LONDON, U.K.―Leading Ethiopian botanical scientist, Professor Sebsebe Demissew, has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, becoming the first ever Sub-Saharan African scientist to be elected in the Society’s 357-year history.

On 13th July 2018, Professor Sebsebe was formally admitted to the Society at the Admissions Day ceremony, where he signed the Charter Book and the Obligation of the Fellows of the Royal Society.

This follows an announcement, in May 2018, that sixty eminent scientists from around the world have been elected as Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society, in recognition for their exceptional contributions to science.

Professor Sebsebe has been made a Foreign Member for his lifelong work on promoting Ethiopian biodiversity and the direct benefit this has daily for people in his country, and right across Africa, and joins the likes of Elon Musk and Jim Al-Khalili.

Professor Sebsebe said:

I am honored and delighted to become a Foreign Member. I see my election as an honor for all African Scientists and collaborators. This is a sign that the quality of our work is being recognized internationally. I hope that I will be able to use my membership of the Royal Society for further strengthening links between scientists in the UK and Africa in general and those that aspire to be Future Leaders of African Independent Research, in particular. In being a member, I am inspired to contribute to the improvement of the quality of education and scientific research in Ethiopia.

Sebsebe Demissew, PhD, is Professor of Plant Systematics and Biodiversity in Addis Ababa University and Executive Director of the Gullele Botanic Garden in Addis Ababa. His research has documented 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 is named in his honor Aloe weloensis Sebsebe.

Professor Sebsebe is a recipient of the prestigious Kew International Medal, an annual award given to individuals for distinguished, internationally-recognized work aligned with the mission of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK), where he is an Honorary  Research Fellow. He also received an honorary doctorate from Nottingham University in 2010 and is an Honorary Professor at the University’s School of Biosciences.

Continue reading this story at Ethiopian Embassy UK
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