East Africa and the Middle East since 1981 and, as an amateur botanist, has enjoyed extensive botanical explorations that have led to the discovery of several new plant species: Aloe diolii, Aloe bertemariae, Aloe elkerriana, Aloe ikiorum, Pseudolithos gigas, Pseudolithos harardheranus, Echidnopsis uraiqatiana, Euphorbia bertemariae, Euphorbia ammophila, Klenia isabellae. Maurizio regularly deposits plant material for propagation at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, where he encourages their study.
Paul is an electronics engineer by profession but an enthusiastic amateur botanist specialising in the Cactaceae. Since 1996 he has made over 30 trips to Mexico, Chile, Peru and the Caribbean region to observe plants in habitat. His primary interests today are in Andean and Caribbean cacti and recent explorations have resulted in the discovery and naming of a number of new taxa: Copiapoa australis, Borzicactus hoxeyi, Espostoa cremnophila and Echinopsis sandiensis, with several other plants under investigation and likely to be undescribed. Paul has recently started supporting Gibraltar Botanic Gardens with the donation of seeds and he encourages the propagation and distribution of the resultant plant material for study and conservation purposes.