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


January 4, 2017 2:33 pm

Amelanchier alnifolia Northern North America is not known as a source of important of fruit crops. Most of our familiar fruits such as […]

Read More »

June Plum

December 15, 2016 11:22 am

Oemleria cerasiformis Spring arrives early in south­western British Columbia, and many plants waste no time producing flowers. June or Indian Plum, known botanically […]

Read More »

Bigleaf Maple

December 14, 2016 1:24 pm

Acer macrophyllum We have long recognized the vital role of shade trees in creating a pleasant environment around our homes. Most shade tree […]

Read More »

Broad-leaved Stonecrop

December 5, 2016 3:46 pm

Sedum spathulifolium British Columbia is full of rocks, and rocks are not hospitable places to make a living. One group of plants, the […]

Read More »

Tall Oregon-grape

December 5, 2016 3:44 pm

Mahonia aquifolium British Columbia is home to a diverse collection of gorgeous native shrubs. Many of them produce edible wild fruit too. Few […]

Read More »