For many years, I have been intrigued by the world’s enormous biodiversity and the earth’s natural history. During my studies, I developed a passion for ferns and lycophytes, carnivorous, as well as medicinal plants. I am particularly interested in the use of plants in a changing world, such as adaptions to climate alteration and technological advances. My determination to pursue a scientific career results primarily from my curiosity and passion for plant biology.
In 2012, I initiated my studies in the biology program at Ghent University (Belgium). As a master student in the field of biodiversity and evolutionary biology, I gained experience in phylogenetics, morphological and molecular identification of plants, and plant developmental biology. During my master thesis, I investigated the distribution of calcium oxalate crystals in ferns and lycophytes. Previously, I worked as a student in the Meise Botanic Garden on the BiosphereTraits project to study the resilience of tropical forests by analyzing functional traits of Central African trees (2014, 2015) and the Congo basin eco-climatological data recovery and valorization (COBECORE) project (2017). I was involved in the FADA and Biofresh project at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences in 2016 where I gained experience in biodiversity informatics and the use of data processing tools.
As part of the Plant.ID network, I am based at the Institute of Applied Biosciences (INAB), at the Center for Research and Technology (CERTH) in Thessaloniki (Greece), working on the HRM (high resolution melting) traceability and metabarcoding of medicinal and toxic plants of the Greek flora. This project aims at tracking down poisonous plants to identify intoxications, plants implicated by illegal trade for biodiversity conservation and authentication of Greek plant based products. The main stakeholders of this project are the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food, the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), as well as the Greek National Organization of Medicines (EOF).