The role of botanic gardens in an urban setting

The story of the University of Dundee’s Botanic Garden is one of transformation across time and function.

It is the story of not just a garden in isolation but of a site for learning and teaching, and now the wider urban ecosystem that it exists in.

This talk will look back over the garden’s 50-year journey to reflect on its evolution as a site with agency and a role to play in addressing anthropogenic change, locally and globally.

Explore the garden’s role in progressing nature-based solutions, drawing insights from its diverse living collection and historic landscapes, propelled through novel citizen-powered data ecosystems for inclusive and green urban transitions.

Discover how Dundee Botanic Garden, can act as an agent of change locally, from a curatorial perspective that is concerned with anthropogenic global change.


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Professor John Grace


Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

John obtained his BSc and PhD at the University of Sheffield before coming to Edinburgh as a Lecturer in Ecology at Edinburgh University. He is a past President of the Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS) and of the British Ecological Society. As a Professor at the University of Edinburgh he has been engaged in ecological research, mostly relating to large-scale ecophysiology in temperate and tropical regions. Since his retiral from the University he has been leading the Urban Flora project of the BSS, and working with colleagues in China and the Czech Republic on issues of global change. He is a founding Editor of the BSS’s journal Plant Ecology and Diversity.

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Kevin Frediani 


Kevin Frediani 

Curator of Botanic Garden and Grounds, University of Dundee

Kevin has a background in sustainable land use and placemaking gained from over thirty years training and working in living and cultural heritage settings. He trained at the universities of Plymouth, Nottingham, Cambridge, Surrey and UHI. His work and research interests have followed a journeymanship he was encouraged to follow that has led to him working in botanic gardens, zoos, conservation landscapes and heritage gardens that have helped inform his work and informed his agency. As the current Curator of Botanic Gardens and Grounds at the University of Dundee he is exploring how space become places, imbued with emotion and is collaborating to pilot this approach in Dundee and across Tayside.

In partnership with
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Thursday September 21st, 2023 18:00-19:30


The Royal Society of Edinburgh