Ethnobiological News

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The Nina Etkin Young Researcher Award


1. Purpose: The Etkin Award has two purposes. First, to honour the memory of Nina Etkin and her work in ethnopharmacology and second, to support graduate students doing field work in ethnopharmacology. Award recipients are not expected to do the same work as Dr. Etkin but those exploring similar objectives will receive the highest consideration. Dr. Etkin conducted studies of food and medicine in traditional communities in Africa, North America, Oceania, and SE Asia.

2. Potential award recipients: Applicants must be graduate students or scholars with less than two years since earning a Ph.D. who are studying some aspect of ethnopharmacology. The following are desirable qualifications but these are flexible. Applicants lacking one or more of the following characteristics are still encouraged to apply.

  1. Students working in a Ph.D./D.Phil. program of study have preference over M.S./M.A. or other graduate degrees.
  2. Program of study focuses on ethnopharmacology or a closely related field (e.g., anthropology, pharmacology)
  3. Membership in the ISE

3. Award schedule and proposals: Ordinarily, one award will be made every two years (even numbered years), in the amount of U.S.$ 5000.

Learn about Proposal requirements here:


Dr. Eugene N. Anderson Receives SOE's 2013 Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award

Eugene N. Anderson is the recipient of the Society of Ethnobiology’s 2013 Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award due to his outstanding contributions to the discipline of Ethnobiology and his contributions to advancing the goals of our beloved organization.  Dr. Anderson is Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at the University of California, Riverside.  He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967.  He has done research on ethnobiology, cultural ecology, political ecology, and medical anthropology, in several areas, especially Hong Kong, British Columbia, California, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.  His books include The Food of China (Yale University Press 1988), Ecologies of the Heart (Oxford University Press 1996), Political Ecology of a Yucatec Maya Community (University of Arizona Press 2005), and The Pursuit of Ecotopia (Praeger 2010). Join the Society’s Board of Directors when they recognize Dr. Anderson’s honorable record by presenting him with the DEB Award at the Membership Meeting in Denton, Texas on the afternoon of Friday, May 17th during our annual conference.  Following the award presentation, Dr. Anderson will deliver an acceptance speech at the annual business meeting.

Election Results

The Society of Ethnobiology elected two new members to its Board of Directors in December 2013.  Chelsey Armstrong, a Ph.D. student in the department of archaeology at Simon Fraser University, is the Society's new Web Liaison. Our new Publications Liaison is Ray Pierotti (Ph.D. Dalhousie University), Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Indigenous Studies at the University of Kansas. The terms for all of the new Board members begin in May 2014.  Congratulations to Ray and Chelsey! Welcome to your new leadership positions!

SoE to change dues structure and pricing

The board would like to announce a massive restructuring of dues that will take place in August to September. We plan to dramatically reduce the price of online subscriptions/dues (for students, the price will drop by more than 50%, for professionals the price drop will be about 50%). There will be an additional fee for those who still desire the print copy of the journal (keeping print prices about the same/ slightly increased). Online dues include access to the Journal of Ethnobiology via BioOne, the new monograph series Contributions in Ethnobiology, and qualification to present at the annual conference.

Dr. Catherine (Kay) Fowler Receives 2012 Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award

The Society of Ethnobiology is pleased to announce the second recipient of its Distinguished Ethnobiologist Award, Dr. Catherine (Kay) Fowler.  Dr. Fowler is Professor Emerita at the University of Nevada, Reno and was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences.   She is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the study of traditional ecological knowledge, having spent decades collaborating with, and learning from, the peoples of the Great Basin.  Learn more about Dr. Fowler and her work at

Jonathan Dombrosky is the Recipient of the 2012 Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award

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

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

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

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

Ethnobiology is the study of relationships between particular ethnic groups, or cultures, and their plant and animal environments. This is the single authoritative source on ethnobiology, from the leading members of the Society for Ethnobiology. It covers the entire field, including laboratory biology, medical anthropology, archaeological, ethnological, and linguistic approaches. This unique text allows students to begin doing guided research in any area of ethnobiology, from archaeoethnozoology to ethnomycology. It is suitable for advanced-level ethnobotany, ethnobiology, and archaeologically related courses, as well as research institutes.

Big Award: "Environmental changes and impacts on Human Health"

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: