Main content
Pierce Scholar brings world of plants and chemistry to Oxford

Oxford College welcomes Alison Foster, senior curator at the University of Oxford (UK) Botanic Garden, to campus April 9-16.  Foster is the 2012 Pierce Visiting Scholar, a designation and program of Oxford College's Pierce Institute for Leadership and Community Engagement.  

On Wednesday, April 11, Foster will present a lecture on "Color, Smell and Taste – The Beautiful World of Plants and Chemistry."  The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Tarbutton Theater on the Oxford campus.

Foster will interact with students and faculty throughout her visit, speaking to classes and meeting informally with students.

"Having the opportunity to interact with renowned scholars is an important component of Oxford College's distinctive liberal arts curriculum and experience," says David Gowler, Pierce Institute director and Pierce Professor of Religion at Oxford College.

Each year the Pierce Institute designates one faculty member from Oxford University and one from Oxford College as Pierce Visiting Scholars. The Oxford University scholar comes to Oxford College during the academic year for at least one week, giving public lectures, usually on both the Oxford and Emory campuses; teaching classes and meeting with groups of both students and faculty.

Foster's counterpart at Oxford College is Eloise Carter, professor of biology. Carter serves as Foster's on-campus host during her stay. In turn, Foster hosted Carter during her travels to Oxford University for lectures and teaching. 

Foster, who holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge, worked for more than a decade in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist and subsequently process chemist before moving into horticulture. She is the author of "The Medicinal Plant Collection at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden," which examines the medical application of plants in the medicinal plant collection of the garden with chapters including oncology, neurology, and infectious diseases. Foster is currently building a portfolio of research collaborations using the plants at the Oxford Botanic Garden.

While in Georgia, Foster will visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden on April 12, where she will present a lecture on the Oxford Botanical Garden's collection of medicinal plants.

Recent News