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Senior Curator (Upper Hillside Management Section)
Flora Conservation Department

Job Summary

To lead the delivery of the land management and horticultural work carried out by the Upper Hillside Management Section of the Flora Conservation Department, by devising and implementing regimes for the care of the living collections and landscapes located on KFBG’s middle and upper slopes. The post-holder will play a vital role in shaping the ecology, conservation value, aesthetics and visitor experience of a large swathe of KFBG, with a remit to enhance native biodiversity, develop world-class botanical displays and foster opportunities for public education.

The post-holder will manage, maintain and, where necessary, upgrade growing facilities to support the propagation of KFBG’s unique collection of native plants, many of them rare and threatened in the wild, with direct responsibility for three native plant nurseries. As such, s/he will be expected to coordinate field work in Hong Kong to bring a diverse selection of plants into cultivation (in line with existing permits and certificates) and oversee the application of appropriate horticultural practices for their long-term care. Moreover, the post-holder will be required to utilise the collections to enrich the natural areas and public displays of KFBG’s Upper Hillside, including extensive patches of secondary woodland in our nature reserve and seven theme gardens (Fern Walk, Seed Garden, Butterfly Garden, Magnolia Garden, Convent Garden, Ilex Garden and Orchid Haven). The post-holder will also need to ensure these sites remain safe and accessible for staff and public alike. The role involves managing three reporting lines currently comprising 18 staff.

The Senior Curator will work closely with the Senior Arborist, Horticultural Manager and Head of Flora Conservation Department to ensure programmes and projects synergise with overall departmental and organisation-wide strategy. The post-holder will play a key role in preparing written proposals and other concept documents for internal and external review. S/he must have a proven capacity to manage people and projects in a timely and cost-effective manner, and to communicate findings in the form of reports, presentations and management recommendations towards the enhanced protection of locally threatened plants and their habitats.

Major Responsibilities

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • Contribute to the design, development and maintenance of the botanic garden and nature reserve components of KFBG’s estate, within parameters agreed with the Head of Flora Conservation Department, Horticultural Manager and Senior Arborist.
  • Lead and administer a team of nursery, gardening and landscaping staff, currently comprising a head count of 18.
  • Plan and execute land management and horticultural projects aimed at enhancing the ecological value and visitor experience of KFBG’s nature reserve and seven upper theme gardens.
  • Apply species-specific knowledge of the flora of South China and applied nursery management experience for the development of horticultural regimes for priority threatened plants.
  • Implement ex situ and in situ approaches to plant conservation, in line with international standards and in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Assist in raising the status of native plants and vegetation in the management of KFBG’s estate, through the introduction of appropriate horticultural workflows and by advocating ecologically-minded planting in internal forums at all hierarchical levels in the organisation.
  • Contribute to the development of departmental programmes, strategy and horticultural standards.
  • Participate in inter-departmental fora to enhance organisation-wide standards in nature conservation and site management.
  • Prepare and justify an annual budget for all aspects of the running of the Upper Hillside Section, including both operational and capital items.
  • Assist in the recruitment of qualified horticultural staff and in the training of students, interns, volunteers and entry-grade staff as needed.
  • Liaise with and engage external contractors and consultants as needed.
  • Be an enthusiastic champion of ecological horticulture and evidence-based nature reserve management for the benefit of local plants throughout Hong Kong.
  • Provide training and outreach to different stakeholders in fields including (but not limited to) horticulture, ecology and conservation.
  • Represent KFBG at international meetings and symposia.

Other Duties

In addition, the post-holder may occasionally be asked to:

  • Help with other administrative duties and ad hoc activities, including leading guided tours, conceptualising and setting up exhibitions, and giving presentations, as needed.
  • Strive to work in line with KFBG values, in pursuit of the Vision and Mission of the organisation, and to self-assess your performance in this regard.
  • Participate in activities arranged by KFBG to develop the culture of the organisation.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in horticulture, forestry, plant ecology or biodiversity conservation, and ideally a higher degree in a similar/related field.
  • At least five years’ relevant experience in the botanic gardens, NGO or nature conservation sector, of which at least three years in a leading position.
  • Familiarity with established ecological restoration practice would be a distinct asset, as would nursery management experience.
  • Working knowledge of the flora of Hong Kong and South China is critical to this post. Applicants should have demonstrable knowledge of the plants of this region (or at least that of tropical/subtropical Asia) and will be expected to continually expand their familiarity of the flora through ongoing field work, learning on-the-job and professional development.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and ideally Cantonese.
  • Ability to work in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team.
  • Physically fit and comfortable working outdoors in a range of weather conditions for extended periods.
  • A full driving license (Classes I and II) would be an asset.
  • Willing to work occasionally on weekends or public holidays, as needed (compensation leave will be provided).

Interested parties should send their CV (including list of publications) and cover letter (describing relevant work experience, reasons for interest in the post and expected salary) to the HR Manager, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Corporation, Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, or email