Current Board of Directors
President (May 2021–May 2023) Elizabeth Olson earned her doctorate degree in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 2009, and is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Utah University, located in Cedar City, UT. She has conducted fieldwork in the USA, Mexico and Bolivia. Her doctorate research tackled questions about the constitution and distribution of indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge in west-central Mexico. She has used a blend of qualitative and quantitative approaches to study traditional ecological knowledge of medicinal plants and relate it to the processes of community development and community-based conservation. Currently, her research agenda is focused on the role of botanical knowledge in ethnomedical systems in Western Europe, the USA and Mexico. Liz is also very engaged in food and health sovereignty movements which she integrates in many of her classroom-based projects. Contact: email@example.com
Vice President/President Elect (May 2021–May 2023) Daniela Shebitz is an Associate Professor and Executive Director of the School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences at Kean University in New Jersey. She is a plant ecologist who researches the effects of land management on culturally and ecologically significant plants, with a particular interest in basketry, food, and medicinal plants. She collaborates with local people to restore those plants and ecosystems which defined the region in sites ranging from the urban parks of Union County and the wetlands of the New Jersey Pine Barrens to the rainforests of Costa Rica. Daniela first became involved with SoE in 1999 and is truly honored to be part of the SoE board. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer (May 2020–May 2023) John M. Marston is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Archaeology Program at Boston University, where he heads the Environmental Archaeology Laboratory. He studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use with a focus on ancient societies of the Mediterranean and western and central Asia, including recent fieldwork in Turkey, Israel, and Uzbekistan. His research has been recently supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and Australian-American Fulbright Commission, leading to numerous publications including the award-winning monograph Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Change at Ancient Gordion and the article “Modeling Resilience and Sustainability in Ancient Agricultural Systems" in the Journal of Ethnobiology. A former co-editor of Ethnobiology Letters (2015–2020), he has been a member of the Society since 2007. Contact: email@example.com
Secretary (May 2021–May 2024) Alex McAlvay is an Assistant Curator in the Institute of Economic Botany at The New York Botanical Garden. His research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary impacts of traditional plant stewardship practices in Mexico, Ethiopia, and Canada. His dissertation research combined ethnographic interviews, genomics, and GIS to trace the origins of Brassica rapa crops (e.g., bok choy, napa cabbage, turnips), their escape from cultivation, and their adoption as a weedy edible plant by Mexican farmers. His postdoctoral work in northern Ethiopia centered around traditional mixed wheat-barley cropping systems, their climate resilience, and threats to their persistence. He also maintains a long-term collaborative research program along the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America focused on salt-marsh gardens and other anthropogenic ecosystems. He recently started new projects with the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island to map plant resources on the reservation and with Wixárika communities in Mexico to document and revitalize language related to ethnoecology. Alex served on the board formerly as an undergraduate and graduate student. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Members at Large
Publications Liaison (May 2020–May 2023) Chelsey Geralda Armstrong is Assitant Professor in Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University. She works and lives on the Northwest Coast of North America where she applies ethnobiological theory and method to archaeological practice. Along with her Tsimshian and Gitxsan collaborators, Chelsey studies the cultural landscapes of the Skeena watershed. In particular, she explores the timing and extent of ancient forest management practices that resulted in remnant forest gardens found at archaeological sites today. Chelsey has been a member of the Society for 12 years, previously served as the website and social media coordinator, she is a Barbara Lawrence award recipient, and considers the Society to be her intellectual home. In her 2nd term as publications liaison, she works with JOE and EBL editors to broadcast our great publications to the world. Contact: email@example.com
Promotion and Outreach Coordinator: Publicity and Community Engagement (May 2022–May 2025) Kali is an archaebotanist whose focus is microbotanical (phytolith) remains and their potential to reconstruct ancient diet, technology, and palaeoenvironments. Her research is currently focused on phytolith methodologies and she's loving her recent assemblages which showcase ecosystem management in ancient North America. Previously serving as a co-editor of the Forage! Blog and social media coordinator, Kali is now serving her second term as Publicity and Community Engagement Coordinator. She hopes that through accessible science education and transparent communication, we can continue sharing scientific literature, activist events, and the happenings of the Society in a light-hearted, enjoyable way. Feel free to email Kali with requests or ideas for Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org
