Explorer talk with 2022 Flag carrier Dr. Cassandra quave

Please join us April 26th from 6:30-8:30pm for an exciting Explorer Talk hosted by WINGS in collaboration with Dr. Cassandra Quave, “The Plant Hunter.”

Dr. Quave will share stories of scientific innovation, pulling from her experiences leading international expeditions and discovering new medicines in her laboratory at Emory University School of Medicine. She’ll also share a behind-the-scenes look at her most recent expedition to the remote oases of Egypt’s western desert, which was supported by WINGS.

Tickets are $40; the event will be at Chief, 13 East 19th Street, New York, NY, 10003.

Dr. Quave’s book, The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Remedies, will also be available for purchase at $18.00. Each book will be personally signed by Dr. Quave.


About the Speaker: Dr. Cassandra Quave

Dr. Quave is a disabled writer, speaker, podcast host, professor, wife, mother, explorer, and ethnobotanist. She is also a fellow of the Explorers Club, a former president of the Society for Economic Botany, and a recipient of the Emory Williams Teaching Award and Charles Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award. Dr. Quave is the co-creator and host of Foodie Pharmacology, a podcast dedicated to exploring the links between food and medicine. A leader in the field of medical botany, she has authored more than 100 scientific publications and has been featured in the New York Times Magazine and BBC Focus, as well as on PBS, NPR, and the National Geographic Channel.

Dr. Quave identifies and studies plants that may be able to treat antimicrobial resistance and other threatening illnesses, helping to provide clues for the next generation of advanced medicines. Cassandra’s work, which focuses on the documentation and pharmacological evaluation of plants used in traditional medicine, has taken her on expeditions ranging from remote forests in the Amazon and isolated mountaintops in Albania and Kosovo, to volcanic Mediterranean isles and Florida’s southern swamps.

Dr. Quave wrote about her work as a scientist in her book titled The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Remedies (2021 Viking/Penguin), which was named one of the best books of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews. Temple Grandin calls Cassandra “a woman with incredible grit and courage” and Publishers Weekly describes The Plant Hunter as “[A] spirited, globe-trotting debut . . . Nature-minded readers will find themselves immersed in—and inspired by—Quave’s poignant tale.”

About Dr. Quave’s latest expedition: Medicinal Plants of Egyptian Oases

Medical ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave (Flag #25) leads anti-infective drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, natural products, microbiology and pharmacology at Emory University. Antimicrobial resistant infections are responsible for 700,000 deaths annually, projected to reach 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Innovative approaches to identifying novel chemical compounds that could serve as the next generation of antibiotics are in high demand. Plants have played a fundamental role as the basis of the pharmacopoeia of many different cultures since ancient times.

Cassandra and her team (including partners in the Emory Herbarium, which she curates) travelled to collect flora in the Bahariya Oasis of Egypt’s Western Desert.  One of the oldest existing records of the medicinal applications of plants is the Egyptian “Ebers Papyrus,” which dates back to circa 1550 BC. Despite the historic importance of Egyptian flora in the foundation of medicine, many of the species documented in this record remain unstudied by the lens of modern science. Cassandra’s group collected and authenticated herbarium specimens of each species under study and created extracts for chemical characterization and pharmacological evaluation in a panel of antibacterial and toxicity laboratory models.

About Dr. Quave’s Book: The Plant Hunter

Filled with grit, tragedy, triumph, awe, and scientific discovery, The Plant Hunter weaves together science and botany to tell us the extraordinary story of the challenge of balancing work and motherhood, her struggle with disability and infection, and her globe-trotting quest to develop new ways to fight illness and disease through the healing powers of plants in this uplifting and adventure-filled memoir.

“CASSANDRA QUAVE takes us on a fascinating and deeply personal journey to seek out modern medicines from the botanical world. As a scientist she is scrappy and tenacious, and as a writer she is eloquent and disarmingly honest. Fans of Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl will devour this engrossing narrative about Quave’s quest for the next cure.” —Amy Stewart, bestselling author of The Drunken Botanist

Latest News on dr. quave:


“The Last of Us: Perspectives from an epidemiologist and a plant scientist” by Katelyn Jetelina & Dr. Cassandra Quave

2/9/23: Article written in collaboration with Dr. Quave about fungi from “The Last of Us.”

“The hit TV show The Last of Us is taking the world by storm. It’s about a pandemic, but a very different one from the what we are experiencing now. It’s about a fungus that evolves to infect humans, and then mushroom heads run at exorbitant speeds trying to infect other humans.

I jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, I started watching with my friend and author of The Plant Hunter, Dr. Cassandra Quave. She happens to be a plant scientist at Emory. We had fun discussing the accuracy and whether something like this was actually possible. Here we separate fact from fiction.”


Cassandra Quave: Hunting Plants That Heal | Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

2/7/23: Clear+Vivid Podcast with Dr. Quave about her story of becoming a plant scientist

A childhood illness robbed her of a leg, but that hasn’t stopped her from trekking through jungles, swamps and mountains in search of medicinal plants. Her hope: that her discoveries may lead to new medications to counter the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.”

Event Details:

When: April 26th, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Chief, 13 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $40