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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Sylvain Razafimandimbison



Sylvain Razafimandimbison: A Passionate Pursuit of Plants and Knowledge

Reliable, responsible, integrated. These three words aptly describe Sylvain Razafimandimbison, a distinguished researcher at the Swedish Museum of Natural History's Botany Department. But to truly grasp the depth of his dedication and commitment, one must delve into his life story, his inspirations, and his love for the world of plant systematics.

Inspirations from Childhood

Hailing from a background that deeply cherishes knowledge and discovery, Sylvain's primary motivation to become a scientist was his deep-rooted desire to share his findings and insights. As a young boy, he was profoundly influenced by his father, a dedicated veterinarian, who instilled in him the virtues of research and the joy of imparting knowledge.

The allure of the scientific realm for Sylvain doesn't solely reside in laboratory findings or field discoveries, as one might expect. Instead, it's the collaboration with fellow scientists, the bond shared with nature, and the thrill of unveiling new taxa that truly lights his passion.

From the Academy to the Museum

His journey to the Swedish Museum of Natural History wasn't a linear one. Sylvain's impressive tenure at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as a plant systematist for 11 years laid a firm foundation. However, in 2015, a shift was on the horizon. The Museum offered Sylvain the "förste intendent" position at its Botany Department, which he accepted, embarking on a new chapter in his research journey in 2016.

Diving into Sylvain's research, one finds a world teeming with intricate relationships and evolutionary patterns. Centered primarily on the systematics of the coffee family, Rubiaceae, his work seeks to understand plant taxonomy, classification, and how phylogenies illuminate evolutionary patterns and conservation needs.

A Cherished Undertaking

One of his most cherished projects, the "Historical biogeography of Rubiaceae in the Western Indian Ocean Region," exemplifies his commitment to understanding nature's vast interconnections. This initiative focuses on a region that encompasses Madagascar and neighboring archipelagos, bringing to light the rich biodiversity and historical distribution of plants in this area.

In the maze of his professional journey, Sylvain was most surprised by his tenacity and ability to juggle a multitude of tasks, ranging from field collecting to intricate research activities. His aspirations, however, remain clear-cut: He dreams of completing the Flora of Madagascar for the coffee family before retiring and also penning a comprehensive paper detailing the phylogeny and classification of Rubiaceae.

Beyond the Lab

When not engrossed in the world of plants, Sylvain enjoys a refreshing gym session or immersing himself in the exhilarating world of sports. Whether it's English and Spanish football, tennis, track and field, or swimming, his zest for life and keenness to learn remain ever palpable.

In Sylvain Razafimandimbison, the Swedish Museum of Natural History has not just a researcher, but a beacon of dedication, perseverance, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. As we look forward to his future endeavors, his story serves as a testament to the power of passion and the wonders it can unveil.

Contact details

Sylvain Razafimandimbison




Sylvain Razafimandimbison is involved in the following projects:

En växt från madagaskar med gröna glansiga blad.

Diversity and evolutionary history of plants in Madagascar

Takhtajania perrieri, one of the oldest flowering plant on Earth and a flagship plant of Madagascar. Credit:>