Ethnobiological News & Announcements

Jonathan Dombrosky is the Recipient of the 2012 Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award
2012/03/15 - 3:18pm

Jonathan Dombrosky, an Anthropology major at the University of North Texas, has been selected to receive the 2012 Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award.  This award supports membership and meeting participation for a student who will advise the Board of Directors on undergraduate participation in the Society.  Jonathan is studying zooarchaeology with current Society Treasurer Steve Wolverton.

Interview with Ethnobiologist, Catherine (Kay) Fowler
2012/01/04 - 11:35am

At the 2008 SoE Annual meetings in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Dana Lepofsky, then President of the Society, interviewed Kay about her long and successful career as an ethnobiologist. Kay describes how she got her start in ethnobiology some 50 years ago with her work with the hunter-gatherers of the Great Basin -- before there was a sub-discipline of "ethnobiology". As an undergraduate student, Kay recognized the importance of a solid training in both ecology and linguistics. This training enabled her to work with traditional ecological experts and to accurately document their knowledge. Kay discusses the deep and lasting connections she has with the communities with whom she has worked. Many of these communities are using her carefully collected field notes today to relearn the lost aspects of their traditional culture. Kay highlights the importance of ethnobiological field research today, for helping indigenous people reconnect with their heritage and manage their traditional lands. Of her field work, she remarks that the most important lesson learned is that you should "shut [your] mouth and just watch and listen and you're going to learn a lot".

Click on the attachment below to listen to the interview.

*If you are using a Mac and are having trouble listening to the interview, you may have to download a plugin. Details are here.

Ethnobiology Letters Completes Volume 3
2011/12/07 - 4:20pm

The Society of Ethnobiology is pleased to announce the completion of the third volume of Ethnobiology Letters (EBL), a gold open access, fully online journal for short communications. We invite you to read our most recent, newly completed issue of EBL which is exclusively available here on the Society's website: Volume three includes eight research articles and eight book reviews. The volume opens and closes with a letter about the ethics of publishing with EBL from our new editor James Welch, who was recently elected to the Society's Board of Director's seat for Outreach-Inreach Coordinator.

NEW Ethnobiology Textbook
2011/09/26 - 5:59pm

Ethnobiology, edited by E.N. Anderson, Deborah M. Pearsall, Eugene S. Hunn, and Nancy J. Turner

E. N. Anderson (Editor), Deborah Pearsall (Editor), Eugene Hunn (Editor), Nancy Turner (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-54785-4
Paperback 420 pages
August 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
US $89.95

The single comprehensive treatment of the field, from the leading members of the Society of Ethnobiology

The field of ethnobiology—the study of relationships between particular ethnic groups and their native plants and animals—has grown very rapidly in recent years, spawning numerous subfields. Ethnobiological research has produced a wide range of medicines, natural products, and new crops, as well as striking insights into human cognition, language, and environmental management behavior from prehistory to the present.

This is the single authoritative source on ethnobiology, covering all aspects of the field as it is currently defined. Featuring contributions from experienced scholars and sanctioned by the Society of Ethnobiology, this concise, readable volume provides extensive coverage of ethical issues and practices as well as archaeological, ethnological, and linguistic approaches.

Emphasizing basic principles and methodology, this unique textbook offers a balanced treatment of all the major subfields within ethnobiology, allowing students to begin guided research in any related area—from archaeoethnozoology to ethnomycology to agroecology. Each chapter includes a basic introduction to each topic, is written by a leading specialist in the specific area addressed, and comes with a full bibliography citing major works in the area. All chapters cover recent research, and many are new in approach; most chapters present unpublished or very recently published new research. Featured are clear, distinctive treatments of areas such as ethnozoology, linguistic ethnobiology, traditional education, ethnoecology, and indigenous perspectives. Methodology and ethical action are also covered up to current practice.

Ethnobiology is a specialized textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students; it is suitable for advanced-level ethnobotany, ethnobiology, cultural and political ecology, and archaeologically related courses. Research institutes will also find this work valuable, as will any reader with an interest in ethnobiological fields.

Big Award: "Environmental changes and impacts on Human Health"
2011/09/07 - 3:00pm

Invitation for applications

Prince Albert II of Monaco / Institut Pasteur Award

The Institut Pasteur, the Monaco Scientific Center and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation are pleased to invite applications for the "Prince Albert II of Monaco - Institut Pasteur" Award 2012.

This biennial award will be given to an investigator in the field of:
“Environmental changes and impacts on Human Health”

The prize will be awarded on the occasion of the Scientific Symposium dedicated to environmental changes and their impacts on human health, to be held on March 23rd, 2012.

