We are happy to host the WASCAL researcher Wassila Ibrahim Seidou from Niamey (Niger) at our Department of Botany of the University of Rostock (Germany) until end of May 2024. She is conducting her doctoral studies on “Factors controlling desiccation tolerant plants in West Africa” with the Programme on Climate Change and Biodiversity of the University of Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire).

Wassila’s main research interests are floristic, ecology, and sustainable management of biodiversity. These interests led her to focusing on the study of a specific group of plants that can survive the most extreme drought, while still largely neglected for conservation: the desiccation tolerant plants. She aims to provide the first list of desiccation tolerant plants from West Africa and discuss threats (as climate change and human footprint) and solutions for the conservation of these species, thereby deepening our understanding of the ecological factors that control their diversity and distribution. Such studies are very much needed in the present climate change and habitat loss scenarios. We strongly believe that her findings will significantly contribute to improving the current knowledge about the overlooked ecological aspects of desiccation tolerant plans and supporting future biotechnological researchers on the use of their genetic solutions to drought on economically important crop species.

During her research stay, Wassila has been attending training courses and intern seminars with interest and motivation, promoting an enriching scientific and cross-cultural exchange for all people involved in those activities.