Knowing the past to predict the future


About the research

Over the past 10,000 years, man has created some 600 different varieties of maize, not to mention many other plants and crops. Alexandre Chevalier (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences) studies these plants from the past. This knowledge can help to (re)discover plant varieties that are suited for new climatic conditions due to climate change.

Alexandre Chevalier

Alexandre Chevalier has a double training in prehistoric archaeology and in botany. He is specialized in the identification and interpretation of plant remains uncovered in archaeological contexts in order to reconstitute past foodways and environments. He deals as much with chemistry and microscopy as with the anthropology of food. He's currently based at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences where he applies seed, wood charcoal, phytolith and starch grain analyses on Belgian archaeological sediments.

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