Amanda Plante is graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in public horticulture in the Plant Sciences Department with a minor in statistics. UT’s Public Horticulture Program is one of the very few programs in the United States which prepares students for careers in public gardens, arboretums, and conservatories; professional garden writing and speaking; teaching; and research in socio-horticulture (the study of people-plant relationships).
Plante has been awarded the prestigious Ian Leese Fellowship from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). This competitive award is intended to recognize and advance excellence in horticulture. Fellows intern for a three-month period (July – September) at the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London England where they participate in botanical research and assist the curator with the famed Order Beds and the Grass Garden. Since its foundation, Kew has played an important role in the world of horticulture by seeking out new plants and preserving specimens. Gardens have been cultivated at Kew since before the 1700s. Their mission is “to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life.” One way that Kew meets this mission is by facilitating international internship experiences for scholars like Plante.
Sue Hamilton, director of the UT Gardens and an associate professor in plant sciences, is Plante’s faculty mentor.