Follow the Fellows: Interviewing Traditional Healers to Learn About Medicinal Plants

by Melissa Harding

Jacquet field photo

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 research in locales from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Illinois to Nepal and India. Their work covers topics ranging from the role of green roofs in urban biodiversity and the influence of heavy metal soil pollution on plants and pollinators to identification of plants used by healers that protect brain cells from the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

November’s Featured Fellow is Aurelie Jacquet. Aurelie a PhD student at Purdue University. She is from France and learning about America culture as well as ethnobotany while studying at Purdue. Aurelie is studying the medicinal plants used in Nepalese and Native American traditional medicine to try to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. She interviews traditional healers in Nepal and North America to learn about medicinal plants. She also studies these plants in the lab to identify which plants have healing properties.  Her work could help people all over the world who have Parkinson’s disease.

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

You can follow Aurelie 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 photo is used courtesy of Aurelie Jacquet.

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