Since 1980, John Wood has worked as a botanical consultant in gaps between educational contracts receiving paid work from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; German Technical Assistance GTZ; Cornell University; and Oxford University. This has included monographic research, flora writing and work for forestry, conservation and soil projects. From 2002 to 2006, John was field manager of the Oxford Plant Sciences Darwin project “Plant Endemism in the Central Andean Valleys of Bolivia”. From 2007-2011, field manager on behalf of Oxford Plant Sciences Darwin Project 16-004 “Conservation of the cerrados of Eastern Bolivia”.
John is currently working at the Department of Plant Sciences on Foundation Monograph project on the genera Convolvulus and Ipomoea. He has made over 30,000 botanical collections for institutions in the UK and national herbaria in countries in which he has worked, including over 22,000 in Bolivia, mostly in collaboration with Bolivian colleagues. He has been a visiting fellow at the Smithsonian Institution (2000), is an honorary research associate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and received the Bloomer prize from the Linnean Society in 1997 for “services to biology”.
John was featured in Nature in 2012 and in 2016 was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca in Sucre (Bolivia) for his work in education and botanical research in Bolivia.