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Green Heart in The Field With Botany In Action

Mission: The Botany in Action Fellowship develops new, science-based plant knowledge and chronicles traditional knowledge of plants for use in growing a greener world. Botany in Action (BIA) promotes interactive scientific education about the importance of plants, biodiversity, and sustainable landscapes for human well-being.

Green Heart in the Field with Botany in Action
Green Heart in the Field with Botany in Action

The BIA Fellowship program at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens fosters the development of a next generation of plant-based scientists who are committed to excellent research and educational outreach. Phipps' BIA program not only provides grants to emerging U.S. scientists carrying out plant-based research around the globe, but also offers training and opportunities for them in science communication and outreach to the public.

Since its inception, BIA has supported 40 PhD students from 19 universities, conducting research in 22 countries and engaging in outreach worldwide. Current BIA Fellows are engaged in research in locales from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Illinois to Nepal and India. Their work covers topics ranging from the role of green roofs in urban biodiversity and the influence of heavy metal soil pollution on plants and pollinators to identification of plants used by healers that protect brain cells from the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

BIA Fellows' accomplishments, in addition to serving society and the environment as practicing scientists, include mentoring undergraduate and high school students, publication of a botanical field guide, creation of a photography website, creation of teaching modules and outreach at an array of public venues.

Visit to learn about current and previously supported BIA Fellows, mentors and science advisors, and news and events.

Underwritten in part by

How It Works

Open to PhD students enrolled at US graduate institutions and conducting plant-based scientific field research, the BIA program provides each Fellow with:

  • $5,000 for use towards field research and related expenses at sites in the U.S. or abroad (including expenses for travel, food, housing, field and laboratory supplies, and software;
  • an all-expenses paid trip to Phipps in Pittsburgh, Pa., to engage in science outreach training and opportunities to translate and communicate his or her research to non-scientific, public audiences through written, visual, oral and/or multimedia means; and
  • subsequent opportunities to communicate his or her research to public audiences through Phipps classes, programs, newsletters, exhibits onsite and online, and other outreach venues.

Supported work must address the following plant-based scientific field research priorities:

  • Ethnobotany, with special interest in plant use for physical and/or psychological well-being;
  • Diversity and conservation, particularly in regional (southwestern Pennsylvania and tri-state area) and tropical forests;
  • Landscape and brownfield restoration, particularly in plant-based ecosystem services;
  • Sustainable landscapes.

Support Botany in Action

Botany in Action proves that individuals can make a world of difference. Please consider supporting this global research and conservation effort.

Contact Greg DuFour at 412/441-4442 ext. 3701 or to learn how your contribution can support this important work.