Aviwe is a self-described Plant Detective - a palaeobotanist who explores ancient plants from the period before even dinosaurs walked the earth, to find out how they shaped our world. Aviwe is a lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa.
Before there were dinosaurs, before even the world's first flower had bloomed, there were glossopterids - the plants that dominated through the Permian period. Understanding these plants is absolutely critical to huge questions like how the world we recognise took shape and how the fossil fuels we rely on today were formed.
This is absolutely vital work for understanding the world we live in, but there are fewer than 10 employed paleobotanists in the entire African continent where the majority of glossopterid fossils can be found. One of them is Aviwe Matiwane.
Aviwe is a lecturer and PhD candidate at Rhodes University in South Africa, where she studies ancient plants and what we can learn from their fossils. Aviwe has also been selected as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans cohort for 2018.
Aviwe has a strong passion for science communication, education and outreach and female empowerment - all causes we are big supporters of here at The Garden too, and we are delighted to have her as part of our Fellowship.