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Dr Cathy Offord

Head of Australian PlantBank Research


Dr Cathy Offord is the foremost expert on plant germplasm conservation in NSW and we are lucky to have her as our Principal Research Scientist and manager of the Australian PlantBank based at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. 

Cathy grew up in far western NSW. Influenced by both her science teacher mother and her deep exposure to Australian flora and fauna, Cathy studied biology and agriculture from a young age. 

Since commencing her career, Cathy has published more than 130 peer-reviewed and edited publications and has contributed to crucial conservation research and practice in Australia and around the world. 

While her expertise is wide and varied, Cathy has a particular focus on a number of species. She began her research with a focus on propagating NSW’s own Waratah, and while that fascination continues today her research field has expanded to include several key Australian species such as the Flannel flower. One of her greatest passions remains the Wollemi Pine, Australia’s own ‘living fossil’. Cathy continues to play a pivotal role in research into the Wollemi Pine and its protection. 

Cathy is currently at the helm of one of our most crucial projects, the Rainforest Seed Conservation Project. This project is fundamental in advancing our knowledge and ability in the storage of seeds from around Australia, making it a vital aspect of the overall conservation of our plant and animal life. 

Research Interests

  • Ex situ conservation including seed storage and tissue culture
  • Reproductive biology, especially seed biology
  • Horticultural development of Australian Plants
  • Translocation of threatened species

Current Projects