The Linnean Society of London Awards Professor Sebsebe Demissew (AAU)

The Linnean Society of London awarded Professor Sebsebe Demissew from Addis Ababa University (AAU, Ethiopia) as one of those honored for recognizing the contributions of amateur naturalists to the wider biological sciences at its annual medal and award winners’deliberation event held in London last week, on the 7th of April 2022.

Professor  Sebsebe received the Society’s award of the Linnean Medal-Botany (for services to science) section to recognize his dedication of work on the Ethiopian flora as has been grounded in respect for and the preservation of traditional knowledge, the Society’s report indicated.

Besides to the present Linnean Society’s award, Professor Sebsebe was honoured the Kew International Medal in 2016; the Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA in 2021; and elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2018 for “outstanding contributions to research and innovation”.

Sebsebe Demissew is a Professor of Plant Systematics and Biodiversity in Addis Ababa University and Executive Director of the Gullele Botanic Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He obtained his PhD in Systematic Botany from the Institute of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Sweden in 1985 for research on the botany of the Maytenus genus of plants in tropical Africa and Arabia.

Sources show that Professor Sebsebe Demissew served as the Leader of the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea between 1996 and 2009 in collaboration with Inga Hedberg in which 6,000 species with 10% endemic species were documented.

Projects that addressed floristics, biosystematics, vegetation, evolution in Afro alpine environments and under-utilized indigenous cropsinvolving postgraduate students are some of the successful collaborative research projects that Professor Sebsebe participated with universities in Europe and Africa.

Professor Sebsebe has authored and co-authored 6 (six) books, published more than140 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and 24 flora accounts on the vegetation and plants of Ethiopia and Africa, his CV shows.

Being a member of national and international professional organizations and also serving with high ranking responsibilities, is one of Professor Sebsebe’s dedication he devoted unreservedly for his country, the continent and the world altogether.

The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active learned society devoted to natural history, founded in 1788. Its vision is of a world where nature is understood, valued and protected.  And to achieve this, it aims to inform, involve and inspire people about nature and its significance through its collections, events and publications.

The Addis Ababa University management, staff and the community as a whole congratulate Professor Sebsebe Demissew for his success and being internationally honoured as well as become the iconic emblem of the University.

Editor: Abraham Girmay