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1st Class Joint Honours Degree in Geography and Botany, University of London (1976)

Honorary Doctorate, University of Ghent (2013)


Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI): May 2005 - February 2015

Responsible for the strategic development of BGCI and the organisation’s worldwide programmes, which address the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity, environmental education and biodiversity policy. BGCI works with the CBD Secretariat linking the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) with the Aichi Targets of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. BGCI provides the Secretariat of the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group which I co-chair. The Group is responsible for promoting and implementing projects to identify, conserve and restore globally Red Listed tree species and BGCI is a member of the IUCN Red List Partnership.

 Global Programmes Director, Fauna & Flora International (FFI):  August 1998 – June 2004

Responsible for the management and development of global programmes of FFI including the Global Trees Campaign, which aims to save globally threatened tree species and their habitats worldwide, Sustainable Use Programme and CITES Programme.

 Freelance Consultant: July 2004 – May 1995

Self-employed as a biodiversity researcher and policy advisor. Worked on the Global Trees Campaign & Review of Darwin Initiative for FFI; Analyses of CITES proposals for IUCN

Senior Projects Officer, World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC): May 1995 – July 1998

Manager of global projects including the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Trees project. Project outputs included a report on the conservation status of tree species worldwide with international policy recommendations and a threatened tree database. I managed various projects in support of CITES and served as EU Representative on the CITES Timber Working Group.

 Freelance Consultant: September 1984 – April 1995

Self-employed as a biodiversity researcher and policy advisor. Contracts included:  

  • Coordinator and principal researcher for ITTO study of conservation status of tropical timbers in trade carried out by WCMC.
  • CITES Plant Significant Trade Studies undertaken for WCMC.
  • Evaluation of European Commission TREES project (mapping of tropical forests using satellite imagery) through user needs analysis.
  • Compiler of IUCN/SSC Status survey and action plan for cactus and succulent plants.
  • Researcher on Central American crop wild relative review project.
  • Manager of WWF-UK's UK Dependent Territories Programme and Chair of the UK Dependent Territories Conservation Forum, on behalf of WWF-UK.

Other activities included representing organisations (IUCN and WCMC) at international conservation meetings including CITES and ITTO Conferences; preparing CITES and World Heritage proposals; acting as Rapporteur for the UK Tropical Forest Forum; conference organisation for Planta Europa; preparing project funding applications; writing books, articles, and leaflets on a wide range of international biodiversity conservation issues.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Conservation Unit: 1979 – 1984

Work involved coordinating RBG Kew's role as Scientific Authority for plants in the implementation of CITES and collection of data on globally threatened plant species.

Nature Conservancy Council: 1977–1979

Work included ecological survey and assessment of peatland sites in Scotland.



Fellow of the Linnean Society

Botanical Society of British Isles

Fauna & Flora International (member of Oryx International Board of Editors)

International Dendrology Society (member of Board)

IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (Appointed Chair 2003)  

IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group

IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group

Environment Africa Trust (member of Board)

Swallowtail & Birdwing Butterfly Trust (Botanical Advisor)





