Belgian botanic gardens grieve
It is with great sadness that the Botanic Garden Meise announces the passing of Gert Ausloos, head of public awareness, member of the management committee and scientific council.
In 1997 Gert Ausloos (PhD) began to work at the then National Botanic Garden of Belgium. He formed the basis for the education section SEED (Service Educatif / Educatieve Dienst), which is also responsible for communication and tourism. He succeeded in bringing the Botanic Garden to the attention of the media and greater public.
Gert was the driving force behind the thematic renewal and renovation of the greenhouses of the Garden. The concept of “world garden” took shape under his leadership, where glasshouses representing various biomes are interspersed by those built around a specific theme like the evolution glasshouse.
He represented the Botanic Garden on a national and international level, serving on the boards of organisations such as the Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta of Belgium, the association Touristic Attractions and Museums of Belgium, and the European Botanic Gardens Consortium.
Gert fought against what he termed "plant blindness": the careless disregard of plants as mere scenery. He used his passion for plants to demonstrate the dynamic nature of plants and the vital role they play in our daily lives.
BGCI was lucky enough to have worked closely with Gert on a number of projects - particularly in the area of education, and we will greatly miss his enthusiasm, dedication and good humour.
Gert Ausloos will not only be dearly missed by his loved ones and colleagues, but also by the whole Botanic Garden Community.