Monica Gagliano does stuff with plants that no one seems to have done in a very long time, treating them in a manner that acknowledges the possibility of intelligence, consciousness and sentience. The ‘Featured Image’ is one of her paintings.
Her main research is broadly focusing on key aspects of the ecological processes by which organisms are able to gather information on the variable conditions of their surrounding environment in order to thrive. Amongst other things she drops plants, teases them with blue lights and fans.
If she is correct this should be a major paradigm shift for us all, we may have to reckon with intelligent organisms independent of the traditional brain and nervous system model. We may be in the early stages of waking up to a world long-populated by considerably more intelligent, sentient beings than previously acknowledged, and reconsider our position with regards to Nature.
In collaboration with various disciplines across the Sciences and the Humanities, her research aims at expanding our perception of animals, plants and more generally Nature. In the process of learning how to do this, she has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics and extended the concept of cognition to plants, re-igniting the discourse on plant subjectivity, sentience and ethical standing.
This subject has been of interest for a while, and the questions of Do plants posess souls or not? was considered in the linked blog post.
Monica is a Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology; Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia; Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney; and Senior Research Fellow at the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab, University of Sydney