The Chiquitania, spanning Bolivia and Brazil, is a globally unique yet highly threatened plant ecoregion, which is disappearing at an alarming rate through land use changes. With Bolivian partners, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is documenting and assessing areas of the Chiquitania for globally unique plant species and habitat types, making the results available to decision-makers locally as well as internationally.
Dr Bente B. Klitgård is a senior research leader at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, leading a team of researchers who focus their plant discovery and conservation work in the Americas. She joined Kew in 2008, having previously spent seven years as a research botanist at the Natural History Museum in London, two years stationed in Ecuador with DANIDA, the Danish Foreign Aid Agency, and long periods engaged in fieldwork throughout Latin America.
Bente has 35 years of experience in developing plant research and conservation projects in Latin America, and for the past 14 years, she has focused her conservation work on Bolivia. She specializes in the discovery and classification of legume trees (including rosewood species), in nature conservation, and in building regional plant research capacity. She has a Ph.D. in plant taxonomy and systematics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.