Promotion and Outreach Coordinator: Membership and Development (May 2021–2024) Zoë Eddy. Bio coming soon. Contact: email@example.com
Promotion and Outreach Coordinator: Student Engagement (May 2019–May 2022) Florecia Pech-Cárdenas is an Maya woman from the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota in the Forest Resources Department. Her research focuses on understanding Maya farmers' and artisans' management of the dry tropical forest in order to fulfill their livelihoods while engaging in the tourism industry. She is interested in bringing, highlighting and centering Indigenous perspectives and voices into the forest management field and practice. Growing up Indigenous, poor and a woman, she strongly believes in using an intersectional lens to uncover several ways Indigenous peoples, and particularly Indigenous women, experience oppression in everyday life. Her doctoral dissertation uses the humanities, ecological and social methodologies to understand how Maya farmers-artisans manage their forest and natural resources while engaging in the tourism market via handicraft production. She has been involved in the Society of Ethnobiology since 2017 where she has felt very welcome and believes the strong commitment of the SoE towards Indigenous and diverse communities. She is also engaged in initiatives to bring women into STEAM fields, and to open spaces for women mothers in academic and University settings. She loves cooking Yucatecan food, and enjoys her free time outdoor hiking, traveling and being in close contact with plants and family. Florencia is also a mother, daughter, sister, wife, matriarch, botanist, and a Fulbright scholar. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web and Social Media Liaison (May 2020–May 2023) Annalee Sekulić is a research assistant in Dr. Joy McCorriston’s Near Eastern Archaeology and Archaeobotany Laboratory (NEAAL) Laboratory at Ohio State University. Annalee’s current research is focused on analyzing packrat and hyrax middens to understand as proxies for ancient vegetation. She uses her data to reconstruct the flora in archeological contexts within southern Oman. She currently is a Senior Research Associate with Hanover Research, a market research firm. Since 2019, Annalee enjoys working with the Society of Ethnobiology to bridge the divide between academic and general audiences through social media. Feel free to email Annalee with requests or ideas for social media at email@example.com.
Undergraduate Ethnobiologist Award Winner (May 2021–May 2022) Charlotte Rose B. Frisk. Bio coming soon.
Appointed Board Positions
Conference Coordinator Ashley Blazina is an ecologist who examines how different cultures interact with and manage the ecosystems they live in. She is particularly interested in how these differences affect restoration and land management decisions, both on a regional and global scale. Ashley received her M.Sc. in Environmental and Forest Sciences with a concentration in ethnoecology at the University of Washington. Ashley previously taught in the University of Washington's Environmental Studies department, but currently works in the public sector, examining human behavior and community fire adaptation, specifically through a lens of forest health. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards Coordinator Jade d’Alpoim Guedes is an environmental archaeologist and ethnobiologist who employs an interdisciplinary research program to understand how humans adapted their foraging practices and agricultural strategies to new environments and have developed resilience in the face of climatic and social change. She employs a variety of different methodologies in her research including archaeobotany, paleoclimate reconstruction and computational modeling. Dr. d’Alpoim Guedes’ primary region of focus is the Tibetan Plateau, where she directs an interdisciplinary fieldwork project in the Jiuzhaigou National Park in Western Sichuan. She has worked extensively in China, but also has interests in Nepal, Thailand and Pakistan. Dr. d’Alpoim Guedes also works closely with crop scientists to preserve and promote the use of landrace crops. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego where she mentors undergraduate and graduate students in her laboratory. Contact: email@example.com
Graduate Ethnobiology Research Fellowships Coordinator James R. Welch is Associate Researcher of human ecology and public health at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Research Fellow at the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). From 2011 to 2018 he served as co-editor of Ethnobiology Letters, a journal of the Society of Ethnobiology. His primary research focuses on Indigenous A’uwẽ (Xavante) communities in Central Brazil, addressing such topics as health and wellbeing, fire ecology, social organization, environmental knowledge, territorial rights, and digital sovereignty. He authored and organized four books and has another currently under consideration that addresses A’uwẽ social organization, ecology, and well-being. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org