You’ve heard of a philosopher king. But what about a biologist president? Ameenah Gurib-Fakim — the biologist who gave the TED Talk “Humble plants that hide surprising secrets” — was sworn in today as the sixth president of Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Africa, about 500 miles past Madagascar. Gurib-Fakim was appointed […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
She calls herself a chemist and a gardener (and she has a collection of 200 bonsai), but Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is the leading scientist studying the flora of one of the world's key biodiversity hotspots, the island of Mauritius. As the managing director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (Cephyr) and a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Mauritius, she explores and analyzes plants from the island and their health, nutritional and cosmetic applications.
She co-authored the African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the first resource of its kind, led the first regional research project on the inventory and study of medicinal and aromatic plants of the Indian Ocean, and was the lead coordinating author on the international assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development, spearheaded by the World Bank.
Ameenah was honored as one of Foreign Policy's 2015 Global Thinkers .
In June 2015, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim became the first female president of Mauritius.
What others say
“For a long time, people were suspicious of the "bad plants" that I was studying for their medical properties. Some called me "witch", and one night 20 years ago my lab was burned down.” — Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim’s TED talk
More news and ideas from Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
The theme of Session 4 is Field Work — and we’re hearing from people who get outside, who work in the field and hear what’s really going on. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is a professor at the University of Mauritius, and she’s here this morning to show us five plants unique to where she works and lives: the Mascarene Islands. […]Continue reading
The speakers in this session can’t be contained in a cubicle or desk chair. These bold thinkers — from an activist surfacing human rights on video to a scientist uncovering the biodiversity of her island nation — do their work out in the world, surfacing fresh insights as they go. The speakers who’ll appear in this session: […]Continue reading