Dr. Carene Picot-Allain in simple terms is living her childhood dreams. Her love of nature as a young child was a clear sign that she was destined for a career in natural sciences.

Even as an adult, Carene’s desire for knowledge has pushed her to become an achiever at a very young age. She is, however, very quick to remind me that she did not do this alone, she has her strong family support and motivation from her parents to always aim higher to thank for her achievements.

Dr. Carene believes that her coming to Future Africa was pure luck. She had never heard of Future Africa, nor the Early Career Research Leader Fellowship (ECRLF) before. It was through her current host mentor, a fellow Mauritian, who had seen the wonderful work she had managed to do within the short space of time after her qualification that drove him to push to get her into the fellowship so that he could get to work with her and give her further mentorship. 

Trained as a Biochemist, Carene has made significantly contribution to the valorization of underexplored medicinal plants from Mauritius. She has looked at the multiple pharmacological potential of traditionally used medicinal plants from Mauritius. Her present research focuses on the application of the principles of “green chemistry” and “green technologies” in the development of valuable biomaterials from agro-industrial wastes. This is a transdisciplinary research involving three science disciplines of food chemistry, biopolymer chemistry, and chemical engineering.

Carene is loving every moment of the fellowship. According to Dr Carene, Future Africa not only offers a conducive learning environment, it is the “place to be” for researchers, particularly early career researchers owing to the exposure it offers for capacity building, networking, and transdisciplinary collaborations. She sees the fellowship as a platform on which she will be able to extend her network and hone her research capacity. She believes that Future Africa is the ideal platform for nurturing early career researchers into future intellectual leaders.

Carene is looking forward to sharing her experience and empowering young researchers from her home country. She also believes that the experience will give her good recommendation for a permanent academic position in Mauritius.

Her advice to young people is that education is key to solving many challenges that are experienced in Africa in which Future Africa is playing a key role. To future fellows, Future Africa provides the ideal platform and acts as facilitator, creating opportunity for fruitful transdisciplinary collaboration for the advancement of Africa.