composite of image of Ynes Mexia and daisy flower

BIPOC in STEM: Ynés Mexía

By María Balderrama

Have you ever stumbled upon a plant you have never seen before and wondered if it has a name yet? Ynés Mexía was a Mexican-American woman who found her calling when she was going through some rather rough mental illness issues. When she was 51 years young, she began to gain interest in botany, which is the field of study of plants. Through her 13 years of being a botanical collector, she discovered over 500 types of plants all across North & South America. Mexía was one of the most skilled plant collectors of her time despite her age, ethnicity and gender.

“I don’t think there is any place in the world where a woman can’t venture alone.” -Ynés Mexía

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Portrait of Ynés Mexía by artist Rafael López

Portrait of Ynés Mexía by artist Rafael López: