Follow the Fellows: Preserving Traditional Plant Knowledge in Thailand

by Melissa Harding


The Botany in Action Fellowship program at Phipps fosters the development of the next generation of plant-based scientists who are committed both to excellent research and educational outreach. Open to PhD students enrolled at US graduate institutions and conducting plant-based scientific field research, the BIA program provides Fellows with funding for use towards field research in the US or abroad and a trip to Phipps, to engage in science outreach training and opportunities to share his or her research with a broad range of public audiences.

Current BIA Fellows are engaged in local research in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland and research abroad in Nepal, Thailand, India, and Brazil. Their work covers topics ranging from the role of green roof plants in urban storm water management to the effects of plant invasion on a rare woodland butterfly.

December’s Featured Fellow is Lisa Offringa. Lisa is a PhD student in a joint program between The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden. Her research focuses on finding plants to prevent the progression memory disorders of the elderly, such as dementia. Lisa studies plants in Northern Thailand, working with traditional healers to try to identify plants that can help fight these disorders. She recently completed the development of a community medical garden to be used by traditional village healers as a way to keep traditional plant knowledge alive in the community.

Read an update on Lisa’s research and life as a scientist at the Botany In Action website!

You can follow Lisa and all of the BIA fellows as they study plants across the US and across the world at the Follow the Fellows section of our Botany In Action website.

The following Botany In Action update was written by Amanda Joy, Botany in Action Fellowship coordinator.

The above image was provided by Lisa Offringa.

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