Kay received her PhD in Environmental Anthropology at Kent in 2018.
Her doctoral research explored what happens to human-plant relationships as the seed of a wild plant passes through the conservation process and is ‘saved’. Through extended periods of ethnographic research and value surveys in several of RBG Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership projects, her research traces ‘the seed’, as both a living object and as a potent conservation symbol, through the seed conservation process.
Her research was supported by an ESRC studentship grant and was in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew.
She also has an MSc in Ethnobotany from Kent, and a BA In Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics.
She now is a policy advisor for DEFRA in London and the co-editor of the new webzine T.E.A.The Ethnobotanical Assembly.
She has already published widely on her research:
Lewis-Jones, Kay E. 2018. A Seed in Stasis: Seed Banking and the Gardening of the Wild, In Botanical Drift, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll and Petra Lange-Berndt (eds). Berlin: Sternberg Press.
Lewis-Jones, Kay E. 2016. “Useful to Us in Unknown Ways”: Seed Conservation and the Quest for Novel Human-Plant Relationships for the 21 Century. Journal of Ethnobiology 36 (1): 66-84.