Dr. Richard Hebda

Curator of Botany and Earth History (Emeritus)

Richard Hebda joined the Royal BC Museum in 1980 and retired after 37 years in 2017. Richard was Curator of Botany and Earth History from 1986 until retirement and remains active in museum research projects. Since 1984 he has held a faculty positions and taught at the University of Victoria (Biology, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Environmental Studies). His PhD in botany is from the University of British Columbia.

Richard studies plant fossils and their distribution over time and place to shed light on the condition, history and evolution of BC’s landscape and climate. He also studies ethnobotany of BC First Nations, restoration of natural systems and processes, ecology and origins of Garry Oak and alpine ecosystems and botany of grasses.

With his graduate students, he has written more than 130 scientific papers and 250 popular articles. He has co-authored or co-editor of eight books and major reports, and served as the province’s expert advisor on Burns Bog and science advisor on paleontology. He has been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for his work in palaeontology and the national Bruce Naylor award for natural history curatorship.


PhD, Botany, University of British Columbia

Areas of Interest

Impacts of climate change on ecosystems

Restoration of natural systems and processes

Timing and extent of the last ice age

Specialty: Vegetation and climate history of BC

Contact Dr. Richard Hebda

Email: hebda@shaw.ca

Latest Articles

Pacific Crab Apple

January 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Malus fusca Have you sometimes wondered what the wild ancestors of our highly-bred food plants may have looked like? The wild apples that […]

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January 17, 2017 11:17 am

Achillea millefolium Numerous plant species release strong scents when brushed. In the past, these smells were taken as a sign that the plant […]

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Common Woolly Sunflower

January 9, 2017 9:49 am

Eriophyllum lanatum Traditional garden plants often have substitute native species, often hardier, less invasive and easier to manage. The native tall Oregon-grape (Mahonia […]

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January 6, 2017 10:13 am

Empetrum nigrum Heathers (Calluna species) and heaths (Erica species) are popular ground cover plants worldwide. True heathers and heaths are not native to […]

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Alaskan Bunchberry

January 5, 2017 1:57 pm

Cornus unalaschkensis British Columbia forests are re­nowned for the trees they grow. Wi­thin these great forests there are other botanical treasures that live […]

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