Dr Charlie Jarvis

Charlie Jarvis image
  • Researcher, Historical Collections
  • Life Sciences department
  • Plants Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road



1980   Ph.D.   Dissertation: Systematic studies in the genus
                         Tolpis Adans. (Compositae: Cichorieae). University of   Reading

1976   M.Sc.   Pure and Applied Plant Taxonomy, University of Reading


2009-present   Scientific Co-ordinator, Centre for Arts and Humanities Research (CAHR), NHM

2008-present   Researcher, Historical Collections, Department of Botany, NHM    

2001-2008       Head of Collections Information Group, Department of Botany, NHM

1993-2001       Researcher, Principal Scientific Officer (Band 3), Department of Botany, BMNH

1990-1993       Head of European Division, Department of Botany, BMNH

1985-1990       Senior Scientific Officer (Band 4), Department of Botany, BMNH

1984-1985       Higher Scientific Officer, Department of Botany, BMNH

1981-1984       Research Fellow, Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project. 
                           The Linnean Society of London (based at BMNH)

1980-1981       Research Officer for Tropical Africa. Threatened Plants Unit, 
                           Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Professional Roles

Editorial Boards

2007 - present. Systematics and Biodiversity, Associate Editor

2003 - 2007. Systematics and Biodiversity, Editorial Committee

2001 - present. Plant Biosystems. Editorial Committee

1998 - present. Webbia, Editorial Committee

1996 - present. Allionia, Editorial Committee

Membership of Professional Societies

2010 - present. Society for the History of Natural History. Member

1993 - present. International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Nomenclature Committee for Spermatophyta

1989 - present. International Seed Testing Association. Nomenclature Committee

1987 - 1993.  International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Secretary of Special Subcommittee on Lectotypification of Linnaean Generic Names

1990 - present. Linnean Society of London. Honorary Curator of the Society’s Herbaria; Fellow

1986 - 1989. Linnean Society of London. Member of Council

1983 - 1986. Systematics Association. Member of Council

1977 - present. Systematics Association. Member

Awards and Prizes

2010. Awarded the John Thackray Medal by the Society for the History of Natural History for “Order out of Chaos”

2008.  Received the Annual Award for a Significant Work in Botanical or Horticultural Literature of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries for “Order out of Chaos”

2008.  Awarded the Stafleu Medal by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy for “Order out of Chaos”

2007.  Elected a Fellow “in honoris causa” of the Linnean Society of London

1990.  Bicentenary Medal. Linnean Society of London


Main research interests currently lie with the history of botanical nomenclature, especially the botanical names of Carl Linnaeus (1707-1753). In this context, research is under way on the influence of the work of Pier Antonio Micheli and José Celestino Mutis on Linnaeus’ knowledge of plants. 18th century herbaria are also of long-standing interest, especially that of Hans Sloane.


  • Jarvis, C. ( 2010 ) Celebrating Sloane: a collector of curiosities. Evolve 3 : 18-19 .
  • Jarvis, C. & San Pío Aladrén, P. de ( 2010 ) Mutis plant drawings at the Linnean Society. Pulse Issue 5 : 1 .