Professor Sebsebe Demissew ForMemRS

Sebsebe Demissew is 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, Uppsala, Sweden.

He served as the Leader of the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea between 1996 until its completion in 2009 in collaboration with Dr Inga Hedberg from the University of Uppsala in which 6000 species with 10% endemics are documented; the project involved 91 scientists from 17 countries. It is one of the few completed Floras in Africa.

Over the years he has had a number of successful collaborative research projects with a number of Universities in Europe and Africa including Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Marburg, Germany: Leicester and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK; National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi and South African National Botanical Institute in Cape Town & Pretoria, South Africa in floristics, biosystematics, vegetation, evolution in Afro alpine environments and underutilized indigenous crops involving postgraduate students. He has authored and co-authored books and articles in peer reviewed journals on the vegetation and plants of Ethiopia and Africa.

He is a member of national and international professional organizations; served as Chair of the Biological Society of Ethiopia, Secretary General of the Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora Tropical Africa, Council member of International Association of Plant Taxonomy. He is a member of a number of Academies. He served as Co-Chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel for the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. He is a Winner of the 2016 Kew International Medal.

Professional position

  • Executive Director, Gullele Botanic Garden
  • Professor of Plant Systematics and Biodiversity, College of Natural Sciences, Addis Ababa University
Professor Sebsebe Demissew ForMemRS
Elected 2018