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Featured Author – John Gaudet

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Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars (Pegasus, N.Y.) At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world’s wetlands and atmospheric stability. Today, it is not just a curious relic of our ancient past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. In an ironic twist, Egypt is faced with enormous pollution loads that forces them to import food supplies, and yet papyrus is one of the most effective and efficient natural pollution filters known to man. Papyrus was the key in stemming the devastation to the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River from raging peat fires (that last for years), heavy metal pollution in the Zambezi River Copperbelt and the papyrus laden shores of Lake Victoria―which provides water to more than 30 million people―will be crucial as the global drying of the climate continues.

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A Fulbright Scholar to both India and Malaya, John is a writer and practicing ecologist. His early research on the ancient aquatic plant, papyrus, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, took him to Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, and many other places in Africa. A trained ecologist with a Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley, his writing has appeared in Science, Nature, Ecology, the Washington Post, Salon and Huffington Post.