Dr Alan Forrest

Biodiversity Scientist

Alan completed both his MSc and PhD at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He has held postdoctoral and technical positions at the University of Edinburgh, the Real Jardin Botanico (CSIC) in Madrid and at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He is a certified IUCN Red List assessor and trainer.

Alan joined the CMEP team in 2011.

Alan currently manages projects on the sustainable use of plant species in Tajikistan, and a range of programmes on Soqotra including incorporating phylogenetic diversity into conservation strategies, integrating cultural and natural heritage into conservation strategies, and conservation assessments across the Arabian Peninsula. He has worked with a range of National and global partners in a range of countries across Arabia, southwest and central Asia. A current focus combining these skills is the genus Boswellia (frankincense) which is distributed across Africa, Arabia and south Asia with a range of widespread and narrow endemic species that are harvested, used and traded for a number of purposes.

His research interests include:

  • using complementary molecular, field and spatial techniques to address knowledge gaps to inform management strategies for plant habitats, Protected Areas and taxa of conservation concern;
  • the sustainable use of plant species to achieve conservation outcomes and improve sustainable livelihoods;
  • the causes of differentiation within and among populations and species, and how such differences are maintained or broken down;
  • the evolution of plant reproductive strategies and their impact on differentiation processes.