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Biodiversity Scientist, Former President of Mauritius
Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim is a Mauritian biodiversity scientist who has long been studying and validating the flora of Mauritius, one of the world's key biodiversity hotspots. She also served as the 6th President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018.
Ameenah graduated from the University of Surrey in 1983 with a BSc degree in chemistry. After obtaining her PhD degree in organic chemistry at Exeter University, she returned home in 1987 to take employment at the University of Mauritius.
She has also been the recipient of various international awards including the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science(2007), Laureate for the National Economic and Social Council (2007), the CTA / NEPAD / AGRA / RUFORUM for ‘African Women in Science’ and the African Union Award for Women in Science.
She worked as Managing Director of CIDP Research & Innovation (formerly Cephyr, Centre for Phytotherapy Research), where she devoted her time to researching the medical and nutritive implications of indigenous plants of Mauritius.