grace gobbo

Grace Gobbo is an ethnobotanist in Tanzania who studies plants used by traditional healers. Her discoveries include finding new plant species, some of which are believe to help fight against HIV.

She studies natural approaches to healing which she believes are “essential to the connection between individuals and their environment.” She also educates Tanzanians about the value of these practices, particularly as they relate to sustainable agriculture. This is reflected in her work for the Jane Goodall Institute, with the Gombe-Masito-Ugalla Ecosystem program. 

The program started to revive practices from Eastern Africa, when medicinal plants were used for healing. The plants Tanzanian healers used to use became a vital part of the healthcare system. Today, due to the fact that many Tanzanians cannot afford imported medicinal drugs, these methods continue to be used. Indigenous medical knowledge and the forests they originated from are disappearing. Grace believes the connection between humans and nature is vital, and that healers had special connection with the plants they used to heal their patients. 

Grace was born in 1974 in Tabora and received a certificate in botany. She has gone on numerous expeditions in places such as Madagascar, Eastern Africa, and Tanzania.

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Born: 1974

Hometown: Tabora, Tanzania

Education: B.A. in Development Studies

Occupation: Botanist

Expeditions: Botanical and Lemur projects in Madagascar; botanical surveys in East Africa; chimp survey in Mahale Mountains, Tanzania

Favorite Place To Be: South America and Africa

Best Discoveries: Plants, newly found, that have not been known to science and plants that may help in fighting HIV/AIDS

Favorite Items In The Field: Camera, notebook, pencil

Personal Hero: Jane Goodall, foremost authority on chimpanzees

Hobbies: Reading, watching movies, camping

Advice: For every problem, there is a solution, if only we know where to look.