Qui suis-je? Who am I? Wer bin Ich?
Trained as a biologist & ecologist, with experience in horticulture, I am fascinated by plants in all their forms, from the tiniest orchid at the top of a Vietnamese mountain, to the blousiest iris in a 18th century garden.
My BSc research focused on pollens of Psychotria (a fascinating genus with ethnobotanical uses), and my MSc on systematics of a small genus of African orchids.
I am particularly interested in the love-hate relationship between plant conservation and horticulture, and more specifically how growing plants can help better understand, preserve and raise awareness on the importance of plant diversity.
I have worked in the Rubiaceae (think coffee) team at Meise Botanic Garden (Belgium), and in the UK NGO Plant Heritage developing a network of living libraries in order to preserve the dwindling diversity of cultivated plants (old, traditional varieties of ornamental or food plants are sadly as threatened as wild plants). I have also volunteered in many conservation projects, from bat surveys to insect recording, botanical monitoring to invasive species control.
I live and work in the UK and France, and enjoy gardening, travelling to see plants both in gardens and in the wild (cover image: Mount Fansipan in Northern Vietnam), collecting antique science books and 1970s records.
Sophie Leguil BSc MSc FLS