Professor Himansu ‘Snowy’ Baijnath is an Honorary Research Professor in the School of Biological & Conservation Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has a passion for plants and conservation, which he enthusiastically shares with his students.
Many of the plants that Professor Baijnath has researched are endemic to the Durban area, such as the Durban Guava, which he discovered and named, and the Racecourse Lily, Durban’s rarest indigenous plant, once thought to be extinct in the wild. He is responsible for the re-discovery, propagation and active protection of this beautiful lily. He has also long been involved in projects focusing on the utilisation of plants, both as sources of nutrition and traditional medicinal preparations. He is also one of the only botanists who have had a wasp named after him.
Over the past 24 years at Pemary Ridge Primary School he has taken it upon himself to plant trees that are totally unique to KwaZulu-Natal, exposing teachers and inspiring students to nurture their natural inheritance. At the DUT Biotechnology Department, he supervises and mentors post grad students for their higher degrees.
Professor Baijnath has for many years been planting the seeds of knowledge about the importance of caring for our natural world, and is a great inspiration on countless minds, young and old.