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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

Haris Saslis

In our society we face not only persecution of people with diverse expressions of gender and sexuality, but also the prospect of doing permanent harm to the integrity of the gene pool of our species, thereby damaging our species for posterity.

I have always been fascinated by plants, so it was no surprise that I became a botanist. During my years in academia (2008-2017), my research focussed on reconstructing molecular phylogenies and utilising them in a comparative framework. I looked into the phylogenetic distribution of medicinal properties in plants, exploring how we can use phylogenies to guide the discovery of new medicinal plants. I also dabbled in plant biogeography and comparative ethnobiology.

In 2017 I decided it was time for me to leave academia. I started running nature and foraging tours in Crete, Greece, exploring the amazing flora of my homeplace with visitors. I joined the great team of Transmitting Science in 2018 as course and conference coordinator. More recently, I have developed a new passion within Transmitting Science; working as a career coach to help academics navigate their careers in and outside academia.

Research topics: macroecology, macroevolution, phylogeny, phylogenetic comparative methods, medicinal plants, ethnobotany.

Contact: haris.saslis@transmittingscience.com

Current position

Course Coordinator & Career Coach at Transmitting Science.

Positions held

  • Postdoc: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, 2011-2012.
  • Postdoc: Australian National University, Australia, 2013-2014.
  • Postdoc: University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2014-2015.
  • Assistant professor: University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016-2017.
  • Nature tour guide: Freelance, Crete, Greece, 2017-2020

Education and training

  • BSc: Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2006.
  • MSc: Biology, Imperial College, UK, 2007.
  • PhD: Biology, University of Reading, UK, 2011.
  • Life-Career Coaching: Association for Coaching International, 2022.

Selected publications

  • Lei D., Al Jabri T., Teixidor‐Toneu I., Saslis‐Lagoudakis C.H., Ghazanfar S.A., and Hawkins J.A. 2020. Comparative analysis of four medicinal floras: Phylogenetic methods to identify cross‐cultural patterns. Plants, People, Planet: 2 (6), 614-626
  • Pellicer J., Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H., Carrió E., Ernst M., Garnatje T., Grace O.G, Gras A, Mumbrú M., Vallès J., Vitales D., and Rønsted N. 2018. A phylogenetic road map to antimalarial Artemisia species, Journal of Ethnopharmacology: 225, 1-9
  • Cámara-Leret R., Faurby S., Macía M.J., Balslev H., Göldel B, Svenning JC., Kissling W.D., Rønsted N., and Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H. 2017. Fundamental species traits explain provisioning services of tropical American palms. Nature Plants: 3(2), 1-7
  • Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H., Hua X., Bui E., Moray C., and Bromham L. 2015. Predicting species’ tolerance to salinity and alkalinity using distribution data and geochemical modelling: a case study using Australian grasses. Annals of Botany: Volume 115(3), 343–351
  • Saslis-Lagoudakis C. H., Hawkins J. A., Greenhill S. J., Pendry C. A., Watson M. F., Tuladhar-Douglas W., Baral S. R., and Savolainen V. 2014. The evolution of traditional knowledge: environment shapes medicinal plant use in Nepal. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: 281 (1780), 20132768
  • Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H. and Clarke A.C. 2013. Ethnobiology: the missing link in ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution: 28(2), 67-68
  • Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H., Savolainen V., Williamson E.M., Forest F., Wagstaff S.J., Baral S.R., Watson M.F., Pendry C.A, and Hawkins J.A. 2012. Phylogenies reveal predictive power of traditional medicine in bioprospecting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 109 (39), 15835-15840

Courses I am teaching at Transmitting Science