Mr Steve Cafferty

  • Collections Project Manager
  • Life Sciences department
  • Plants Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Biography

Employment History

Collections Project Manager Dept. of Botany, The Natural History Museum 2003

Researcher: The Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project, Dept. of Botany, The Natural History Museum 1997-2003

Botanical Researcher: General Books, Reader's Digest Books, 1996-1997

Higher Botanical Horticulturist: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1990-1994

Qualifications

M.Sc. Pure and Applied Plant and Fungal Taxonomy (Distinction), University
of Reading 1994-1995

Professional Roles

Grants

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, African Plants Initiative (PI) 2004

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Latin American Plants Initiative (PI) 2007

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Global Plants Initiative (PI) 2009

External Collaborations

Global Plant Collector list, Jean Noel Labat (Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France), Hugh Glenn & Gideon Smith (South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa), Laurent Gautier (Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques Ville de Gèneve, Switzerland), Peter Schaefer (Herbier de l’Universite Montpellier, France), Murray Fagg (Canberra National Herbarium, Australia), Sofie de Smedt (National Botanic Gardens of Belgium, Belgium), James Macklin (Harvard University Herbaria, USA)

Banks & Solander collections from the Endeavour Voyage, David Cantrill (Royal Botanic Garden Melbourne, Australia), Brett Summerell & Doug Benson (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australia), Patrick Brownsey (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Museum Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand), Ilse Brietwieser (Landcare Research, Christchurch, New Zealand), Ewen Cameron (Auckland Museum, New Zealand)

External committees

Technical Advisory Group, JSTOR Plant Science (Global Plants Initiative)

Guest lectures

The XIV International Conference of the Society for the History of Natural History, Florence, Italy, Invited talk on the digitisation of natural history collections, 2003

Species Plantarum 250 years, 3-day International Symposium, Uppsala, Sweden, Invited presentation on Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project, 2003

The II African Plants Initiative meeting, Cape Town, South Africa Invited delegate and member of technical advisory group 2006

The XVII AETFAT meeting, Yaounde, Cameroon, Invited delegate and member of technical advisory group 2007

The III African Plants Initiative meeting, Cape Town, South Africa Invited delegate and member of technical advisory group 2007

The II Latin American Plants Initiative meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina Invited delegate and member of technical advisory group 2008

The III Latin American Plants Initiative meeting, Medellin, Colombia Invited delegate and member of technical advisory group 2009

Curation

My role within curation involves overall project management of curation/collections based projects within the Department, and responsibility for coordination and management of external collaborations relating to collections based projects. Current projects include heading the Museum’s contribution to the JSTOR hosted Global Plants Initiative project which comprises various sub-projects and a current team of ten full time staff.

I am also Sector leader for NHM collections management consultancy involving close collaboration with internal and external colleagues and a variety of external organisations. This role involves developing contract and consultancy work for the collections management sector within the Museum. Current activities include a large-scale digitisation contract for the Linnean Society of London, and in the past have ranged from preparation of fossil collections for exhibition to environmental monitoring and collections management workshops.

Research

My main research areas are related to facilitating access to the collections and collections data. In particular I have a strong interest in the collections of Banks & Solander made on the Endeavour voyage (1768-1771). I am currently formulating a project to digitise the collections. We also plan to undertake research from a cultural perspective, in order to place the voyage and the collections within the context of the time within which they were made. 

I also have an ongoing interest in conducting research towards compiling a global list of plant collectors including standard citation, for use as an on-line research tool, and continue to develop this in collaboration with a wide variety of colleagues.

I have also collaborated in various field trips in Latin America related to consultancy work, soil sampling and floristic collecting. This has included expeditionary work in Ecuador, Belize and Panama.

Outreach

In addition to research/curatorial duties I have also regularly undertaken various public engagement activities.

These have ranged from behind the scenes tours of the collections, to nature live presentations to the public within the Museum. Externally I have appeared on National Television in Australia, New Zealand & the UK talking about various aspects of the Museum collections. I have also published a number of popular books on trees as well as more specific articles in public access publications whilst at the Museum. This is a continuation of my work on writing popular articles and something I hope to continue with in the future. The links below relate to a recent selection of these.