The Award will honor an investigator under fifty years old who has made outstanding contributions to the field. The honoree will receive a 40,000 Euros personal award. Candidates from all relevant disciplines (ecological, biomedical, and social sciences) are invited to submit their applications, which will be evaluated by a Jury of renowned scientific experts.

The dossier should include:

  • a one-page letter written by the nominee describing the importance of his/her contribution to the field of “Environmental changes and impacts on Health”.
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • a list of scientific publications and/or books,
  • a one-page outline of her/his plans for future research,
  • two letters of support.

All applications files must be submitted in english.

The deadline for submitting nominations is September 30th, 2011.

All files should only be sent in electronic format, as a single pdf file to:

To learn more, please visit:

2011 Recipient of the Best Ethnobiology Poster Award
2011/05/31 - 4:16pm

Congratulations to Michel Rapinksi, recipient of the 2011 Best Ethnobiology Poster Award!

2011  RAPINSKI, Michel (Institut de Recherche en Biologie Végétale,Québec) and Rui LILIN (University of Ottawa). Geographical Variations in the Phytochemical Profiles of Cree Anti diabetic Medicines. [Abstract]

2011 Recipient of the Barbara Lawrence Award
2011/05/31 - 4:11pm

Congratulations to Paul Szpak, recipient of the 2011 Barbara Lawrence Award!

2011  Paul Szpak (University of Western Ontario), Trevor Orchard (University of Toronto), Russell Markel (University of British Columbia), and Iain McKechnie (University of British Columbia). Interactions between Humans and Sea Otters in Holocene British Columbia: Evidence from Stable Isotope Analysis. (Oral presentation). [Abstract]

35th Annual Meeting, Denver Botanic Gardens, April 11–14, 2012. "Conservation and Communities"
2011/05/12 - 9:55am

SoE 2012 Conference logoThe Society of Ethnobiology invites papers for our 2012 conference "Conservation and Communities" to be held April 11–14, 2012, at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Colorado. This year's conference theme explores the importance and power of linking conservation efforts to communities.
We encourage presentations that: 

  • Highlight engagement and collaboration with indigenous peoples
  • Recognize the importance of working with children and elders
  • Incorporate innovations in environmental education
  • Document conservation (or lack there of) in the paleoecological and archaeological records
  • Integrate diverse kinds of knowledge
  • Recognize the importance of traditional knowledge in conservation and restoration
  • Investigate the application of archaeobiological data to conservation
  • Provide different perspectives on land and natural resource management

Conference email:

Kay Fowler (Catherine Fowler, University of Nevada-Reno) has been elected to the National Academy of Science
2011/05/03 - 9:54am

Congratulations to Catherine Fowler (Past President SoE)! She has been elected to the US National Academy of Science, one of the greatest honors in scholarship.

Travel funds available for upcoming SEB Meeting, July 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri
2011/03/01 - 10:44am

Are you a student interested in attending the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Open Science Network (OSN) at the Society for Economic Botany (SEB) and Botanical Society of America joint meetings in St. Louis, MO?

If you are, the OSN needs your help! We are hosting a competition among interested students in the creation of an activity that demonstrates how one can collect data using any type of new technology.

If you are an interested student, please read the following guidelines for this particular competition:

  1. This competition is for undergraduate or graduate level students only.
  2. You will need to develop a document that provides details about how you can use new technology to collect data in the field or classroom. You will need to include the tools and resources that were used. The format for this documentation is variable and includes Word document, PowerPoint, poster, or video.
  3. Complete an application for this award.
  4. Submit your idea and application to Keri Barfield ( by March 22, 2011. All materials will be reviewed by the co-PI’s of the grant and winners will be decided. Applicants will receive notification by March 29, 2011.

What do you win you may ask?

The chosen applicant will receive a travel assistance award to St. Louis, MO to become a participant in the 3rd Annual Open Science Network Meetings. This award will cover transportation and subsistence costs to Missouri. The subsistence costs will support two nights of room and board.

For Further information about this competition, please feel free to contact Keri Barfield (

Good Luck!

Travel Award for the 3rd Annual Open Science Network Meetings in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Open Science Network (OSN) is proud to announce that we will be hosting a competition among ethno-educators and ethnobiologists to obtain a TRAVEL AWARD to attend the 3rd Annual meetings for the OSN in 2011. The Open Science Network grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, encourages students, faculty and practicing ethnobiologists to participate in its annual meeting in conjunction with the Society for Economic Botany and Botanical Society of America meetings, scheduled for July 9-13 in St. Louis, Missouri. There are several ways to get involved in the project and become eligible for travel funds to attend the meeting.

