Celebrating Scientific Discovery at Njala University

Celebrating Scientific Discovery at Njala University


Lebbiea grandiflora, a plant new to science, is named after

Dr. Aiah Lebbie

In a recent research publication co-authored by Dr. Aiah Lebbie of the Department of Biological Sciences at Njala University, a new plant species commemorated his name at the genus level of plant taxonomy. The plant which has been named by Dr. Martin Cheek is called Lebbiea grandiflora, and was collected by Dr. Aiah Lebbie (Lebbie A2721) in the Sewa River in May 2017. The plant grows attached to rocks in river rapids, and belongs to the family of plants known as Podostemaceae. It has been assessed based on the IUCN standard as Critically Endangered.

The plant is growing in an area where it is threatened by artisanal diamond and gold mining activities. Future development of hydro-electric power at the Bekongor Falls on the Sewa River, might also threaten the survival of the plant.

Dr. Lebbie’s discovery and the naming of the plant after him is a clear indication that scientific endeavors at Njala University are on the rise. His interest in mentoring students to engage in research also serves to strengthen future leadership in research for students who aspire to study at Njala University, especially under his leadership in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Njala University appreciates this scientific feat, and would like to recognize Dr. Aiah Lebbie as one of its preeminent scholars. Thank you very much Dr. Aiah Lebbie for bringing such accomplished scholarly recognition to Njala University. We are proud of your achievements and looking forward to a rewarding scientific career.

Citation to the publication:

Cheek M, Lebbie A (2018) Lebbiea (Podostemaceae-Podostemoideae), a new, nearly extinct genus with foliose tepals, in Sierra Leone. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0203603. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203603

Online Newspaper Link to the discovery: