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Susanne Masters

Susanne Masters, PhD Candidate - Endless forms


Email: Susanne.Masters@naturalis.nl
Phone: 071-5271910
Room number: Sylvius laboratories 6.4.15A


Susanne worked as consultant on botanicals in the spa industry. She received an MSc in Ethnobotany in 2011 at the University of Kent. She works with distilleries on ingredient selection for flavour, brand identity, and sustainable supply chains.


Research interest

Susanne is interested in uses of orchids as resources, in particular as food and medicine. Bearing in mind threats to wild plant populations caused by their socio-economic value Susanne investigates options for supporting rural livelihoods while maintaining wild plant populations, and possibilities presented by horticultural propagation and cultivation.


orchids, wildlife trade, cultivation, salep, wild harvesting

Current research topics

In her PhD research at Leiden University under the supervision of Dr Barbara Gravendeel, Dr Hugo de Boer and Prof dr Tinde van Andel Susanne is examining global trade in salep. Her research aims to establish what is known about past and present trade in edible orchids known as salep, and use this information to project future solutions to address conservation concerns about wild populations of these orchids. Orchid tuber collection in Turkey and Iran has been estimated to annually use tubers from 35.5-126.1 million orchid plants. Methods and tools being used to evaluate and review past and present trade in orchids for salep include historical collections, market sampling, DNA barcoding and metabarcoding. Future solutions are being trailed including sustainable harvesting methods and cultivation resources. This research has significant applications for the conservation of biodiversity, livelihoods tied to wild harvesting, and of traditional foods.




Available student projects