British History in depth: Endeavour's Scientific Impact (1768 - 1771)

IMDb

Steve Cafferty from HarperCollins Publishers 

Firefly Books

Radio New Zealand

Publications

Robbins, S. & Cafferty, S. (1993) Helleriella guerrerensis, an unusual Central American orchid flowering at Kew. The Orchid Review 101 (1189): 34-36.

Cafferty, S., Greenham, J. & Williams, C.A. (1996) Isolation of Mangiferin and Iso-mangiferin from leaf material of Hibiscus liliastrum. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 24 (2): 173 - 174.

Cafferty, S. (Contributor) (1996): The New Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants and Flowers. Reader's Digest, London.

Alziar, G. & Cafferty, S. (1998) Typification of the names of several species of Phlomis of Linnaeus (Lamiaceae). Biocosme Mesogeen 14 (4): 119 - 127.

Cafferty, S. & Jarvis, C.E. (eds.) (1999) Typification of Linnaean specific and varietal names in the Orchidaceae. Taxon 48 (1): 45 - 50.
Taxon - Journal of the IAPT

Cafferty, S. & Monro, A. (1999) Typification of Batis maritima L. (Bataceae). Novon 9 (4): 490.
Novon: A Journal for Botanical Nomenclature

Cafferty, S., Jarvis, C.E. & Turland, N. (ed.) (2000) Typification of Linnaean specific and varietal names in the Poaceae. Taxon 49 (2): 239 - 260.
Taxon - Journal of the IAPT

Simpson, D.A., Muasya, A.M. & Cafferty, S. (2001) Typification of Scirpus fluitans L. and Scirpus setaceus L. (Cyperaceae). Kew Bulletin 56(4): 1011-1012.
Kew Bulletin

Cafferty, S. & Jarvis, C.E. (eds) (2002) Typification of Linnaean plant names in the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). Taxon 51 (3): 529-538.

Cafferty, S. & Jarvis, C.E. (eds) (2002) Typification of Linnaean plant names in the Rosaceae. Taxon 51 (3): 539-545.

Cafferty, S., Oliver, E.H.G. & Oliver, I. (2002) Proposals to conserve the names Erica calycina, Erica corifolia and Erica imbricata (Ericaceae) with conserved types. Taxon 51 (4): 810-812.

Jarvis, C.E. & Cafferty, S. (2003) Botany on the Web: the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project. Taxon 52(2): 391.

Cafferty, S.  & Jarvis, C.E. (2004) Typification of Linnaean plant names in Boraginaceae. Taxon 53(3): 749-805.

Cafferty, S. (ed.) (2006) The Firefly Encyclopaedia of Trees. Firefly, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Cafferty, S. (2007) Collins Guide Trees; East: Collins Guide Trees; West: Harper Collins, New York.

Knapp, S. & Cafferty, S. (2007) Linnaeus’ collections go online. Science & Public Affairs June 2007 17.

Cafferty, S. & Suchorukow, A.P. (2007) Typifications of Atriplex sibirica L. and Spinacia fera L.] In: Suchorukow, A.P., Zur Systematik und Chorologie der in Russland und den benachbarten Staaten (in den Grenzen der ehemaligen USSR) vorkommenden Atriplex-Arten (Chenopodiaceae). Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 108B: 391, 402.

Cafferty, S. (contributor) The Great Naturalists, From Aristotle to Darwin Thames & Hudson 2007 

World-wide-web based publications

The Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project. An introduction and overview of the work of the project complete with a list of publications to date.

The John Clayton herbarium and database online. A searchable database of the Clayton herbarium hosted by The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.

Sir Hans Sloane Jamaican Botanical Collections. A database of images and information on over 1200 plant specimens collected during Sloane's voyage to Jamaica (1687 - 1689) hosted by The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.

Paul Hermann Herbarium. Five volumes containing over 1900 specimens and drawings from Hermann's years in Sri Lanka (1672 - 1677) hosted by The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.

The George Clifford Herbarium. A complete database with images for the whole herbarium covering over 3,000 specimens of great historical importance hosted by The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.