Nigel Swarts Ph.D.
Introduced to the orchids of the Swan Coastal Plain in Perth, Western Australia by his father, Nigel developed a keen interest in the Orchidaceae. The re-discovery of a threatened spider orchid in bushland close to his childhood home paved the way for a future in orchid conservation research. Nigel received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology at Curtin University. He then completed his Ph.D. with distinction on the conservation of critically endangered orchids at the University of Western Australia. Nigel's research has led to a better understanding of the role of mycorrhizal specialization in the ecology and rarity of the Orchidaceae. His work has contributed to the development of new approaches to the conservation and recovery of terrestrial orchids based on key biological and ecological requirements for orchid survival.
During his first post-doc, Nigel embarked on an ambitious project to conserve all of Western Australia's terrestrial orchid seed and fungi in perpetuity. Nigel managed the orchid research programs of the Kings Park Botanic Gardens, supervised students, and trained teams of volunteers in the ex situ culture and propagation of Western Australian orchids using many of the techniques described in this book. In 2009, Nigel moved to Tasmania and established a similar orchid conservation and research program at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens focusing on Tasmanian endemic species. He runs an ex situ conservation program where volunteers are trained in orchid conservation and propagation methods. He authored the multi-species recovery plan for all Tasmania's threatened orchid species and continues his research into the mycorrhizal relationships of Australian terrestrial orchids on a part-time basis.
Nigel is currently a Research Fellow at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tasmania. In addition to his research, Nigel supervises graduate students in topics ranging from tree physiology to cider production and terrestrial orchid ecology. Nigel is also an active member of the Tasmanian Threatened Species Committee.
Kingsley Dixon, Ph.D.
Kingsley Dixon is the Curtin University Professor at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, Western Australia. He is one of Australia's leading botanists who found his passion for orchids as a small child and would often collect them with his parents on bush walks. His professional and scientific interests in orchids developed while obtaining his Ph.D. at The University of Western Australia when he worked on the ecology of native southwest Australian orchids. Later, he expanded this into propagation, mycorrhizal, pollination, and conservation research when he established the world-acclaimed Kings Park Botanical Research Facility in the State Botanic Garden in Western Australia. Since then, Kings Park has produced more than 60 Ph.D.'s in botany and the biological sciences, and is home to an internationally recognized orchid research group that has made many major advances including the development of novel tissue culture procedures for rare orchids and the first cryo-banking methodology for rare orchid seed. Kingsley was hired by Curtin University in 2015 and continues to lead major conservation and restoration programs that include orchid biology, ecology, and conservation research.
Kingsley has developed extensive research collaborations in conservation and restoration science in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This has included programs to save rare and threatened slipper orchids in Indonesia and developing conservation propagation of European rare terrestrial orchids. Through these partnerships, he has developed a global network of orchid researchers and collaborators that includes significant input from citizen science programs from local to international orchid groups, including the Hardy Orchid Society of the United Kingdom.
With an incredible drive and enthusiasm for conservation and restoration of native ecosystems in Australia and around the world, Kingsley has published over 400 peer reviewed papers and 13 books, and has been recognized with several awards, including the Australian Orchid Foundation Award of Honour, the international Linnean Medal in Botany, and the Western Australian Scientist of the Year (2016/17). His passion for orchids and their conservation led him to establish the well-known International Orchid Conservation Congress series in 2001. Currently, Kingsley holds positions on international boards and commissions, including co-chair of the Orchid Specialist Group of the IUCN, Chair of the Research Committee of the Australian Orchid Foundation, Chair of the International Network for Seed-based Restoration, Chair of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia, and Board member of the Society for Ecological Restoration.
More books by Nigel Swarts
More books by Kingsley Dixon