Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: Humble plants that hide surprising secrets

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In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l’ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the iconic baobab tree, which could hold the key to the future of food. Plus: monkey apples.

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is a chemist and a gardener (and she has a collection of 200 bonsai) and 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.

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