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

Hooker’s Onion

March 22, 2017 10:36 am

Allium acuminatum We are fortunate to have six species of attractive native flowering onions in British Columbia. Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) is widespread. […]

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February 9, 2017 10:45 am

Heracleum maximum Many of the vegetables we eat came originally from Europe, Asia and Latin America. The aboriginal peoples of British Columbia were […]

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Mountain Sorrel

February 6, 2017 11:13 am

Oxyria dignya Wild nibbles make a pleasant treat while hiking in the bush. Most often the tasty treat con­sists of berries of one […]

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January 31, 2017 10:45 am

Rubus parviflorus British Columbia is home to shrubs with many uses. For ex­ample our Oregon-grapes (Berberis or Mahonia species) make excellent year-round or­namentals, […]

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