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The Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management (AAU) Launches the New Herbarium Specimen Cabinet

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The Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management (DPBBM) launches the new herbarium specimen cabinet on 12 July 2017. The event took place in the presence of Prof. Dr. Engineer Abebe Dinqu (Vice-President of Institutional Development of AAU) who was the guest of honor representing Prof. Admassu Tsegaye, the President of Addis Ababa University.

The Department Chair of the DPBBM, Dr. Tigist Wondimu, explained that the National Herbarium (ETH) is the sole institution where plant specimens are deposited at the National level with of the country where more than 100,000 plant specimens representing 6000 plant species including about 500 of type specimens (prototype) are deposited. The Chair further stated that about 10% are endemic to Ethiopia. She also mentioned these species are not only unique to the country but also considered as souvenirs to the country.

Prof. Sebsebe Demisew, Keeper of the National Herbarium, gave a presentation about the progress and buildup of scientific information at the National Herbarium. In his speech, Prof. Sebsebe said that botanical research and expedition started with the establishment of the Department of Biology in the 1950s, and then the Herbarium was established in 1959. He also gave an insight that the National Herbarium is a place where many of the professors of the Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management had studied and gained information to the respective studies. The National Herbarium is not only the depository of plant specimens, Prof. Sebsebe explained, but also an inception area for project ideas that involve plants. Currently, the herbarium is partly refurbished by modern cabinet system, which save space and protects the specimen against insect damages.

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In the discussion opened for the audiences, the Dean of the College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Dr. Shibiru Temesgen appreciated the efforts made so far and gave further encouraging statements about future prospects for improving the existing situation.

Prof. Abebe Dinque also gave very encouraging statements in his speech. Prof. Abebe Dinqu recognized the high performance of the Department in graduate studies mainly with PhD training, and promised that this highly efficient Department will be fully supported by the University.

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