2024 Preliminary Conference Program

All times are in Central Daylight Time Zone (UTC-5:00). To convert to your own time zone, see this Time Zone Converter

Subject to changes – please check back regularly for updates!

 Download the final Program (Large PDF: 17.3 MB; Small PDF: 2.5 MB)

(Presentations marked with an asterisk are being considered for the Barbara Lawrence Award.)

Thursday April 25, 2024

10:30 to 12:00 (Thursday)

Cassava and Cacao

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Pérez
, Darío - Universidad Nacional de Colombia; G-EAU, CIRAD, Université de Montpellier
Duputié
, Anne - Université de Lille, CNRS
Szurek
, Boris - PHIM Plant Health Institute, IRD
Caillon
, Sophie - CEFE, CNRS

Colombian Caribbean region contributes significantly in the national cassava production, despite major socioeconomic constraints. Among the latter, Cassava-Bacterial-Blight (CBB), a disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas phaseoli pv. manihotis (Xpm), leads to irreversible damage to plants, impeding growth and productivity. Aspects such as local genetic diversity, the impact of farming practices, and the social context on Xpm epidemiology have yet to be determined. In this sense, we will show, through biocultural approaches, the role played by local knowledge and socioeconomic factors on the occurrence and transmission of CBB within a village where cassava is cultivated at a small-scale. Our findings show that the changes of agricultural practices and the cassava cuttings circulation system strongly impacts the spread and diversity of Xpm. This information can be a key element to improve our understanding of the pathogen population genetic structure and dynamic to improve early detection and sustainable control of CBB in cassava crops.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Ilo
, John

This study investigates converting waste cassava components into biogas in Ilaro, Nigeria, addressing energy needs and sustainable waste management. Nigeria's reliance on cassava generates significant unused waste, posing environmental challenges. Through lab and field assessments, the research examines cassava waste's composition and methane production potential, evaluating local socio-economic and environmental impacts of biogas systems.

Initial findings highlight cassava waste's potential for biogas due to its high organic content, suitable for microbial digestion. The Ilaro case study emphasizes waste availability, community engagement, and economic feasibility. It identifies barriers and suggests strategies to improve biogas production, covering technical, economic, and social aspects.

These findings provide insights into renewable energy and waste management, showcasing cassava waste's promise as a sustainable biogas source in Nigerian agriculture. The study aims to guide policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders toward eco-friendly energy solutions and community well-being by utilizing agricultural by-products.

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Echefu
, Sylvia Ukamaka - Czech University of Life Sciences Prauge, Czech Republic
Rabbi
, Ismail Yusuf - International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan Nigeria

Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) is commonly considered as the most damaging diseases constraint to Cassava production in Africa. It is caused by germiniviruses and is transmitted by whitefly Bemisiatabata. CMD infection results in low yields; often between 20-90%. Epidemics are particularly ravaging, with root yield losses as high as 100% are common in farmers' fields and costs farmers about UDS $440 million per annum.

Host plant resistance is the most effective control strategy, and breeding for varieties with resistance to this serious disease can be enhanced through use of molecular markers that are linked to the CMD resistance genes such as high-density Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in market assisted selection. To identify such markers, "genotyping by sequencing (GBS)" was used to genotype a bi-parental mapping population of a segregating full-sib (F1) family generated from the cross of two heterogeneous clones resistance landrace and susceptible variety.

11:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Wooding
, Stephen - University of California, Merced
Rubén Peña
, César - Amazon Scientific Research Support

Yuca (Manihot esculenta Crantz; also called cassava or manioc) is a key subsistence crop throughout the Amazon basin. Archeological and genetic evidence suggest that it was initially domesticated ~10,000 years ago on the southern margin of the region and then dispersed, diversifying under human pressure into myriad landraces. However, the specific influences mediating landrace development remain poorly understood. In this study, we sought to clarify them in a field investigation of cultural and biological variation on five tributaries of the Upper Peruvian Amazon. We identified 45 landraces, which growers propagated clonally, a strategy maintaining landrace integrity. Landraces were also phenotypically distinct and assigned traditional names, reflecting different planned uses. In addition, while most phenotypic measures were statistically associated, nutritional content was independent of others, and may be under independent selective pressure. Finally, we found little evidence of geographic population structure, a pattern likely explained by transportation of landraces by growers.

11:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Charles
, Caitlyn
Ormsby
, Alison - Adventure Scientists

Research has been conducted about the health benefits of cacao, indigenous uses, and psychoactive effects. However, minimal research has been completed regarding the implications of high-dose cacao consumption in interpersonal settings. People globally who run and attend 'cacao ceremonies' claim that cacao's psychoactive effects lead, in many users, to euphoria, emotional openness, and disinhibition. They assert that these effects make cacao an excellent addition to reflection and connection-building activities done in groups or in pairs; however, claims need to be researched and field tested. If validated, cacao could prove to be a useful complement to a range of interpersonal activities, from corporate team building to community building, to applications for romantic relationships or even therapy. A wealth of anecdotal reports support this notion, though they could very well be the result of confirmation bias. This presentation will present literature background on this topic.

 

10:30 to 12:00 (Thursday)

History and Folklore

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Farley
, Kate - Missouri Botanical Garden

This study focuses on plants used medicinally for gynecological and reproductive health concerns in the Ozarks, documented in folklore archives. The Ozark plateau is a rugged, hilly region that includes southern Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and small parts of eastern Kansas and Oklahoma. Due to its physical isolation from major population centers, the region’s folk culture—including uses of herbs—drew great interest from American folklore collectors in the first half of the 20th century. This study uses folklore records housed in university and library archives in Missouri and Arkansas to shine light on the way historical Ozarkers used herbs to treat gynecological concerns, including menstrual cramps, treating (or inducing) miscarriage, and childbirth. This study not only allows us a glimpse into the lives of women in the past, but it has particular relevance in a contemporary political climate in which access to reproductive health care is under threat.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Bye
, Robert - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Linares
, Edelmira - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

St. Louis, “Gateway to the American West”, was the origin and terminus of ten naturalist-travelers who contributed to the proto-ethnobotanical period of western North America during the first half the 19th century through observations on useful plants that attracted their curiosity as well as provided sustenance and remedies for their survival. Between 1790 and 1869, they penetrated the trans-Mississippian West (that was the object of geopolitical disputes) and described its flora (that was subjected to academic emulation) on behalf of the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, Spain and Mexico and offered insights into western North America’s biocultural resources.  A diachronic analysis using a Continuity Index of 100 plants reported in journals and as specimens suggest that about three-quarters of these vegetal biocultural resources were retained by Native Americans/Pueblos Originarios during the 20th century. Examples of the antipodal poles of the continuity gradient are represented by Pediomelum and Clematis.

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Minnis
, Paul - University of Oklahoma
Mattalia
, Giulia - Univeristat Autonoma e Barcelona
Strymets
, Natalyia - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Soukand
, Renata - Ca' Foscari University of Venice

The Holodomor (1932-1933) was a politically driven, genocidal famine that killed millions through starvation and disease, as well as disrupting Ukrainian society and agriculture.Through the analysis of various archival sources, particularly survivor narratives, we obtained information about 70 plants used as famine foods, plants not customarily eaten and those eaten in unusual quantities or ways during the Holodomor. Residual parts of crops represented a large number of these famine foods. A wide range of native plants were also consumed. The general inventory of Ukrainian famine food types is similar to those from other major global famines.

11:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Ezhevskaya
, Anya - Dallas International University

My presentation offers an overview of the role and presence of fungi in Slavic folklore. Mushrooms have for centuries held an important place in the eco-mythology of Slavic peoples. This is evidenced not only by the riddles, proverbs, and folktales such as The War of Mushrooms (Voina Gribov) that refer to fungi, but also by works of fine art and music created over the last two centuries. The intimate, homey relationship that Slavic people have with mushrooms is also revealed through the ubiquitous practices, even into the 21st century, of foraging for fungi, mushroom preservation through fermentation and pickling, and mycophagy. My presentation highlights some of the most notable examples of mycological interplay with Slavic folklore in the past and present and looks forward to changes in the relationship between these peoples and mushrooms in a globalized, hyper-technical world torn by war and cushioned by financial prominence.

11:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Pierotti
, Raymond - Univ. of Kansas

Myths are considered to be traditional stories, especially explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and are typically assumed to involve supernatural beings or events. This assumption means that important scientific insights contained therein are missed or ignored. Events where direct causation is not obvious are sometimes characterized as being the result of "spiritual influences," equivalent to attributing quantum mechanics to spiritual influences, e.g., "Maxwellian Demons." I present three examples: 1) The TEK based idea of the existence of Keepers of the Game. i.e., entities that controlled availability of game animals, 2) Creator figures, typically nonhuman driving the origin of cultures and ecological communities, and 3) Existence of previously existing lands and cultures swallowed up by water. All of these have been revealed to be based on actual natural phenomena unknown until the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Thus, all were based on scientific knowledge rather than imagined supernatural causes.

11:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Stringer
, David - Indiana University

In this paper, I examine how conditional reasoning (Antecedent > Consequent), as a universal cognitive capacity, drives associations that govern human activities in particular ecosystems. It is well-known that in many Indigenous cultures, people correlate the behavior of plants, animals, or stars with their own planting, hunting, or gathering. However, even in non-Indigenous societies, knowledge of this type is manifested in regional folklore. In the UK, people on the island of Guernsey sing of how blooming foxgloves announce the arrival of the mackerel, and in Warwickshire, the stages of growing elm leaves indicate when to plant barley and kidney beans. In the context of the debate over universals and particulars in folkbiology, I draw on historical and contemporary sources to illuminate how a common cognitive principle drives highly localized ecological associations encoded in folk names, sayings, and songs across a broad range of cultures.

10:30 to 12:00 (Thursday)

Politics of the Urban Body: Bioarcheological Studies of Ancient state

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Bridget Bey - Washington University in St. Louis, Sewasew Assefa

Session Description

The application of multiscalar approaches to the study of urban societies (through the lens of diet, life history, reproduction, ect.) helps explore the causal relationship between ancient states and ancient people. Shifts in state power affect institutional structures, such as politics, economics, religions, but also alter important aspects of everyday life, such as social hierarchy, movement, labor, and diet. Urban environments can create or exacerbate physiological stresses resulting from the nested relationships between the individual, their immediate environment, and the larger sociopolitical climate. The interplay of different social identities at the individual level is associated with structural inequalities that produce and maintain social, political, and economic disparities as well as their subsequent health outcomes. The bioarcheology of urban societies provides a framework to connect the material record of the state with the lived experience embodied in human skeletal remains and associated cultural material. In this session, we present recent scholarship on the bioarcheology of ancient urban states from Peru, Kenya, China, and Egypt.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Haileselassie Assefa
, Sewasew - Washington University in St. Louis

Urban environments can create or exacerbate physiological stresses resulting from high population density, sanitation issues, and the more explicit socioeconomic gradient limiting access to resources. Moreover, the broader processes that lead to urbanization shape diet and health of those in the urban environment but are experienced differently according to age, gender, status and religion. Urbanization of the East African Coast (EAC) during the Iron Age (1st c. BCE – 10th c. CE) and Islamic periods (10th – 15th c. CE) is associated with an increasingly hierarchical society impacting resource distribution. By thinking about the EAC, through the lens of embodiment, I examine the effect of sociopolitical changes on the health of individuals of various identities including age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Individuals from Mtwapa, Kenya included in this study provide a rare opportunity to understand the heterogeneity of health outcomes in the EAC at the individual, local and regional levels.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Bey
, Bridget - Washington University in St. Louis

Around the world, the shift towards more urban environments coincided with an increase in childhood morbidity and mortality, which consequently impacted rates of growth and development throughout childhood and adolescence. To analyze the effect of urbanization on puberty in the late pre-Hispanic Andes (800-1500 CE), I explore the relationship between development and stress/disease patterns from three Peruvian skeletal collections. I present data on 217 individuals, 5-30 years old, from Omo M10, Chen Chen M1, and Estuquiña M6. These three populations broadly represent the sociocultural contexts of the late pre-Hispanic Andes—hierarchical social organization, dense semi-urban populations, and maize-based agriculture—two population types (highlanders and highland descents), and two chronological periods (political stability and regional conflict). Evaluation of these three samples, alongside an urban Medieval Sample, will help us better understand differences related to childhood morbidity, growth, and development in the pre-Hispanic Andes and across global populations.

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Jiang
, Han - Washington University in St. Louis

Past studies on topics of ancient health in Northwest China tend to focus on the consequence of agricultural practices or subsistence changes; less attention has been paid to the effects of husbandry on human health. Between the 6th and 2nd millennium BCE, a period witnessing the globalization of foodways and transition from Neolithic to Bronze Age in China, animals domesticated in Southwest and Central Asia were introduced to China and integrated into the local economy in varying ways. Specifically cattle were folded into the existing pig-raising system while sheep/goats were managed within local grazing landscapes in Northwest China. Here, I review the current state of knowledge on human disease landscapes in China between the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age in the context of different husbandry practices. In doing so, I address the localized effects of animal management strategies on human health with a focus on the changing sociopolitical landscape.

11:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Baitzel
, Sarah - Washington University in Saint Louis

Traditional resources related to the human body, such as foodways, medicines and body modifications, underwent profound transformations as a result of urbanization in the past. The transition to urban life resulted in changes to environmental processes (subsistence, disease transmission, pollution) and social dynamics (inequality, labor, kin and gender relations, violence). These intersecting processes left visible marks on the human body that attest to the social and biological stresses experienced by urban residents. In this paper, I review case studies of urban bioarchaeology from around the world to explore how city dwellers in the past drew on traditional resource systems to mitigate the negative impacts of urbanism. What evidence exists for the continued use of deep-time or indigenous practices by urban communities? What do we know about the emergence of new resources related to food or medicine?

12:15 to 13:15 (Thursday)

Curators, Keepers, and Sleeping Seeds: How can Historical and Archaeological Seed Collections Contribute to the Revival of Traditional Agriculture?

Session Type: 
Roundtable
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Natalie Mueller - Washington University in St. Louis, Charlie Miksicek

Session Description

Museums and botanical gardens contain a wealth of information about culturally significant plants. They also contain the seeds of these plants, which are considered by many Indigenous people to be living kin. This roundtable discussion will bring together seed keepers and growers who are trying to revive or preserve their communities’ traditional relationships with plants with scientists and curators from various fields to ask: How can these collections of sleeping seeds be awakened?

12:15 to 13:15 (Thursday)

Publishing in Ethnobiology: Trends and New Directions

Session Type: 
Roundtable
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Rick Stepp - University of Florida

Session Description

The Society of Ethnobiology has a robust publishing program with 2 journals and 1 book series. This presentation by the editors of these publications looks at trends in publishing within the society and larger discipline. New areas of interest are explored along with best practices and tips are presented to ensure success in an SoE publication.

13:30 to 15:00 (Thursday)

Cultural Keystone Places and Historical Ecology (Part 1)

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Steve Wolverton - University of North Texas, Chelsey Armstrong, Torben Rick

Session Description

Archaeologists are increasingly engaging local communities through heritage connections to places. For archaeologists, these places stand as sites of study. However, for many local peoples, such places hold significant cultural meaning, what ethnobiologists term cultural keystone places (CKPs). CKPs emphasize the deep connections between people, culture, and the natural world, offering a framework for merging cultural revitalization and environmental restoration. This session comprises examples of research on cultural keystone places from many areas of the world, representing a transition in the field toward recognizing that the future well-being of local peoples and ecosystems relies on connections to CKPs.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
13:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Wolverton
, Steve - University of North Texas
Armstrong
, Chelsey Geralda - Simon Fraser University
Dombrosky
, Jonathan - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Ryan
, Susan C. - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Archaeological sites are locations where past activities are physically manifested and defined by presence and density of material culture. This varies depending on the scale of past activities. Artifact absence does not mean a landscape was never a location of past activities. This is problematic in the legal world where Indigenous peoples use archaeological data to document land-use in cultural keystone places. We synthesize data collected by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center over decades to demonstrate variability in abundance of faunal remains from sites dating to A.D. 500-1300 in southwest Colorado. We infer how taphonomic variables explain discovery probability of remains. This data-rich study highlights variability in discovery probability of faunal remains (as one type of material culture) to demonstrate “absence” is possible within a location of past activities. Thus, land claims may require an assessment of discovery probability rather than a simple determination of presence or absence of cultural indicators.

13:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Arinyo i Prats
, Andreu - Simon Fraser University & Aarhus University
Turner
, Nancy - University of Victoria
LaTosky
, Shauna - University of North British Columbia

Cultural Keystone Species and Cultural Keystone Places feature prominently in ethnobiological research and literature; these concepts emphasize and advocate for the well-being of traditional societies and their environments. However, little to no research has focused on cultural practices that extend beyond and may exist independently of CK Species and Places; we propose naming these "Cultural Keystone Practices". For example, many Cultural Keystone Practices, such as harvest rituals and fire-making, are independent of a specific place or species, but are nevertheless essential to a group’s continuity, identity, and social health. Therefore, we argue that the concept of "Cultural Keystone Practices" fills a gap in our terminology, allowing us to categorize cultural elements that have partial or no connection to places or species. This critical concept can help identify and protect essential immaterial cultural heritage, currently endangered in many parts of the world.

14:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Lepofsky
, Dana - Simon Fraser University
Markey
, Sean - Simon Fraser Univeristy
Team
, The XLAP - XLAP

Historical ecology can be a powerful way to document the history of places with which descent communities strongly connect today. It can also be a powerful tool for re-awakening cultural connections to culturally imbued places. This is particularly so in highly colonized landscapes, where the tangible evidence of long-term Indigenous presence may be less evident. The Xwe’etay/Lasqueti Archaeology Project (www.lasquetiarc.ca) focuses on the historical ecology of one small island in western Canada. It weaves together archaeological data, interviews and archival research on ecological change, ecological mapping, with community-centered outreach that brings together the descendent and settler communities connected to Xwe’etay. We documented a long-term and significant Indigenous occupation of the island. As a result, the connection to Xwe’etay among descendent communities has deepened. For many of the island’s settlers, their connection to this place has also been enriched, including a new understanding of what it means to honor Indigenous heritage.

14:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Latosky
, Shauna - University of Northern British Columbia
Olibui
, Olisarali - Mursi Indigenous Community Association (MICA)

Wild olive trees (Olea europaea subsp. africana) grow in the highland areas of Southern Ethiopia and are of vital importance to Mursi agro-pastoralists for health and social well-being. Travelling often over great distances, Mursi men harvest and carry heavy loads of bark to their communities where it is prepared as a purgative and/or ritual offering. Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Mun to access girarri, as a result of park policies, inter-ethnic conflict, illegal harvesting and strategic government support for sedentary agriculture. In this paper, we consider the concept of “Cultural Keystone Place” (Cuerrier at al. 2015) for understanding how girarri is connected to culturally salient practices that support Mursi health and well-being, and for convincing local park authorities to improve sustainable access to such important resources and places.

14:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Sachs
, Nava - University of British Columbia
McComb
, Sofie - University of British Columbia
Martin
, Tara - University of British Columbia

The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zone in the Salish Sea is declining due to cumulative stressors, including hyperabundant black-tailed deer. Hyperabundant deer browsing simplifies CDF ecosystems, with trophic cascading effects impacting songbirds and pollinators. Deer impacts on Western redcedar forests of the CDF remain largely unknown and are studied herein by analysing plant communities with focus on culturally significant food species. Forests were compared between Penelakut Island (Puneluxutth), where deer are hunted by the Penelakut Tribe since time immemorial, Salt Spring Island and Galiano Island. On the latter islands, colonization has severed Indigenous deer stewardship, hunting is limited, and natural predators are extirpated. Surveys determined browsing pressure and the richness, cover, and diversity of plant species by forest layer, including traditional Coast Salish food plants. The results showcase negative relationships between hyperabundant deer and traditional food plants, emphasizing benefits of Indigenous ecological stewardship for CDF forest health and Indigenous food sovereignty.

13:30 to 15:00 (Thursday)

Knowledge Integration/TEK

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
13:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Pech-Cardenas
, Florencia - University of Minnesota

Maya artisans obtain the wood of Bursera simaruba, locally known in Maya language as chakaj, to carve handicrafts from community owned forests. After almost a half century of chakaj’s extraction in community forests, there remains no empirical data about the situation of chakaj’s population in community forests. Likewise, little attention has been paid to the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of chakaj for handicraft production. This study brings Maya knowledge and Western science together to understand forest management and forest governance related to handicraft production. By integrating statistical empirical analysis of size population structure data, and TEK from farmers/artisans who have lived and worked in their forests for decades, our results indicate that the population size structure of chakaj is highly attached to the management of farmers/artisans on their forests based on their livelihoods.

13:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Drew
, Joshua - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Lawson
, Katherine - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Ford
, Amanda - The University of the South Pacific
Rubin
, Leah - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Hughes
, Peter - The University of the South Pacific
Sevakarua
, Waisiki - The University of the South Pacific
Holmes
, Bay - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Ecosystem services have been a major organizing principle for Conservation Biology for the past two decades. However, the links between the services provided and the actual species that produce those services can vary across and within communities and genders. In this presentation I will discuss the ways members of Indigenous Fijian communities prioritize the ecosystem services provided by mangroves and reefs and then link those priorities to lists of specific species (including medicinal plans and reef fish) that provide those services. Drawing on data gifted from Indigenous knowledge holders we conducted “Mangrove walks” and “fisher follows” to generate lists of species and the ecosystem services they support and discuss how these species lists can be used to structure conservation and management plans. Lastly, we will highlight how the results can be read through the lenses of both gender and multispecies ethnography.

14:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Basnet
, Vinisha Singh - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Addressing environmental crisis requires a methodology that recognizes multiple ways through which stakeholders engage with such environmental crises. In this paper I use the framework of epistemological pluralism to examine the non-timber forest production system for “lac,” a type. of resin produced by insects of the species Kerria lacca. The work I present here is part of an action research project in a forest-dependent indigenous village in Chhattisgarh, India that aims to enhance the livelihood opportunities around lac rearing. I conducted multi-sited ethnography using the framework of epistemological pluralism to understand a crisis in lac production. I ask- “Why is productivity of lac declining?” from the epistemic vantage points of stakeholders. located within the larger network and situated at the level of: (i) village community, (ii) non- government organization, and (iii) national-level science institution. I conclude by highlighting that this approach to problem diagnosis resulted in a nuanced understanding of the crisis and encouraged a sustainable intervention.

14:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
OJETIMI
, Saheed

As urban landscapes undergo unprecedented changes, the relationship between these two disciplines becomes increasingly vital for sustainable urban development.

In essence, the conference shall enhance a better understanding between technology and environment for the fact that it is a dynamic platform for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to come together and exchange insights. The goal is to foster collaboration and dialogue that can inform sustainable urban transformations.

  1. Integration of Technological Advancements in Urban Agriculture:
    • Focuses on how cutting-edge technologies can be seamlessly incorporated into urban agricultural practices.
  2. Preservation of Biodiversity in Urban Settings:
    • In the face of urbanization, preserving biodiversity becomes crucial for maintaining ecological balance.
  3. Role of Local Communities and Indigenous Knowledge:
    • Recognizing the significance of local communities and their indigenous knowledge is vital for sustainable urban development. 
  4. Shaping Sustainable Urban Ecosystems:
    • The overarching goal would be to contribute to the creation of sustainable urban ecosystems.

 

 

14:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Cannon
, Carrie - Hualapai Tribe

The Hakdagwi:va Peach Springs Chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society is the very first ever Native American Plant Chapter in Arizona, possibly the country! Formed on the Hualapai Indian Reservation by Natives, the chapter just celebrated its 1 year anniversary. Arizona is actually home to more Indigenous tribal lands than any other state in the country with 27% of the state made up of reservation totaling more than 20 million acres. The ancestral lands of the Hualapai Indian Tribe include a region within the world that is botanically distinctive and rare. Located within the eastern extent of the Mojave, and northern extent of the Sonoran Deserts, present and ancestral lands are situated within a unique bio-region. This presentation will share about the successes of our Native led Peach Springs Chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society.

14:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Teke
, Ache - University of Bamenda, Cameroon
Rosemary
, Tonjock - University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Indigenous knowledge on the role of mushrooms is fast declining. A survey was conducted in some ten local communities in Kilum-Ijim, northwestern region of Cameroon, to investigate the uses and perceptions of mushrooms by the indigenes. Semi-structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, and pictorial method were used to collect information. Results revealed that mushrooms were used mainly as food and medicine. Local names were found to be a very important factor in distinguishing edible, medicinal, poisonous and substrate of mushrooms. Local knowledge of mushrooms as food and medicine still exists in all the ten village communities surveyed. Elderly men and women were more knowledgeable on the role of mushrooms than the younger generation. There is need to preserve and document traditional knowledge of the different edible and medicinal mushrooms as majority of this knowledge is lost as a result of death of elderly people, habitat degradation and migration of indigenes.

13:30 to 15:00 (Thursday)

Urban Ethnobiology

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Daniela Shebitz

Session Description

Although it is all too easy to consider humanity as separate from the environment in urban areas, many cities offer unique opportunities to foster community connections through environmental stewardship. Through this session, ethnobiologists located in cities throughout the world will share work revolving around a similar theme: How are urban communities connecting with nature in a disconnected environment? Topics can include community-based conservation, environmental education, urban parks and recreation, immigration/refugee gardens, urban agriculture, and more. These activities work to improve both environmental conditions and human health and well-being.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
13:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Stevens
, Alison - SUNY-ESF

The categorization of species as Non-Timber Forest Products belies their diversity and relationships with the communities they coexist with, rendering them a sort of invisible commodity. This is especially true for culturally significant species that persist in urban forest ecosystems. Lack of protection and regulation can result in their overexploitation, eroding the practice of lifeways and food sovereignty by Indigenous communities. Here, I show how the iconic spring ephemeral herb, Allium tricoccum, more commonly known as the wild leek or ramp, exists at the nexus of ecological economics, food sovereignty, and urban forest renewal. Using a combination of field studies, spatial analysis, and community activism, I address the multiplicity of valuation surrounding A. tricoccum, and how it can inform restoration and conservation decision-making.

13:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Dolan
, Jessica - University of Guelph & Plenty Canada; Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment

Indigenous-led conservation and knowledge systems have gained significant recognition at the federal levels of the United States and Canada, as critical sources of environmental knowledge for research, policy, and planning, and for honoring nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous nations. The Wisdom from Knowledge team has created a digital Indigenous Botanical Survey of the Greenbelt protected lands which encompass the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara Escarpment, and Oak Ridges Moraine. The survey incorporates Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe ethnobotany and plant ecology research, in service of uplifting and re-storying enduring Indigenous relationships with plants and trees within the Greenbelt. These learning tools are carefully designed for Native communities to restore and regenerate their language and biocultural relationships in their homelands. They are also intended for visitors to engage in placed-based learning on these urban and peri-urban landscapes, and are robust tools for policy-makers to bridge knowledges when crafting equitable decision-making, conservation, and planning processes.

14:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Rietjens
, Ricky - Chicago Botanic Garden
Kiefer
, Gretel - Chicago Botanic Garden
Felsl
, Ingrid - Chicago Botanic Garden
Fessler
, Grant - Chicago Botanic Garden

​​Conserving plants is crucial for the future of the natural world and humanity. With nearly 30% of native plant species in the U.S. facing extinction, threats such as habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change persist. Addressing this, the Plants of Concern (POC) citizen science initiative by the Chicago Botanic Garden trains community members in rare plant monitoring. Utilizing the POC mobile app, volunteers assess the health of endangered plants, generating crucial long-term data. This information guides natural areas adaptive management practices while also facilitating research into rare plant population dynamics. Collaborating with researchers, POC plays a pivotal role in providing baseline information and aids the state in evaluating rare plant distribution for threatened and endangered species listings. Through these efforts, POC serves as a crucial link connecting people and the enviorment to safeguard the rich tapestry of plant life, preventing the permanent loss of species from the landscape.

14:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Shebitz
, Daniela - Kean University
Ospina Parra
, Andres - Kean University

The Miyawaki Method of regenerating and rehabilitating forests is increasingly being adopted by urban communities globally. By planting fast-growing groves of native vegetation on vacant urban lots, communities are actively addressing environmental issues including flooding, heat island effects, and biodiversity. There are two objectives to this paper: 1) to present an overall summary of what is being done regarding microforests in formerly redlined communities and 2) to present data that uses soil microbial dynamics and quality as a means of predicting the future success of the microforests in providing suitable environmental conditions for vegetation. We focus on three microforests in urban New Jersey and compare soil and plant dynamics with adjacent un-planted sites (as controls) and an intact forest nearby (as a reference site). Our overall goal is for this paper to serve as a toolkit for other urban communities considering afforestation to combat the environmental effects of urbanization.

14:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Walker
, Erana - The University Of Waikato

Relationships of Indigenous people to the natural world are expressed according to the locale, knowledge, and practices of indigenous communities. Māori (the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) trace lineage to nature that informs a cultural stewardship concept known as Kaitiakitanga. This concept advocates for the protection of kin of the natural environment and ensures lasting nature relationships prevail for Māori. However, cities present new barriers for Māori to maintain connections with the natural world and the expression of cultural practices and knowledge.This presentation shares survey data about the application of kaitiakitanga in urban spaces of Aotearoa New Zealand. The presentation reveals barriers that impact kaitiakitanga but also the implications of such barriers on ecological restoration in urban areas. The presentation shares the value of cultural stewardship knowledge and practice for the restoration of biodiversity but also the livelihoods of urban indigenous peoples.

15:30 to 17:00 (Thursday)

Cultural Keystone Places and Historical Ecology (Part 2)

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Steve Wolverton - University of North Texas, Chelsey Armstrong, Torben Rick

Session Description

Archaeologists are increasingly engaging local communities through heritage connections to places. For archaeologists, these places stand as sites of study. However, for many local peoples, such places hold significant cultural meaning, what ethnobiologists term cultural keystone places (CKPs). CKPs emphasize the deep connections between people, culture, and the natural world, offering a framework for merging cultural revitalization and environmental restoration. This session comprises examples of research on cultural keystone places from many areas of the world, representing a transition in the field toward recognizing that the future well-being of local peoples and ecosystems relies on connections to CKPs.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
15:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Grenz
, Jennifer - University of British Columbia

Many places of ancestral and cultural importance to the Quw’utsun Peoples have been recognized by settlers as important contributors to biodiversity. This recognition has resulted in settler-led ecological restoration efforts of cultural keystone places such as Garry Oak Meadows and the Cowichan Bay Estuary. While such efforts are well-intentioned, lack of understanding of pre-colonial baselines and implementaiton of fortress conservation practices have contributed to poor, long-term restoration outcomes. Our research alongside Cowichan Tribes is showing that centering cultural resurgence in restoration planning is a critical methodology that ensures the reciprocal, long-term human-land relationships required for successful outcomes. Our results have broad implications for land restoration that suggest that finding ways to strengthen human relationships to land (Indigenous or not), could provide the commitment and stewardship lands need from us to thrive into the future.

15:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Forste
, Kathleen - Brown University
Pérez-Juez
, Amalia - BU; Institut Menorquí d’Estudis
Smith
, Alexander J. - SUNY Brockport

Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, has multiple UNESCO designations: as a Biosphere Reserve (1993), and as home to an inscription on the World Heritage List, the Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca (2023). Thus these natural biota and prehistoric archaeological sites are deemed important to modern life – but there is a leap of nearly two millennia from prehistory to today. In this gap, during the medieval period (c. 10th-13th centuries), people developed landuse practices (including irrigation systems) which left traces that endure into the 21st century. We marshal archaeological data to investigate two questions: How can archaeology deepen modern connections to a landscape? Specifically, how can archaeological investigation of the medieval populations contribute to the deep chronology of people stewarding this island landscape? Using the framework of CKP, we connect to themes of memory and identity active in the archaeological research of the region.

16:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Armstrong
, Chelsey Geralda - Simon Fraser University

Historical narratives crafted by heritage power brokers (archaeological consultants, regulators) often limit landscape-scale considerations, and pale in comparison to the referents and scale of histories known among, for example, Gitxsan Wilp (House) territory owners, teachers, and knowledge holders. In reviewing historical-ecological and House-based approaches to heritage conservation in British Columbia, this research will assess the strategies and opportunities involved in re-defining the Lax’yip (territories, waters) as cultural keystone places. We consider keystone places as a potential avenue for non-Gitxsan power brokers to better understand biocultural phenomena as both heritage and historically contingent inheritances.

16:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Field
, Julie - The Ohio State University
McCorriston
, Joy - The Ohio State University
Fisher
, Scott - Hawai'i Land Trust
Frank
, Kiana - University of Hawai'i
Kirgesner
, Samantha - The Ohio State University
Collier
, Kia'i - Hawai'i Land Trust

Our research focuses on the remains of Kapoho, a loko iʻa kalo (fishpond that also grew taro) located at Waiheʻe, Maui. Incorporated within the Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, which is managed and owned by the Hawaiʻi Land Trust (HILT), the 277-acre wildlife and cultural preserve has 93 archaeological features, remnants of native vegetation, and the most extensive fringing coral reef in west Maui.Our research program has completed the first season of fieldwork and laboratory analyses dedicated to the archaeological and microbial investigation of the fishpond, with the goal of exploring and understanding the antiquity of fishpond management, and Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) knowledge of critical biological processes. Our research has also sponsored workshops with the goal of lending archaeological and microbial information to the community-led effort to rebuild and restore the fishpond. Our research is part of a collective effort to restore ecological resilience in Hawaiʻi as part of traditional (and sustainable) cultural practices.

16:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Turner
, Nancy - University of Victoria
Manson
, C'tasi:a Geraldine - Snuneymuxw Nation and Vancouver Island University

This presentation reflects and honours the history of the Snuneymuxw Coast Salish Peoples of the east coast of Vancouver Island, along the Salish Sea, as reflected in land-based stories, haunting images carved into rock, and the memories of contemporary knowledge holders extending over their lands and waters. Snuneymuxw territory has changed drastically since the first Europeans arrived, with vast areas being damaged over the decades by mining, clearcut logging, road construction and urban development. C’tasi:a, now an Elder, has witnessed many of these changes, but has taken immense efforts to identify, maintain and share Snuneymuxw place-based oral history and precious cultural heritage that she learned about from her own Elders. Here we provide examples of some key places that capture the past of the Snuneymuxw Peoples and hold it for future generations.

15:30 to 17:00 (Thursday)

Ethnomedicine

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
15:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Watson
, Tyler - Northern Michigan University

Throughout history, an array of plants have been documented for treating various ailments. Among which, species of the genus Datura stand out for their infamous use in both medicinal and cultural contexts, as analgesics, hallucinogens, and poisons. Alkaloids, a prominent class of specialized metabolites, are celebrated for their medicinal properties, and Datura species produce a diverse range of tropane alkaloids, making them a significant resource for natural products discovery. Despite their medicinal potential, tropane alkaloids present contamination risks in numerous food sources, including teas, spices, grains, honey, and herbal supplements. Consequently, the development of new analytical techniques for identifying novel tropane alkaloids and detecting known ones has great importance. Employing analytical approaches using LC-MS/MS, we have found previously unidentified alkaloids in Datura. These findings not only broaden our comprehension of Datura’s metabolic diversity, but also offer insights into its traditional uses and evolutionary adaptations.

15:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Faruque
, Mohammad Omar - Department of Botany, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
Stepp
, John Richard - Ethnobiology Lab, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, USA
Uddin
, Shaikh Bokhtear - Department of Botany, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

The indigenous communities of Bangladesh traditionally consume fruits and vegetables, which are unknown in other parts of the country. This study aims to record these lesser-known indigenous fruits and vegetables. In addition, the nutritional values and bioactivity of some selected species were investigated in order to introduce them as alternative foods and medicines on a larger platform. A total of 134 plants using information were documented. Considering their frequent uses, some plant species were selected to analyse their nutrient and medicinal values. Results showed that some species contain more fibre, carbohydrate, and fat than commonly used species, while some species exhibit good bioactivity, which was corroborated by the molecular docking analysis of identified compounds. The analysed fruits and vegetables proved to be praiseworthy as they contain substantial amounts of nutrients and medicinal values, which can be introduced as alternative sources of food and medicine in other parts of Bangladesh.

16:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Soewu
, Durojaye - Non-governmental Organization

Appeasing gods, witches and ancestral spirits constitute an integral part of the traditional healing practices of Yorubas. Ten classes of sacrifice were identified, some with proven efficacy. Response from astral realm could signify acceptance, when presentation is “consumed” within a stipulated time, or it could be “ignored” to indicate rejection. Most sacrifices have time and presentation-spot specificity. A wide variety of wild animals were utilized in preparing these sacrifices without consideration for conservation interests. Preparations involved animals under varying degrees of threats and age grades. In addition to depleting populations, such requirements eat deep into the procreation base of populations, denying members the opportunity to participate in reproductive activities. There is an urgent need to improve the yield of these animals, in-situ, and ex-situ. There is also a need to reduce demand for, and utilization of, these resources through massive conservation education, extension services and capacity building for indigenous people.

16:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Lagalisse
, Erica - London School of Economics

Across contemporary psychedelic counterculture, ‘plant medicine’ is celebrated as healing and spiritual in association with indigenous ritual use, yet also imagined to be optimized in Silicon Valley—by splicing ayahuasca and psilocybin, for example.  In the 1990s Ketamine was a ‘horse tranquilizer’ or ‘designer drug’, yet is now also celebrated as a ‘psychedelic’—and semantically continuous with indigenous healing as a consequence.  My ethnography explores New Age youth culture at massive psytrance parties across Europe, where I am positioned as a popular educator and interact with psychonauts, “chaos magicians” and other techno-utopian “digital nomads” who smoke synthetic DMT sprayed on plants and tell of “machine elves”.  I explore primitive accumulation in relation to the legalization and medicalization of mind-altering plants, and how participants in the neoliberal “psychedelic renaissance” shift between celebrating nature and its improvement, wherein indigenous knowledge is referenced and displaced in the marketing of psychedelics for workplace use. 

16:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Fugiao
, Jumaine Mauricio - MARIANO MARCOS STATE UNIVERSITY - DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

The Philippines as one of the species-rich country is also a culturally megadiverse in ethnicity around the globe. Plants have been utilized in the country in many ways by various cultural communities generally for medicinal uses. But apart from these, plants are also utilized in rituals or magical purposes. The ritual beliefs of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) use different plants or plant parts for ceremonies. However, ethnobotanical studies in the country are finite and no ethnobiological documentation in the province despite having several Ethnic groups in the Northern part of the archipelago. Hence, this situation calls to save traditional knowledge and culture to increase awareness of the conservation of ritual plants. This study aimed to determine the ritual plants of the Isneg community with the notes of; its conservation status and endemicity. Also, to document the different rituals indigenous knowledge of the Isneg community in Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte.