  •  Leon, C., Oldfield, S.F. & Edwards, S. (Editors of English version). (2020) Miao Jianhu, Xiao Peigen, Huang Luqi et al. Conservation of Medicinal Plants. Science Press, Beijing.
  • Oldfield, S.F., Olwell, P., Havens, K. & Shaw, N. (2019) Seeds of Restoration Success: Wild Lands and Plant Diversity in the U.S. Springer Nature, Switzerland.
  • Oldfield S.F. (2018) Trends in Biodiversity, Plants, In: Dominick A. DellaSala, and Michael I. Goldstein (eds.) The Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, vol.[3], pp. 145-150. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Oldfield, S. (2018) The US National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration: Progress and prospects. Plant Biology.doi:10.1111/plb.12851
  • Barstow, M., Oldfield, S., Westwood, M., Jerome, D., Beech, E. and Rivers, M. (2018) The Red List of Fraxinus. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK.  
  •  Beech, E., Rivers, M., Oldfield, S. & Smith, P. (2017) GlobalTreeSearch: The first complete global database of tree species and country distributions, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, DOI: 10.1080/10549811.2017.1310049
  • Blackmore, S. and Oldfield, S.F. (Editors). (2017) Plant Conservation Science and Practice. The role of botanic gardens. Cambridge University Press.
  • Oldfield, S. and Olwell, P. (2015) The right seed in the right place at the right time. BioScience 65(10):955-956.
  • Newton, A., Oldfield, S., Rivers, M., Mark, J., Schatz, G., Garavito, N.T. et al (2015) Towards a Global Tree Assessment. Oryx 49(3): 410-415.
  • Sharrock, S., Oldfield, S. and Wilson, O. (2014) Plant Conservation Report 2014: A review of progress in implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2011-2020. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montréal, Canada and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK. Technical Series No. 81.           
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2013) The evolving role of CITES in regulating the international timber trade.  RECIEL 22(3):291-300.  
  • Oldfield, S. & Jenkins, M. (2012) Wild flora for improved rural livelihoods. Case studies from Brazil, China, India and Mexico.  Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK.
  • Oldfield, S. & Newton, A.C. (2012) Integrated conservation of tree species by botanic gardens: a reference manual. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK.       
  • Pritchard, D., Fa, J. E., Oldfield, S. & Harrop, S.R. (2012) Bring the captive closer to the wild: redefining the role of ex situ conservation. Oryx 46 (1):18-23.      
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2011) Botanical gardens and the conservation of island floras. In: Bramwell, D. & Caujapé-Castells, J. (Eds.) The Biology of Island Floras. Cambridge University Press.           
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2010) Botanic gardens:modern day arks. New Holland Publishers UK Ltd. 
  • Oldfield, S. F. (2009). Botanic gardens and the conservation of tree species. Trends in Plant Science 14(11):581-83.           
  • Newton, A. & Oldfield, S. (2008) Red Listing the world’s tree species: a review of recent progress.  Endangered Species Research 6:137-147.         
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2007) Great Botanic Gardens of the World. New Holland Publishers UK Ltd.
  • Cicuzza, D., Newton, A. & Oldfield, S.F. (2007) The Red List of Magnoliaceae. Fauna & Flora International,Cambridge.           
  • Oldfield, S.F. & Eastwood, A. (2007) The Red List of Oaks. Fauna & Flora International, Cambridge.
  • Newton, A. & Oldfield, S.F. (2005) Forest policy, the precautionary principle and sustainable forest management. In: Cooney, R. and Dickson, B. (Eds.) Biodiversity and the Precautionary Principle. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London           
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2004) Deserts – the living drylands New Holland Publishers UK Ltd.
  • Oldfield, S.F. (Editor). (2003) The Trade in Wildlife. Regulation for Conservation. Earthscan Publications Ltd. London.
  • Oldfield, S.F. (2002) Rainforest. New Holland Publishers UK Ltd.
  • Jenkins, M., Oldfield, S.F. & Aylett, T. (2002) International Trade in African Blackwood. Fauna & Flora International.
  • Oldfield, S.F., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (1998) The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge.      
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1997) Cactus and succulent plants: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.         
  • Oldfield, S.F. and Sheppard, C. (1997) Conservation and research needs in the UK Dependent Territories. Journal of Applied Ecology 34: 1111-1211.
  • Cross, S. and Oldfield, S.F. (Compilers) (1996) UK Dependent Territories: A conservation review. UK Dependent Territories Conservation Forum, Cheddington, Bedfordshire.      
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1996) The appropriateness of species listings. In: Newton, J. (Ed.)  Planta Europa
  • Proc. First European Conference on the Conservation of Wild Plants. Hyerès, France, 2-8 September 1995.         
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1995) Rainforests. Cherrytree Press Ltd., Bath, Avon.      
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1994) Nomination of Gough, Tristan da Cunha Islands, for inclusion in the World Heritage  List. Submitted by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, UK to the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO.        
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1994) Protecting plants and their habitats under the EC Habitats Directive. Plantlife, London
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1993) International trade in Aloes. TRAFFIC Bulletin 14(1):25-32.    
  • Jenkins, M. and Oldfield, S.F. (1992) Wild plants in trade. TRAFFIC International, Cambridge.
  • Hepburn, I., Oldfield, S.F. and Thompson, K. (1992) UK Dependent Territories Ramsar Study: Stage 1. Submitted to The Department of the Environment. Research Contract No.7/2/126.
  • Oldfield, S.F. (Senior editor and compiler) (1991) Pre-project study on the conservation status of tropical timbers in trade. World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge. (Report for ITTO).
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1990) The international trade in bulbs. TRAFFIC  Bulletin 11(2/3):34-36.      
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1990) IOS Code of Conduct. Piante Grasse Supp. 4 Vol. 10.        
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1989) Bulb propagation and trade study. World Wildlife Fund US.
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1989) The tropical chainsaw massacre. New Scientist 23.9.89 pp. 54-57.   
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1988) Rare tropical timbers. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK .
  • Oldfield, S.F. (1987) Fragments of paradise. A guide for conservation in the UK dependent territories. BANC/WWF. Pisces Publications.     
  •  Oldfield, S.F. (1987) Buffer zone management in tropical moist forests. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.