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The Roots of a Scientist

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Photograph of a papercut 3D artwork. The image shows a meandering mottled blue and yellow river with white and gold brush strokes indicating the river’s curvature. Surrounding the different bends of the river are plants and shrubbery of various shades of green with red and yellow paint splatters. There is a brunette girl wearing glasses resting with her head in her hands near the river bank.  Four brown otters are shown resting and playing on a branch outstretched across the river. Three tortoises are piled on top of a floating log, travelling downstream.
My rainforest upbringing. © Cat O'Neil for Wellcome Collection.

In this five-part story discover how Indigenous and scientific knowledge about plants past and present can drive research that improves planetary health in the future. Nataly Allasi Canales guides you through a personal journey beginning in the Peruvian Amazon of her home, where she found her passion for biodiversity and traditional knowledge. Follow her through the case of the fever tree, and other botanicals used by Indigenous peoples for medicinal purposes; botanic gardens, where valuable specimens can be found; and historical genomes as snapshots of evolution and ecology. Finally, Nataly argues that to sustain the public health, biodiversity and food security of the future, we must act soon.