15:30 to 16:45 (Thursday)

Students' Leadership in the SoE

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Florencia Pech Cardenas - University of Minnesota, Christina Youngster, Saish Solanker

Session Description

In this session we will present the SoE Student Board initiative and the Student involvement opportunities in the Society of Ethnobiology. We will share current projects and will gather input to create a shared vision by and for students. Finally, we will share tips and advice on student grants applications. Current students that want to learn about opportunities to become involved in the Society and develop leadership skills are highly encouraged to participate in this session.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
15:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Youngpeter
, Christina - Washington University in St. Louis

As of 2023, the SoE created a new Student Board with various student leadership opportunities, including that of Student Board Chair. The chair serves as liaison to the Executive Committee and guides the rest of the board. This year, the chair and board have introduced and implemented a new student social platform, a periodic newsletter, a webinar series, and a new journal club. These activities seek to fill the need of students to be able to network and learn more about ethnobiology despite various barriers. The role of chair is selected annually. Attend this session to learn more about this leadership opportunity and other student ongoings in the Society, as well as give input to how the Student Board can best serve students.

15:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Solankar
, Saish

In the fast-paced, media-based world today, storytelling is an important aspect in the functioning of all organizations, and academic organizations like the SoE are no different. At the Student Working Group in the SoE, we have been working on numerous storytelling initiatives to enrich the science communication of work in the field of ethnobiology and attract attention of young students towards the budding field and possibilities for the future. The initiatives include newsletters, webinars, and multimodal projects to further the mission of the student leadership in the society.

Friday, April 26, 2024

09:00 to 10:00 (Friday)

Paleoethnobotany and Archaeology

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
09:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Salywon
, Andrew - Desert Botanical Garden
Hodgson
, Wendy - Desert Botanical Garden

Agaves were important plants to many prehistoric cultures for food and other uses. In Arizona, Agave parryi was reported to be found outside of its normal distribution and in association with archaeological sites in 1976- presumably, as a result of prehistoric human introduction. We report numerous A. parryi plants also in close association with habitation and agricultural features from a site near Prescott, Arizona. Prescott Culture occupation of the site, estimated from A.D. 1250–1400, is indicated by Black-on-Gray ceramic sherds and the architecture. This site is within the natural range of A. parryi. However, no other agaves were observed in the vicinity. Given the importance of agave in the economy and subsistence of prehistoric peoples and the ease with which various species of agave can be vegetatively propagated, backyard gardens such as the one documented here provide insight into how the process of agave domestication may have taken place.

09:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Fairbanks
, Regina - University of California, Davis
Ross-Ibarra
, Jeffrey - University of California, Davis

Domestication often involved radical morphological changes as plants adapted to novel anthropogenic environments. Understanding the origin of genetic variants underlying these changes has long been of interest. Despite the dramatic morphological differences between maize and its wild relative teosinte, research on a handful of well-described genes has found that maize domestication relied on preexisting genetic variation in ancient teosinte. But, researchers had concluded that one key trait and the genetic variation that causes it – exposed kernels and a mutation in the tga1 gene – could exist only in cultivated populations. Using population genetic analysis of modern maize and teosinte genomes, we instead find that the key mutation in tga1 likely predates domestication. Our ongoing genome-wide analysis investigates the potential contributions of preexisting genetic variation beyond well-studied domestication genes. While these patterns may partially arise from maize biology, we anticipate that our findings will yield insight into people-plant relationships associated with domestication.

09:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Johnson
, Emily - University of California, Santa Barbara
Kennett
, Douglas - University of California, Santa Barbara
Mori
, Taylor - University of California, Santa Barbara
VanDerwarker
, Amber - University of California, Santa Barbara

Nixtamalization is a critical culinary practice that improves the nutritional content of maize by treating the kernels with an alkaline solution that converts niacin into a biologically absorbable form. Grinding the nixtamalized maize produces masa, which can then be transformed into foods such as tortillas and tamales. The role of maize as a staple food was essential to significant population increases, rising urbanism, and the expansion of political complexity in ancient Mesoamerica. Although UNESCO has recognized the significant cultural and nutritional impacts of nixtamalization dating back to at least the early Classic period (250-800 CE), there is a critical research gap related to the origin and dissemination of this culinary practice. As part of an ongoing project tracing the first uses of nixtamalization, the starch granule evidence presented here from the Soconusco region of Mexico suggests that nixtamalization was practiced far earlier than previously suggested.

09:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Shay
, Creighton (C. Thomas) - University of Manitoba

Over 2600 charred seeds from 116 soil samples were found at the site of Kenosewun, the “place of many fishes,” (also called Lockport, EaLf-1) situated along the Red River about midway between the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. The plant finds at the site cover more than three thousand years and include more than thirty genera. The top five were goosefoot, amaranth, dock, hazelnut, and raspberry. Yet, the most noteworthy finds were over a hundred kernel and cob fragments of maize or corn (Zea mays) dating to ca 1250-1450 CE. Lockport is the first site in Manitoba and all of western Canada to yield macrofossils of this sacred crop although, recently, maize microfossils have also turned up in southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan showing that research into early Native agriculture in western Canada continues to be an exciting but challenging enterprise.

09:00 to 10:00 (Friday)

Reflections on the Field

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
09:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Anderson
, Eugene - University of California, RIverside

To me, the critical moment in ethnobiology was the point at which anthropologists began to specify what words meant in traditional small-scale languages, instead of “translating” words by finding an English or Latin equivalent. Self-conscious use of “native categories” began with Lewis Henry Morgan and Frank Cushing in the 1870s, and won its way slowly against some opposition. The term “ethnobotany” was coined by John Harshbarger in 1895. By the time of John Peabody Harrington, indigenous categories were focal to research, and “ethnozoology” appeared as a term. Harrington had much to do with spreading the idea. I got into the field in 1960, by which time “ethnoscience” had just been added to the mix. My personal experiences at the dawn of that field may be useful to historians of ethnobiology.

09:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Flachs
, Andrew - Purdue University

Ethnobiologists are increasingly turning to the economic and political consequences of our interdisciplinary scholarship. In this talk, I ask what ethnobiology can contribute to a conversation skeptical of unfettered economic growth while cautioning against anti-growth traps like ecofascism or unequal austerity. Many ethnobiologists show how neoliberal capitalist growth reforms socioecological relations. But more interestingly, ethnobiologists have meticulously documented already-existing diverse economies and pathways of social reproduction: systems of socio-ecological and economic exchange that decenter growth as an economic truth. None of this necessarily means doing less. Ethnobiological attention to highly specialized local knowledge across time and place has shown that many systems can be productive and stable – they are just not scalable or easily transposed to a new context. Although we rarely frame our research as such, ethnobiologists have a unique, data-rich perspective on growth skepticism that is crucial to a 21st century marked by rising temperatures, inequality, and authoritarianism.

09:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Courtney
, Sofi - University of Washington, Seattle
Levin
, Phillip - University of Washington, Seattle

There is growing recognition within settler scientific institutions of the importance of building meaningful, mutually beneficial research partnerships with Indigenous Peoples. Boundary spanners, or individuals who can function on both sides of a social or political divide, may be key to making this work possible. However, the currencies of scientific career progression may present challenges for scientists seeking to boundary span. We critically examine how environmental researchers are supported or impeded by mainstream scientific institutions while attempting to do boundary spanning work with Indigenous communities. Using interviews, surveys and a mixed methods analysis we find in our preliminary results that size, scale, and mission of the institution are highly influential on the type of support or barriers that researchers are encountering in their work. Furthermore, we found profound differences in funding and promotional structures between Canada and the United States that facilitate or impede researchers seeking to boundary span.

