Prof. Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo of the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, is one of 52 individuals nominated for their outstanding contributions as African researchers in 2017. Nominated by the institutions for which they work, the 52 nominees are acknowledged by the Africa Science Report for their phenomenal scientific work towards addressing poverty unemployment and inequality. Prof. Assogbadjo is particularly recognized for his efforts in sustainable resource management.
He is an agronomist and forester with a special interest in non-timber forest products. He holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences and has experience in population genetics, ethnobotany, conservation and domestication of forest genetic resources used by indigenous people.
He belongs to more than 10 scientific networks such as the medicinal and edible forest plants network of the South Saharan African Forest Genetic Programme, the Society of Economic Botany, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas, and the IUCN Species Survival Commission specialist group on wild crop relatives for which he is a regional leader for the sub-Saharan Africa region.
He has been awarded more than 20 individual research grants and 10 regional and international research projects, including from RUFORUM where he is the Principal Investigator for a baobab research team that is exploring the use of this iconic tree to address human nutrition and fodder needs of communities in Benin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy9rd1T2pok). He has been involved in several other projects on ecosystems management, sustainable management of natural resources and/or endangered plant species conservation and domestication.
He has participated in more than 70 international conferences and 20 training workshops. To date, he has graduated more than 60 BSc, 60 MSc, and three PhD students with eight MScs and eight PhDs currently registered.
His research since 2000 has yielded more than 120 scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals, books and proceedings of scientific conferences.
His research has earned him four international prizes: the Ebi Kimanani Memorial Fellowship Award in 2008 (Peru), the Heinz and Johannes Prize for the best scientific research paper on ecology in Africa in 2009 (Germany), and a prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation in 2010.
In 2014, he was awarded the honorary title, The Name in Science, by the Socrates Committee (Oxford, UK).
Adapted from the Science in Africa Report