Sebsebe Demissew

Professor Sebsebe Demissew

Full Name Name: Sebsebe

Father’ s name: Demissew

Grandfather’s  name: Woodmatas

Education Attended
  • B Sc in General Biology, Biology Department, Science Faculty, Addis Ababa University, 1977
  • M Sc, in Botany with emphasis on ecology and taxonomy, Biology Department,  Science Faculty, Addis Ababa University, 1980.
  • PhD in Systematic Botany, Institute of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 1985.
Academic Rank Full Professor  since 1998
Working for AAU Since 1977/78
Administrative position held Dean, Faculty of Science (now College of Natural Sciences), 1996-2000

Keeper of the National Herbarium and Leader of the Ethiopian Flora Project (1996 -2010)



Recognitions… membership of International Bodies/journals-

Editorial roles/ initiatives etc.

  • Member of the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, since 1987.
  • Member of the Biological Society of Ethiopia since 1990 and served as President 1996-2000.
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Nottingham, UK in July 2010.
  • Special Professor of Biodiversity in the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham since June 2010.
  • The recipient of the 2002 Dennis Stanfield Award of the Linnean Society.
  • Award winner of the 1993 Senior Fulbright Grant selected by J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board under the Educational Exchange Act sponsored by the United States Information Agency.
  • The National Winner of the 1993 Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize for young scientists in the south in the field of Biology.
  • Distinguished Keiser Lectures in Life Sciences from 26-28 October, 2011 at Ohio Northern University (
  • Fellow & Board Member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, since April 2010.
  • Member of the Royal Danish Academic of Sciences and Letters since 10 April 2008.
  • Honorary Research Fellow of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK since Dec. 2002.
  • Member of the Regional Working Group on Wetlands within Nile Basin initiative 2007-2010
  • Member of the International Association of Plant Taxonomists since 1985.
  • Member of the AETFAT (Association pour l’Etude Taxonomique de la Flore d’Afrique Tropicale), since 1984 and  the Secretary General, 2000-2003.
  • Member of the Natural Products Research Network for Eastern and Central Africa (NAPRECA), since 1984.
  • Member of the Mountain Society, since 1987.
  • Member of the National Heritage Trust since 1994 and served as Vice President, 1998-2004
  • Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Tianjin, China, on 18 September 2012.
  • Member of the Council of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) for the period 2011-2017
  • Member Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) for the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for 2013 and 2014.
  • International Advisory Board of the Journal of Kew Bulletin –  An International Journal for Taxonomy and Systematics of Plants and Fungi since 2007.
  • Associate Editor of the Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences, 2002-2006

Co-editor of Volumes 2(1) (2000); 5 (2006) and , 6 (1997) of the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Uppsala, Sweden. Printed by the EMPDA, Ministry of Education..

Coordinator of a thematic Research project on project on the Restoration of Upper Awash and Ghibé Watersheds, and Western Escarpments of the Central Rift Valley: Mechanisms for Re-establishing Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functions, and Livelihoods

Establishing an international identity for the frankincense and myrrh resins of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia for sustainable trade in this important arid land resource.

Address Campus: Arat Kilo

Building: National Herbarium & Natural History Museum

Floor No.: Ground Floor

Office Room No: 101

Mobile: +251-911-247616

University e-mail ID:

Alternative e-mail ID:


Research Interests Plant biodiversity and vegetation in E and NE Africa and the Arabian peninsula with emphasis on the use of these resources for economic development and environment rehabilitation.


Publications in reputable Journals See List below


Publications in reputable journals:

  1. Luna, J. A., Sebsebe Demissew,  Darbyshire, I. & Carine, M. (2013). The significance of one versus two styles: the return of  Seddera section Socotroseddera to Convolvulus.
  2. A. Muthama Muasya, Jan-Adriaan Viljoen, Meshack N. Dludlu and Sebsebe Demissew (2013.). Phylogenetic position of Cyperus clandestinus (Cypereae, Cyperaceae) clarified by morphological and molecular evidence. Nordic Journal of Botany 31: 001–009, 2013. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2012.01700.x.
  3. Eshetu Fentaw, Kifle Dagne, Nina Rønsted, Sebsebe Demissew & Olwen M. Grace (2013).  Karyotypes in Ethiopian Aloe species (Xanthorrhoeaceae:Asphodeloideae). Kew Bull. 68: 1 – 9 (2013). DOI 10.1007/S12225-013-9475-8.
  4. Matheos Agize, Sebsebe Demissew & Zemede Asfaw (2013). Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants in Loma and Gena Bosa Districts (Woredas) of Dawro Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Topclass Journal of Herbal Medicine Vol. 2(9) pp. 194-212, 26 Sept., 2013. Available online at
  5. Wendawek Abebe Mengesha, Sebsebe Demissew, M. F. Fay, R. J. Smith, I. Nordal & P. Wilkin (2013). Genetic diversity and population structure of Guinea yams and their wild relatives in South and South West Ethiopia as revealed by microsatellite markers. Genet Resour Crop Evol 60 (2): 529-541. DOI 10.1007/s10722-012-9856-0