Qui suis-je? Who am I? Wer bin Ich?
Trained as a biologist & ecologist, with experience in horticulture, I am fascinated by the natural world in all its forms. I have a soft spot for plants, from the tiniest orchid at the top of a Vietnamese mountain, to the blousiest iris in a 18th century garden.
I currently work freelance in the UK and France, as a writer, photographer, speaker, translator and wildlife tour leader.
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 us better understand, preserve and raise awareness on need to conserve plants.
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.
In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, travelling to see plants both in gardens and in the wild (cover image: Mount Fansipan in Northern Vietnam), collecting antique science books, making and tasting drinks (cider, beer and wine) and listening to 1970s rock records.
Sophie Leguil BSc MSc FLS