Botany of desire

Real Art Ways Hartford, CT


Dr. Nikisha Patel

Assistant Professor of Biology, Trinity College

The Botany of Desire— Biodiversity and global change

Biologist Dr. Nikisha Patel discusses the unprecedented biodiversity loss and global changes our planet is facing and how these challenges affect evolutionary and organismal biology.

Real Art Ways Hartford, CT

Film Synopsis

An eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world, seen from the plants' point of view.

Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism and a student of food, presents the history of four plants, each of which found a way to make itself essential to humans, thus ensuring widespread propagation. Apples, for sweetness; tulips, for beauty; marijuana, for pleasure; and, potatoes, for sustenance. Each has a story of discovery and adaptation; each has a symbiotic relationship with human civilization. The film tells these stories and examines these relationships.

Photo credit: Kikim Media

About the Speaker

Dr. Nikisha Patel’s research and teaching focuses on field and experimental biology involving both ferns and moss evolution as well as a broad interest in plant global biodiversity. With unprecedented biodiversity loss and global change ongoing, evolutionary and organismal biology are at the forefront of these challenges. As an organismal biologist, Dr. Patel’s main objectives in the classroom are not only to foster content mastery in evolution, genetics, and cell biology, but also to ensure that students leave her classes grounded in the application of scientific thinking toward meeting challenges in the world, in their professions, and in their everyday lives. This emphasis on functional knowledge is the best way to produce graduates prepared for careers in science.