Seed Quality of Native Species - ecology, production & policy

International Conference

25-29 September 2017

Jodrell Laboratory Lecture Theatre,
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Keynote Speakers:


  1. Global perspective on seed quality for grassland restoration
  2. Field-based plant and seed ecology
  3. Seed characterisation - germination and storage
  4. Production
  5. Policy, certification and quality assurance

Local organisers: Prof Hugh W. Pritchard, Dr Louise Colville

Background information

NASSTEC (NAtive Seed Science, TEchnology and Conservation Initial Training Network) is a project under the EU FP7 People-Work Programme. NASSTEC has been training 11 Early Stage Researchers and 1 Experienced Researcher in native seed science, conservation and use, so that environmental mitigation and adaptation projects can have increased impact. Without immediate enhancement of capacity and capability in this specific area of biodiversity science, the native seed industry in Europe will fail to develop towards the multi-million dollar markets of the US and Australia. NASSTEC has been interconnecting the public and private sector through the establishment of a multidisciplinary European doctoral ‘school’ so as to integrate knowledge in plant ecology, genetics, molecular biology, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, seed biology, environmental science, agricultural botany, crop science, breeding and horticulture. This knowledge is being transferred to industry, thereby contributing to the EU bio-economy. This international conference provides an opportunity to share knowledge on all aspects of seed biology to the benefit of science, technology and industry, in Europe and beyond.


Monday 25 September 2017

Opening - International Conference

Tuesday 26 September 2017

  • 09.10 / Introduction to NASSTEC: Costantino Bonomi (Italy) / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell
  • 09.20 / Introduction to the science programme of NASSTEC: Hugh Pritchard (UK)

Session 1: Global perspective on seed quality for grassland restoration
Chairman: Dr Ken Thompson (UK)
Perspectives on the importance of seed quality in European grassland restoration would benefit from comparisons with programmes elsewhere in the world. This session consists of four key note presentations that will consider what is known about species responses in four ecogeographical zones within and beyond Europe. / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell.

Session 2: Field-based plant and seed ecology
Chairman: Dr Pete Ianetta (UK)
The selection of species appropriate for mitigation projects requires an understanding of field based (in situ) plant performance, including plant functional traits, reproductive plant biology and seed ecology.  

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Session 3: Seed Characterisation
Chairman: Prof Peter Toorop
Understanding the inter- and intra-specific variabilities in native seed physiology (germination, storage and stress tolerance characteristics) are critical for the selection of seed lots that are fit-for-purpose regarding the specific environments for improvement.

  • 09.00 / Invited review:  Prof Costas Thanos (Greece) - Germination characters in European plants / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell
  • 09:30 / Oral presentations / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell
  • 10.30 / Discussion
  • 10.45 / Refreshments / Foyer, Jodrell
  • 11.15 / Oral presentations / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell
  • 12.15 / Discussion
  • 12.30 / Lunch / Choice of venues in the Gardens

Session 3: Seed Characterisation (continued)

  • 14.00 / Oral presentations (continued) / Lecture Theatre, Jodrell
  • 15.00 / Discussion
  • 15.15 - 17.00 / Tours of Kew Gardens, the grounds and laboratories 
  • 18.30 - 21.00 / Conference Dinner - places need to be booked at the price of £45,00 each / Close to Kew

Thursday 28 September 2017

Session 4: Seed production
Chairman: Giles Laverack
Deployment of seed by the nascent industrial sector (SMEs) for native seed production requires greater knowledge on the means of improving seed quality (performance) and enhancing the conversion rate from seed to plant (increased efficiency). Such techniques are urgently needed to improve ecosystem service provision for the agriculture, horticulture, conservation and restoration industries.

Session 5: Policy, certification and quality assurance
Chairman: tbc
The interconnection between seed science and industry will only have maximum impact if progress is shared with and accepted by policy-makers and the public. But do the current fora, including outreach, enable rapid enough incorporation of findings on standards and certification into the policy framework?

Friday 29 September 2017

8.00 - 20.00 / Site visit to the Millennium Seed Bank. 

  • Introduction to the work of Kew at the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building
  • Tour of the Millennium Seed Bank
  • Tour of the grounds of Wakehurst Place and the UK Seed Hub   

Places on coach need to be booked

Deadline for registration: 31.8.2017
Deadline for abstract submission: 31.7.2017