Lovanomenjanahary MARLINE, MSc in Plant Biology and Ecology (Madagascar)

Lova Marline

Lovanomenjanahary holds an MSc in Plant Biology and Ecology. She was awarded a Postgraduate Training Fellowship for Women Scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa by OWSD, (Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World) to pursue her study at the University of Cape Town toward a PhD on the bryophytes of Madagascar.

Current position: PhD Student at University of Cape Town, South-Africa

Research focus: Factors affecting diversity and distribution of bryophytes in Madagascar under a changing Environment

Lovanomenjanahary research project is the first comprehensive study on the bryophytes of Madagascar that combines taxonomy, community ecology and conservation. It will not only significantly enhance the body of knowledge on tropical bryophytes but also explore the plants as important bio-indicators of climate change and as models in the design of newly protected areas, in this biodiversity hotspot.

In 2014 she received the Green Talent award for her groundbreaking study on bryophytes. In 2015 during her research stay at the Nees-Institute of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bonn, Germany, she initiated a project seeking to complete a comprehensive phylogenetic treatment of a moss genus. Her supervisors strongly support her return to the Nees-Institute for post-doctoral research.


CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2014):

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Research focus: Understanding the factors affecting the diversity and distribution of bryophytes in Madagascar under a changing environment

Breaking new scientific ground in her study of the bryophytes of Madagascar, Lovanomenjanahary Marline is committed to investigating these plants as sensitive bio indicators of climate change.

As one of the first scientists to make a comprehensive study of the bryophytes of Madagascar, Lovanomenjanahary, who also goes by Lova, is a pioneering botanist. Her native country is considered one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world and is a priority area for conservation. Lova’s PhD research project will not only significantly enhance the body of knowledge on tropical bryophytes but also explore innovative new uses for the study of these plants. An example of this, as she explains, is “the importance of bryophytes within the ecosystem as important bio indicators of climate change and their use as models in the design of new protected areas”.

The research has three concrete over-arching aims for guiding sustainable development, which Lova characterises using bryophytes in the following ways: “as a model to better understand the accumulation of species richness in a hotspot of biodiversity; as an indicator species to predict the migration of climatically sensitive ecosystems through the community’s response to climate change; and as a basis for new approaches to conservation planning of tropical forest systems”.

Lova’s ambition is to continue her work in tropical bryology as a full-time researcher at the post-doctoral level. Through this, she hopes to expand the knowledge base as scientific progress in its own right and to continue her study of bryology in the context of climate change solutions.

The Jury was impressed with Lova’s academic record – she has shown great initiative and broken new ground in the study of tropical bryology in Madagascar, working under difficult research conditions and being awarded with both national and international scholarships. They believe that participating in the Green Talents forum will help her expand her scientific network and present the emerging results of this new area of botany to the international scientific community.