New perspectives on climbing plants

Last updated: 2 Oct, 2014

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The Linnean Society of London, London, 22–22 October 2014



The New Phytologist Trust is proud to be sponsoring 'New perspectives on climbing plants' which is taking place in London at the The Linnean Society of London and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in October this year. 


Full details can be found below and in the linked pages.


“The tendril has done its work and has done it in an admirable manner”

Charles Darwin 1865 -The movements and habits of climbing plants


Climbing plants have fascinated botanists for centuries: from the time of Darwin and his contemporaries up to the present. The significance of vines and lianas for the world’s ecosystems is under intense debate, particularly for tropical and sub-tropical environments.


With on-going studies indicating that vines and lianas are increasing in ecological importance, it is becoming increasingly necessary to renew, intensify and coordinate research on all aspects of climbing plants.


This meeting will provide a renewed focus for the understanding of these fascinating and often bizarre plants. In a thematically diverse programme, world experts will explore the biology, ecology, evolution, functional biology, biomechanics, anatomy and development of vines and lianas.


The schedule will also include studies investigating the potential of climbing plant diversity for biomimetic research: an exciting example of the search for bio-inspired materials and technologies from the natural world.


  • Why are climbing plants increasing in ecological importance?
  • What functional traits underlie this increase?
  • What are the mechanics, physics and chemistry behind attachment mechanisms?
  • What evolutionary patterns underlie this diversity and success?
  • How does climate change – increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 – influence their growth?
  • What methods and tools (identification keys, data base technologies, ecological approaches, study plots, experimentation) do we need to develop and improve?
  • What properties of vines and lianas are useful for biomimetics research?



Confirmed speakers for this meeting are:


  • Stefan Schnitzer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
  • Wendy Silk, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • Ernesto Gianoli, Universidad de la Serena, Chile
  • Veronica Angyalossy, Universidade de Sãu Paulo, Brazil
  • Saara DeWalt, Clemson University, SC, USA.
  • Bill Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.
  • Robyn Burnham, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • Nick Rowe,CNRS Montpellier, France
  • Thomas Speck, Botanischer Garten, Universität Freiburg, Germany
  • Marcelo Pace, Universidade de Sãu Paulo, Brazil.
  • Cloé Paul-Victor, Botanischer Garten, Universität Freiburg, Germany.
  • Jennifer Powers, University of Minnesota, MN, USA
  • Sandrine Isnard, Centre IRD and Herbarium, Nouméa, New Caledonia


A full programme can be found here


For more information and registration details, please visit the website at: