Maria will be discussing the vitally important subject of how the combined mixture of inequality in the availability and accessibility of biodiversity data, professional expertise, and funding all interact to produce chronic differences in knowledge between countries.
The flora of Madagascar has been described largely by foreigners. Almost all of its science funding is external, and Malagasy botanists face multiple daily challenges including poor education, poor access to the internet, and poor access to published material as well as to opportunities to publish. Many roads are impassable, and many field locations are unsafe. Local herbarium collections are so small and underfunded botanists often need to travel abroad to identify their collections. Maria has studied the grasses of Madagascar for ten years, undertaking fifteen field trips across the island. The audience will go on a tour of Madagascar, where Maria will use grasses as an example to compare botanical knowledge in Madagascar and in the British Isles, and show that unrecorded extinctions are more likely among Malagasy plants.
Dr Maria (Bat) S. Vorontsova, Research Leader (Grasses) Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology, RBG Kew
Tickets: Donation only please
NB The Zoom link will be sent out by us on the morning of the talk
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