09:00 to 10:00 (Friday)

Urbanization and Local Knowledge

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
09:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Sehgal
, Anju Batta - Independent Researcher. Principal Govt. College Hamirpur HP (Retd)

Human perceptions vary between rural and urban environments, determining degree to which people are able to coexist with biodiversity. It is important to identify sociodemographic factors that determine these local perceptions to adjust with conservation strategies in recognition of particular conditions of different human communities. Effect of urban or rural location where people live and knowledge and perceptions about indigenous plants has led to transformative changes. Urbanization leads to primary e.g., removal of existing vegetation and construction of urban infrastructure and secondary e.g., habitat loss, fragmentation and isolation, climatic changes, pollution of air, water, and soil, processes that represent many challenges to persistence of non-human species.. All ecosystems are affected by same broad factors, such as climate, substrate, resident organisms, relief, and history. Aboriginals of Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh have preserved the cultivation habit along with rural means of earning livelihood with little transformation. 

09:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Stevens
, Michelle - ENVS Dept, CSU Sacramento CA

Bushy Lake is located within the lower American River floodplain, Sacramento, CA, in the sovereign territory of the Nissenan, Maidu and Miwok peoples. The Bushy Lake Eco-Cultural Restoration Project, initiated in 2015, has a primary goal of restoring culturally significant plants and wildlife habitat in a highly disturbed urban riparian landscape. Our hypothesis is that culturally significant plants are fire resilient due to thousands of years of Indigenous Traditional Fire Management, and provide resiliency to wildfires on site. A 2021 wildfire  burned the entire site to the water’s edge. Monitoring vegetation response to wildfire enable  us to monitor and test  fire resiliency. We will present the results of our post-fire monitoring.  Our goal is to maintain traditional stewardship practices, land access for materials and tending, restore cultural burning practices, prohibit use of herbicides and pesticides, and promote healthy and just relationships with land and non-human relations.

09:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Flores-Silva
, Alondra - University of Guadalajara
Perempitz
, School Community - Escuela Primaria Federal Juan José Ortega Padilla
Chancuellar
, School Community - Escuela Primaria Federal Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla
Cuevas-Guzmán
, Ramón - University of Guadalajara

Southern Jalisco, Mexico is facing fast environmental changes, due mainly to the deforestation of temperate and dry forests to grow blue agave and avocado. This makes it more difficult for local people, and specially children, to access the local forests which is leading not just to an enormous loss of biodiversity but also associated local traditional knowledge. Against these challenges, 52 primary-school aged children participate in an extracurricular program, learning some ethnobotanical tools to record the local knowledge associated with the wild plants in their communities and helping to build a school herbarium. Those activities have promoted both spaces for children to learn about their wild plants and opportunities for dialogue among the different generations. Since the start of the program and with the collaboration of parents and grandparents, it has recorded a total of 68 species with different uses (e.g. food, medicine, firewood, decoration, cattle feed and toys).

10:30 to 12:00 (Friday)

Cultural Forests

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Cormier
, Levi - Simon Fraser University

Indigenous forest gardens are a historically widespread and integrated land stewardship system in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Western science has long overlooked these practices and it is only recently that archaeologists have begun to systematically and collaboratively study the material remnants of these practices. This research presents the results of phytolith analyses, reconstructing forest garden landscapes in Sts’ailes Territories (British Columbia). Furthermore, a province-wide comparative collection of modern phytoliths from culturally significant forest garden species was established to assess the extent to which diagnostic features of, mostly, perennial fruit shrubs can be used in archaeological contexts.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
AR
, Amritesh - Amrita School for Sustainable Futures, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India
VS
, Ramachandran - Centre for Environmental Studies, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore
AA
, Ormsby - Adventure Scientists. Bozeman, Montana, USA
PK
, Viswanathan - Amrita School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri. India

Sacred groves are forest areas containing idols worshiped and protected through belief systems. India has over 100,000 groves. The Western Ghats, including Kerala, contains numerous small groves.  Sacred groves are shrinking due to changes in lifestyle, socio-cultural systems, and waning trust in belief systems. Kerala’s high population density and urbanization has contributed to the decline. We conducted a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies about sacred groves, using a survey of online databases conducted in Scopus, Google Scholar, Pubmed, and Web of Science, as well as offline libraries. Reference to ‘sacred groves’ was found in 84 online articles and 25 offline articles. We grouped the articles into three categories: socio-cultural aspects; management; and biodiversity.  The decline of groves threatens the biological diversity of the groves as well their associated socio-cultural systems. There is a need to document the socio-cultural systems associated with the groves and also biodiversity changes.

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Sheban
, Karam - Yale University

Forest farming—the intentional cultivation of crops in a forest understory—is a form of forest stewardship practiced around the world. In the face of environmental degradation, the practice, a form of agroforestry, is being increasingly recognized as a strategy to advance environmental goals while revitalizing cultural traditions and boosting the economics of forest-based livelihoods. This inspired the Northeast Forest Farmers Coalition (NFFC), a federally-funded initiative with a goal of building a community of practice around forest farming in the Northeast U.S. This presentation showcases the journey of the NFFC over three years. The project blends community-building efforts with research into forest farming approaches across the Northeast United States. This presentation reflects on milestones of the project, including the establishment of five Research and Demonstration sites, a burgeoning coalition of 500 forest farmers, and a region-wide mentorship program. We also look to the future of agroforestry in the Northeast and beyond.

11:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Robinson
, Alyssa Jeanne - UBC
Cornelis
, Jean-Thomas - UBC
Armstrong
, Chelsey Geralda - SFU

Indigenous peoples in Pacific Northwest actively managed forests for millennia, yet scholars know little about the extent to which their management practices impacted soil properties. Recent research has shown that the legacies of historical peoples’ active management of temperate forests can still be observed today in native plant foodsheds called “forest gardens” composed largely of deciduous fruit trees and shrubs, growing near archaeological village sites. Forest garden ecosystems and plant foods were historically actively managed through practices such as burning, transplanting, clearing, and fertilizing. Historical soil management may play a vital role in maintaining these landscapes. Here we aim to investigate how ancestral practices and changes in vegetation properties affect soil properties influencing nutrient cycling and organic matter dynamics. To guide the revitalization of Indigenous forest garden stewardship, we partner with Kitselas First Nation to gain a deeper understanding of ancestral practices from Indigenous research methodologies.

11:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Kopparambil
, Sreelekha - SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Bengaluru
Ormsby
, Alison - Forest Specialist, Adventure Scientists. Asheville, NC, USA.

India is home to thousands of community-protected forests, called sacred groves. Sacred forests or groves are sites that have cultural or spiritual significance to the people who live around them. They represent the manifestation of a value-belief-norm system. These areas may also be key reservoirs of biodiversity. Sacred forests have been protected around the world for a variety of reasons, including religious practices or ceremonies, as burial grounds, and for their watershed value. The sacred groves of India are shrinking or disappearing due to cultural change and pressure to use the natural resources within the groves. We will share the case study of one sacred grove in Kerala, India, that was carefully restored by one family. This is a case of intergenerational communication and respect of belief systems, flow of knowledge transfer that supports biocultural conservation. Culturally protected sacred sites can have a role as key biodiversity conservation areas.

11:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Tinao
, Mark Joseph - Lasallian Institute For the Environment - De La Salle Philippines
Dollente
, Warren Joseph - Lasallian Institute For the Environment - De La Salle Philippines
Pareja
, Marlon - De La Salle University Dasmariñas
Bibar
, Jesiree Ann - Lasallian Institute For the Environment - De La Salle Philippines
Emperador
, Ron Ron Paul - Lasallian Institute For the Environment - De La Salle Philippines

The Philippines being one of the mega-diverse countries yet vulnerable to climate change. Guided by the Lasallian Brothers, the Lasallian Institute For the Environment (LIFE) has formulated the One Million Trees and Beyond Project (OMTB) in 2006, with the aim of mobilizing the then 16 Lasallian schools in the Philippines to formulate a more proactive response to deforestation. The project was set to plant more than one million trees by 2011 — the centennial of Lasallian presence in the Philippines. The project intended to involve the Philippine Lasallian Family in sustainable reforestation and greening efforts. LIFE partnered and coordinated with various local communities including peoples organizations and indigenous communities. In 2022, this project had almost 1.7 million trees and continues to promote biodiversity conservation by exploring new and prospect sites especially for Philippine native trees. Way forward, OMTB has birthed the La Salle Botanical Gardens which aims to prioritize the conservation of Philippine native trees and plants.

