Briza Publications author Ben-Erik van Wyk holds a BSc degree in Forestry and Nature Conservation, as well as MSc and PhD degrees in botany. Ben-Erik has been a lecturer in botany since 1985 and a professor of botany since 1990. In 2013, he was appointed in a new National Research Chair in Indigenous Plant Use (based at the University of Johannesburg).
His research focus has broadened from highly specialised plant taxonomy to more generalised and interdisciplinary research into useful plants and economic botany. Together with collaborators and students, he has written more than 300 peer-reviewed research papers, 19 books (including seven international titles, some translated into German, Polish and Korean), 40 formal taxonomic treatments of genera, including 85 new species and 10 new genera. He has supervised 20 MSc students (15 cum laude) and 14 PhD students (six of whom are now professors). He has many scientific collaborators from a range of institutions such as Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Heidelberg University (Germany) and the Komarov Botanical Institute (Russia).
He was elected as a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 2013. The South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) honoured him with the prestigious SAAB Gold Medal in 2015.
Books by Ben-Erik van Wyk
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- Medicinal Plants of South Africa
- Medicinal Plants of the World (revised edition)
- Poisonous Plants of South Africa
- Food Plants of the World
- Garden Succulents
- Muthi and Myths from the African Bush
- Muti en Mites uit Afrika
- Photo Guide to Trees Of Southern Africa
- Fotogids tot Bome van Suider-Afrika
- Mind-altering and Poisonous Plants of the World
- Cut Flowers of the World
- Culinary Herbs & Spices of the World
- Gids tot die Aalwyne van Suid-Afrika
- Guide to the Aloes of South Africa
- Peoples Plants – A Guide to Useful Plants of southern Africa (revised second edition)