Plant Neurobiology

Not everyone is favorable to the idea that plants are intelligent and capable of complex decision making. If you think about it, accepting that plants are intelligent and rational beings would mean that we have to rethink our entire relationship with the plant world, from food to landscaping. You think animal rights is a difficult issue, what happens when you start to understand that the tulips you cut from the ground and put in a vase are alive, as is the salad on your plate?

If you have followed the development of the branch of science called “Plant Neurobiology”, you will know that its definition is controversial even today. If this is the first time you hear of it, one of the best definitions of this emerging science is from Paco Calvo’s (MINT Lab, Universidad de Murcia) The Philosophy of Plant Neurobiology: a manifesto,

‘Plant neurobiology’ has emerged in recent years as a multidisciplinary endeavor carried out mainly by steady collaboration within the plant sciences. The field proposes a particular approach to the study of plant intelligence by putting forward an integrated view of plant signaling and adaptive behavior. Its objective is to account for the way plants perceive and act in a purposeful manner. But it is not only the plant sciences that constitute plant neurobiology. Resources from philosophy and cognitive science are central to such an interdisciplinary project, if plant neurobiology is to maintain its target well-focused.

Plants are not humans nor animals. Their systems are completely different, so we can’t think about working with them in the same way as we do other beings. While it is clear that there is still a vast disconnect between humanity and nature, there is hope! Research into Plant Neurobiology and Plant Signaling and Communications is helping us understand the intelligence and awareness of the plant world and the wide-range of benefits they provide to humans. This is leading to immense growth in nature-based processes, techniques, and programs such as Biomimicry, Japanese Forest Bathing, Biophilic Cities, Edible Gardens in Schools, The Living Building Challenge, and many more that bring nature into the city and recognize plants as active co-creators.

In the middle of all this research and development is where you can find Tigrilla Gardenia!

Understanding the plant world requires a completely new way of thinking, and if there is something Tigrilla is good at, it is thinking outside the box. 🙂


Tigrilla is available for keynote speaking engagements, conferences, workshops, and interviews. For booking information, contact her.