Prof. Sebsebe Demissew’s work on indigenous plants is ‘highly significant’ for the people in the region. He will present a lecture on Ethiopia’s flora at Kew in 2017 during Kew International Medal ceremony and the British Embassy in Addis Ababa will host an event to celebrate.
Prof. Sebsebe Demissew, a leading Ethiopian botanical scientist, has been selected to be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Kew International Medal. The Medal is an annual award given to individuals for distinguished, internationally-recognized work aligned with the mission of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK), to be the global resource for plant and fungal knowledge, building an understanding of the world’s plants and fungi upon which all our lives depend.
A reception to celebrate this award takes place at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa on October 20th and he has also been invited to give a lecture in London at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in early 2017.
In selecting Prof. Demissew, RBG, Kew acknowledges his lifelong work on promoting Ethiopian biodiversity and the direct benefit this has daily for people in his country, and right across Africa.
Professor Kathy Willis, Director of Science, RBG Kew said, “Professor Sebsebe is a highly influential and charismatic leader in the field of botanical science, exactly the type of person who we want to acknowledge with this award. In recognizing his vast contribution, we hope to shine a light on the importance of knowing what plants are in any given country but also what needs to be protected and conserved to protect people’s livelihoods too. Kew’s rich history of collaboration around the world and the dedication to biodiversity relies upon partnerships like this if we are to jointly address the mounting challenges facing our planet.”
Prof. Demissew’s career at Addis Ababa University, where he has been a Professor in the College of Natural Sciences since 1998 and the Dean of the College from 1996-2000, has been dominated by research documenting the plant resources and vegetation of Ethiopia and Eritrea and their use by indigenous communities. He led the Ethiopian Flora Project from 1996 to its successful completion in 2009 involving 91 scientists from 17 countries. He has published over 50 new plant taxa and a species named in his honor.
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