Dr Chris Stapleton has 33 years experience as a bamboo specialist. He holds an honours degree in forestry
and a PhD in bamboo taxonomy from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
After working on the enumeration and propagation of native Himalayan bamboos for forestry projects in Nepal and Bhutan, he moved on to their taxonomy and identification, because different systems of classification were in use, and many of the bamboos did not even have scientific names at all. As well as working for the University of Aberdeen, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and as a contractor for the Missouri Botanical Garden, he was on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for 8 years, undertaking research into bamboo systematics and nomenclature, reorganising the herbarium collections of dried bamboo specimens, and updating many of the bamboo names in the living collections.
He has published a substantial number of papers and books, and co-authored the bamboo account in the Flora of China, which names and describes half the bamboo species of the world. He has undertaken extensive collaborative fieldwork with local botanists and foresters in the Himalayas and China to further biodiversity knowledge, a by-product of which has been the naming and introduction of a few interesting bamboos new to western horticulture.
He has lectured on bamboos in the US, and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Bamboo Society as International Director. He is now an Honorary Life Member of the ABS, and Editor of the ABS Species List, which standardises names for bamboos in cultivation. He is a life Member of the International Dendrology Society, and was an Honorary Research Associate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He lives in the Chiltern Hills of Southern England.
Contact Chris for advice and collaboration, and for identification and consultancy services, undertaken on a non-profit basis to support research & education in bamboo biodiversity and conservation, and the expansion of this website.