Cassandra will share stories of scientific innovation, pulling from her experiences leading international expeditions and discovering new medicines in her laboratory.

Cassandra Quave

Cassandra Quave, Ph.D., is Curator of the Herbarium and Associate Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University, where she leads anti-infective drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, microbiology, and pharmacology. As a medical ethnobotanist, her work focuses on the documentation and pharmacological evaluation of plants used in traditional medicine. Dr. Quave’s research is supported by the NIH, industry contracts, and philanthropy. She is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a past President of the Society for Economic Botany, a recipient of the Emory Williams Teaching Award, and Charles Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award. She is the host of Foodie Pharmacology, a podcast dedicated to exploring the links between food and medicine. Dr. Quave has authored more than 100 scientific publications, two edited books, twenty book chapters, and seven patents. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow in the field of Medicine & Health and featured on CNN's Champions of Change program in 2024.

Exclusively represented by BrightSight Speakers bureau, Cassandra's research has been the subject of feature profiles in the New York Times Magazine, BBC Science Focus, National Geographic Magazine, Brigitte Magazin, NPR, PBS, and the National Geographic Channel. She is author of a science memoir The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines (which was named one of the best books of 2021 by Kirkus). She was selected as one of the inaugural recipients of The National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication. Learn more about her research by visiting her website or following her on Facebook or Twitter.

Speech topics

The Plant Hunter

Are you looking for a speaker to inspire your audience about the incredible wonders of the natural world? How about perseverance over the limitations of physical disability? Dr. Quave makes the stories behind scientific and medical breakthroughs accessible to her audiences. She’d love to be a part of your next event! Her talks have been among the top-rated invited lectures at major conferences because she interweaves science and inspirational personal narratives along with a taste of humor and adventure into every presentation!


The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

A leading medical ethnobotanist tells us the story of her quest to develop new ways to fight illness and disease through the healing powers of plants in this uplifting and adventure-filled memoir.


Foodie Pharmacology is a science podcast built for the food curious. Join American ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave on this adventure through history, medicine, cuisine and molecules as she explores the amazing pharmacology of our foods! 


Nature's Pharmacy

Unveiling the science behind natural remedies. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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