Botanic Garden Meise - OUR SCIENTISTS
Marc Sosef, PhD
I started working in our Botanic Garden in October 2013. 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. Although…, the first volumes are already in need of major revision. Production of the Flora involves coordinating the contributions of a large number of specialists from all over the world. Meanwhile, several e-products have been developed, some only partly, and I contribute to their further development.
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 cooperation. After having published the Checklist of Gabonese Vascular Plants, I am also Editor-in-Chief of the Flora of Gabon.
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. Still today these harbor the highest diversity of rain forest species and act as biodiversity hotspots.
My fieldwork is focusing on the inventory of areas still poorly known botanically, and of protected areas.
Before I came to Meise, I worked at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, where I am still supervising several PhD students. Their projects range from ethnobotany to taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of African Ochnaceae, species distribution modeling and wild relatives of the potato.
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.