Marc S.M. Sosef

Research scientist [Flora of Central Africa, Flora of Gabon, African grasses]
Department: Research
Phone: +32 2 260 09 56

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Marc Sosef


My main focus is on coordinating the production of the Flora of Central Africa, a large series of books that deal with the rich flora of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. This Flora, being one of the flagship products of our Botanic Garden, should be finished in about 15 years, and with that a huge effort that was started back in 1948 (!) will reach its goal. Production of the Flora involves coordinating the contributions of a large number of specialists from all over the world. Meanwhile, a web-version has been developed.

From 1999 – 2001, I have been assisting the National Herbarium of Gabon to in increasing its efficiency and output, which resulted in a long-term collaboration. After having published the Checklist of Gabonese Vascular Plants, I am also Editor-in-Chief of the Flora of Gabon series.

Meanwhile, my personal taxonomic interest is in begonia’s and grasses. Logically, I am working on the grass family treatment for the Flora of Central Africa. I am also intrigued by the rain forest refuge theory, which states that in Africa during the colder and drier glacial periods lowland rain forest retreated into small pockets which still today harbour the highest diversity of rain forest species and act as biodiversity hotspots.

I am involved in Species Distribution Modelling and IUCN Red Listing of Central African plants. I represent the Botanic Garden Meise as a member of the World Flora Online consortium and have a particular interest in e-Flora’s and digitizing herbarium specimens. Finally, I have a keen interest in the history of botanical research from the 16th to 18th century and the theory of botanical nomenclature and classification.



  • PhD, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1994
  • MSc, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1985

Employment history

  • Research scientist, Meise Botanic Garden, 2013 - ongoing
  • Professor in Biosystematics, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 2002-2013
  • Head of the National Herbarium of Gabon, Libreville, Gabon, 1999-2001
  • Plant Taxonomy Officer, PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia), Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1992-1998
  • PhD Student, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1987-1993


  • Finalizing the Flore d’Afrique centrale to support the conservation and sustainable use of Central African plants
  • ECAT: Conservation of endemic Central African trees through IUCN Red Listing and Species Distribution Modelling
  • Finalizing Flore du Gabon - a final push

Professional activities

  • Editor-in-Chief, Flore d’Afrique centrale (2013 – ongoing)
  • Member Editorial Board, Plant Ecology and Evolution (2010 - ongoing)
  • Member Editorial Team, Blumea (2009 - ongoing)
  • Member of IUCN CARLA (Central Africa Red List Authority) (2009 – ongoing)
  • Member of the Board of the Alberta Mennega Foundation (2005 – ongoing)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Flore du Gabon (2004 - ongoing)
  • Member of the DOE! (Digitalisering en Ontsluiting Erfgoedcollecties) mass digitization project team at Botanic Garden Meise (2015 – 2019)
  • Member of the Board of the Maatschappij voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek in de Tropen (Treub Foundation) (2005 – 2014)
  • Member Editorial Team, Flore d’Afrique centrale (2010 - 2013)
  • National Focal Point for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (Convention on Biological Diversity) (2006 – 2013)
  • Scientific Director of the National Research School Biodiversity (2005 – 2013)
  • Member of the Board of the Moabi Foundation (2004 – 2013)
  • Member of the Board of ETI (Expert Centre for Taxonomic Identification) (2004 – 2013)
  • Head National Herbarium of the Netherlands – Wageningen branch (2002 – 2013)
  • Member of the Management Team, National Herbarium of the Netherlands (2002 – 2013)
  • Chairman of the Science and Education Committee, National Herbarium of the Netherlands (2002 – 2009)
  • Responsable Herbier National du Gabon (1999 - 2001)
  • Secretary of the Working Community Systematics of Mosses and Vascular Plants, Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), from May 1995 onward incorporated in the Section for Systematics of Mosses and Vascular Plants, Royal Dutch Botanical Society (KNBV) (1994 – 1998)
  • Editor, PROSEA, Lesser-known timbers (1994 - 1998)
  • Secretary of the Section for Plant Systematics and Geography, Royal Dutch Botanical Society (KNBV) (1989 – 1994)
  • Associate Editor, PROSEA, Timber tree volumes (1992 - 1993)

Publications: FRIS research portal


Marc Sosef


       Marc Sosef