If you are an interested participant, please read the following rules and guidelines for this particular competition:

  1. This competition is open to all ethno-educators and ethnobiologists.
  2. All interested participants need to submit either:
    1. A curriculum module that can be posted on the OSN Wiki site. Please view the following link for further examples of modules:
    2. At least 3 thorough evaluations of existing curriculum modules. These evaluations should be detailed and provide the author enough information to help enhance the module. Please view the following link for an example of a module evaluation template:
  3. Complete an application and submit with your entry to Keri Barfield ( by March 22, 2011. All materials will be reviewed by the co-PI’s of the grant. All applicants will receive notification of the results by March 29, 2011.

What do you win you may ask?

If chosen, you will receive a travel assistance award to St. Louis, MO to participant in the Annual Open Science Network Meetings. This award will cover transportation and subsistence costs to Missouri. The subsistence costs will support two nights of room and board.

For Further information about this competition, please feel free to contact Keri Barfield (

Good Luck!


  1. Curriculum modules: these are broadly defined from a complete lesson plan to a unit of study.
    • All modules will be subject to evaluations in the spirit of the open science concept.
    • All educators who apply for travel assistance are encouraged to submit at least one brief module, regardless of whether they choose to do evaluations or a curriculum development plan.
    • Examples of modules are listed on the OSN site However, you are not limited by the types of modules posted here.
    • Modules can be web pages that discuss specific topics in ethnobiology and ask questions that students could try to answer.
    • Modules can be a web page that has suggested content for specific types of courses based on people’s experiences working in different types of jobs. For example, for an ethnobiologist, the question may relate to what kind of training the job requires and how does that relate to the educational process? How do the learning objectives relate to the needs in the workplace?
  1. Evaluations of existing modules: examples of evaluations can be viewed at

Additional comments:

    • How well does the module meet the objectives?
    • How is success measured?
    • What is missing from your perspective?
    • How can you adapt the module to your needs?
    • Include feedback that is useful for both the potential users and the producer
JoE Article Featured in National Geographic Daily News!
2011/01/19 - 12:06pm

The rodent-cache raiding study that appeared in the fall/winter 2010 issue of the Journal of Ethnobiology is featured in National Geographic Daily News!

Link to article:

Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award Goes to Alex McAlvay
2011/01/04 - 10:44am

The Society of Ethnobiology is pleased to announce that Alex McAlvay is the first recipient of our "Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award".  Alex is a senior biological anthropology student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. His chief interests are in evolutionary medicine and nutrition. Among other accomplishments, Alex has undertaken several projects related to indigenous diet, especially in the Cascadia region of the NW US, including establishing a native plant demonstration garden at Mercer Island Library. He has lived and participated in farming on the Navajo Reservation; done fieldwork in Kwakwak'wakw gardens, Kingcome Inlet, BC; and he has work experience at Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts in Huejuquilla, Mexico; Herb Pharm (a tincture manufacturer and herb farm); and the University of Washington’s medicinal plant and ethnobotanical gardens. He is a member of Washington Native Plant Stewardship, the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society, Northwest Mushroomers, and the Board of Governors for Sehome Arboretum in Bellingham. Alex is enthusiastic about increasing undergraduate interest and involvement in the Society. Alex McAlvay will formally accept his award at our 2011 annual meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology in Columbus, Ohio.

Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award Recognizes Dr. Richard Ford
2010/12/17 - 11:02am

The Society of Ethnobiology is pleased to announce that Dr. Richard Ford is the first recipient of our "Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award".  Dr. Ford's long history of mentorship and scholarship exceeds the criteria of the award: to honour an ethnobiologist who has made outstanding contributions to the discipline of ethnobiology and to our Society.

Dr. Ford's research in the American Southwest and elsewhere bridges disciplines such as ethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, and ethnoecology.  His teaching, in both formal and informal settings, has inspired people from many communities, including academic ethnobiologists, Native Americans, and the general public.  Today, he is using his accumulated knowledge to assist Native American tribes with legal cases and to preserve ancient heritage.

Dr. Ford formally accepted his award and addressed the Society at our 2011 annual meetings in Columbus, Ohio.

Radio Interview with Steve Wolverton on Ethnobiology and Conservation
2010/11/17 - 11:28am
Join an Online Discussion of Cultural Perspectives on Biodiversity
2010/11/09 - 11:31am

The University of Otago and New Zealand Ecological Society warmly invites members of the Society of Ethnobiology to join an online discussion of cultural approaches to biodiversity research and management. Eight propositions for debate were proposed by New Zealand ecologists, but most have relevance to ethnobiology and science partnerships throughout the world. We would love to hear your opinions and to share ideas, experiences and guidance on how to achieve more effective cross-cultural research and environmental management.  You can read the propositions, responses and (best of all!) add your own contributions by clicking on You may wish to link your responses to the talks and poster abstracts for the upcoming New Zealand Ecological Society conference symposium (you can download these from the ‘Link to symposium’ tab at