Dr Shahina Ghazanfar

BSc (Punjab), MSc (Cantab), PhD (Cantab)

Phyllis & Eileen Gibbs Travelling Research Fellow

College Roles

  • Phyllis & Eileen Gibbs Travelling Research Fellow


Email: sg2083@cam.ac.uk


Dr Shahina A. Ghazanfar studied Biology and Chemistry, and continued on in Botany for her MSc at the Punjab University, Pakistan. She pursued for her PhD in Plant Taxonomy at the University of Cambridge as an 1851 Exhibition Scholar. Dr Shahina A. Ghazanfar worked as a lecturer and carried out research in plant taxonomy at the Agricultural Institute in Pakistan for the Flora of Pakistan project, Bayero University in Nigeria, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, and made major contributions to the floras of these countries. Dr Ghazanfar joined the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2001 as co-editor for the Flora of Tropical East Africa and later as editor and author of the Flora of Iraq. She is now Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is a Gibbs Fellow at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

Dr Ghazanfar’s interest and expertise is in the floras, vegetation, biogeography and conservation of the plants of the Middle East. Her book (co-editor M. Fisher), Vegetation of the Arabian Peninsula (1998: Springer) is a reference on the vegetation and biogeography for that region. She has been involved in major restoration and conservation projects in the Arabian Peninsula and has advised on native plants for the restoration of degraded habitats, for landscaping, and as potential for horticulture. Her research extends to the study of plants of medicinal, historical and economic importance of the Middle East. As an associate professor at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, she founded the country’s first institutional herbarium. This involved extensive fieldwork in Oman, leading to the publication of the four-volume Flora of Oman (2003-2018). Her work extends to practical applications, with the Handbook of Arabian Medicinal Plants (1994: CRC Press). Her work at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, resulted in the jointly (with G. Keppel) published Trees of Fiji, as well as distance teaching to five Pacific nations. Dr Ghazanfar is currently completing the final volume of the Flora of Iraq, and is researching into the historical and present uses of plants of medicinal importance of the Middle East.