Lotte von Richter

Science Facilities Coordinator


Lotte von Richter plays a vital role at the Botanic Gardens of Sydney as the Science Facilities Coordinator at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. With over 28 years’ experience at the Gardens and a wealth of accumulated knowledge – including a degree and a Masters in Agricultural Science (BscAgr and MSAgr) – Lotte is responsible for the running of the laboratories in the award-winning Australian PlantBank facility.

Lotte oversees the maintenance and procurement of equipment used by scientists for their research, serves as the liaison for tradespeople working in the building, provides training to new staff, volunteers, and students, manages finances, and offers general support to the team. 

One of Lotte's best memories at work involved growing hundreds of flowering flannel flowers in display beds – a project aimed at developing flannel flowers as a cut flower crop, and witnessing the success of the endeavour, which brought her great satisfaction. She is also proud of her part in conducting propagation experiments to determine the optimal temperature for seed germination of Cumberland Plain plant species, resulting in an exceptional outcome of 1,000 seedlings from 1,000 seeds of Brunoniella australis – the only time this has ever happened. 

Lotte's extensive corporate knowledge allows her to provide logical solutions to a wide range of questions and makes her the go-to person at the Australian PlantBank. No two days at work are the same for Lotte – her role is by nature reactive and dynamic, but she loves the variety of tasks and the wonderful colleagues she works with.  

On any given day she may conduct laboratory inductions, offer facility tours, handle financial requests, receive deliveries, or engage in tissue culture work (a method of biological research in which fragments of tissue from a plant are transferred to an artificial environment in which they can continue to survive and function). In recognition of her dedication and achievements she was nominated by her colleagues and received the Garden’s Quiet Achievers Award in 2022. 

Among her favourite plants, Lotte has a special fondness for fragrant roses like the Mr Lincoln, with its dark velvety red blooms and a lovely fragrance. Much of Lotte's childhood was spent following her father around in his work as a groundsman and green keeper, which instilled in her a passion for plants that continues today, still spending every Saturday gardening together at his home.

Her hope for the Botanic Gardens of Sydney is to witness its continued excellence in horticulture and botanical science.