10:30 to 12:00 (Friday)

Food Resilience in a Changing World

Session Type: 
Oral

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Wehi
, Priscilla - University of Otago

For many communities, hosting large gatherings bring families together, and food systems are central to these events. We partnered with two Māori communities in New Zealand to explore how these communities embody resilience in their food systems. We collected data from two community gatherings that have been held annually for > 100 years. At Marokopa, volunteers returned from a variety of distant locations; at Tūrangawaewae volunteers generally walked or drove short distances to the gathering. Gifted contributions of food from local gardens continues a history of connection to traditional food systems at Marokopa. At Turangawaewae, most provisions were store bought, but there was a strong focus on healthy eating. Both events produced little waste. Despite a shift from self sufficiency in food systems, these communities demonstrate resilience in their hosting motivations, and a commitment to kaitiakaitanga (stewardship) in their focus on healthy foods, recycling, food waste, and intergenerational learning.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Fahey
, Fionna - Purdue University

White supremacy, capitalism, and neoliberalism disrupt communal relationships to seeds and further harm local food systems and specifically Black, Brown, and Indigenous seedways. Food sovereignty, organic, and grassroots initiatives have used seed exchanges and libraries to confront these issues. Ethnobiologists and anthropologists have contextualized biodiversity, conservation, and seed politics to advance these struggles in solidarity. However, existing scientific and policy mechanisms for exchanging seed knowledge continue to isolate seeds from their social contexts and restrict the dynamic qualities of seeds to static exchange agreements. In this paper I draw on feminist anthropology, ethnobiology, and applied anthropological research with a national seed organization to interrogate these existing ethics of seed exchanges. I argue for an in vivo seed ethic  (cf. Nazarea & Rhoades 2013), that refuses dominant neoliberal logics of scalability (Tsing 2021) and exploitation, to allow for living commitments to reciprocity; thus reflecting the dynamic nature of seeds, communities, and advocacy. 

 

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
Author(s):
Rahayu
, Yen Yen Sally - The University of Tokyo (Tokyo College)

Globally, current food systems rely on a narrow range of low-nutrient plant species, overlooking historically used nutrient-rich plants, particularly in indigenous and rural diets, including Indonesia. The global movement to mainstream biodiversity for food, nutrition, and health has gained momentum, emphasizing underutilized resources. Wild and underutilized edible plants (WUEP) have emerged as promising solutions to public health and nutritional disparities, yet broader adoption lacks conclusive evidence. This study, conducted among the Sundanese community in rural West Java, Indonesia, addresses this gap by examining WUEP's potential to enhance nutrition and health. The research, employing mixed methods including ethnobotany and dietary intake surveys, examines the consumption and nutritional significance of WUEPs and their potential impact on health and well-being through a standard self-evaluated health assessment (SF-12) of 107 rural women. 

11:15
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Rodriguez
, Amani - Columbia University/New York Botanical Garden
McAlvay
, Alex - New York Botanical Garden/Columbia University

Traditional farming systems can afford resilience to the impacts of climate change, but are also being adapted to cope with increasingly rapid changes. Understanding the relationship between climate adaptations and social changes in many Indigenous communities is important to inform ecological and cultural conservation efforts. Wixárika communities have used the milpa system to preserve ancient and sacred varieties of maize for millennia, along with squash, bean and chile varieties. To better understand how these traditional polycultures have been impacted by agricultural intensification and climate change, we carried out structured and semistructured interviews in the Wixárika community of Cerro de los Tigres, Nayarit, Mexico. The main pressures that farmers have identified were rapid changes in rain frequency and intensity, and the increasingly threatening cotton bollworm. We document the various adaptive strategies employed in the community during this unprecedented time, as well as the potential ecological and cultural consequences of these changes. 

11:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
McAlvay
, Alex - New York Botanical Garden
Hassen
, Seid - Wollo University
Dejen
, Asmare - Wollo University
Amare
, Endale - Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Asfaw
, Zemede - Addis Ababa University
Al-Zein
, Mohammad - American University of Beirut
Mosulishvili
, Marina - Ilia State University
Burnett
, Emma - The Oxford Artisan Distillery
Letts
, John - The Oxford Artisan Distillery
DiPaola
, Anna - Cornell University

Wheat, barley, and other small grains face substantial yield losses under all climate change scenarios. The sowing of maslins, or mixtures which combine multiple grain species, was formerly widespread in Eurasia and northern Africa, and continues to be employed by smallholder farmers in some parts of the world, where it may represent a risk management strategy for climate variability. We carried out interviews and field experiments in Ethiopia and the Republic of Georgia to document the use of cereal mixtures as a resilience strategy, and understand their agroecology. Most interviewees reported that the mixtures afforded drought resistance, fungus resistance, and other advantages, but had declined or ceased due to exogenous pressures factors, rather than their performance. Agroecological experiments indicated that they provide a means of increasing yield and potentially yield stability compared to some monocropped components. Revitalizing Indigenous and local strategies for climate resilience may provide a way forward.

11:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Solankar
, Saish - Independent

In parts of Nagaland, India, subsistence hunting and farming lie at the intersection of ecosystems, cultural identities, and subsistence. The Lothas, one of the major tribes of the state, follow such subsistence practices which create nature dependent identities and cultures. Here, I provide an ethnographic insight into such practices of subsistence, through hunting and farming, which give us insight into multispecies relatedness and socialities in the backdrop of historical missionization and within the context of an ongoing biodiversity crisis.

10:30 to 11:15 (Friday)

The Ethnobiology of Birds

Session Type: 
Oral
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Stephanie C. Kane, PhD - Indiana University

Session Description

On the edges of noisy cities and in the deep quiet of forests, avian worlds are part of human worlds. This session brings together those who have researched, thought and written about birds and their relations to humans in ecologies, biomes, stories, flyways, backyards, languages, laws and policies, and spiritual arts. The aim is to enroll birds as allies in a broad-scope and collective ethnobiological project to understand how to respond creatively and justly to key planetary transformations.

Presentations

Time
(UTC-5)
Abstract
10:30
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Gosford
, Bob
Bonta
, Mark

In 2017 colleagues and I documented preliminary research and findings on intentional fire-spreading behaviour by several Australian raptors. That publication, though primarily based on direct observations by non-Aboriginal land managers, briefly noted the centrality of Aboriginal knowledge of this behaviour to our research and identified that knowledge base as a future research priority. Following up on that work, we have concentrated on two primary research tasks. Firstly, reviewing interviews conducted between 2009 and 2017 with knowledge holders and land managers and second, further interviews with Aboriginal landowners, knowledge holders and land managers to 2023.In this presentation we will examine the important roles that Garrkan­­—the Brown Falcon, Falco berigora—is accorded as a landscape-scale land manager through the manipulation of wildfire, as a cultural actor in traditional ceremonies and in cultural practices and beliefs, and as a “troublemaker for fire.” We will summarise prospects for future collaborative research.

10:45
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Hunn
, Eugene - University of Washington

Documenting how local communities recognize and name the distinctive elements of their biodiverse environment provides a solid foundation for understanding how we humans engage the wider society of sentient beings, the core of the ethnographic enterprise. Among the earliest systematic ethnographies is Sahagún’s encyclopedic documentation of Aztec life, accessible in the original Náhuatl, with a parallel English translation (Florentine Codex). The largest Codex volume is devoted to ”Earthly Things,” including a chapter describing “all the birds” (tōtō-tl). To translate the birds named, described, and illustrated in th Codex, I offer my best educated guesses as to the correspondence of each Náhuatl bird name to one or more Linnean taxa based on each bird’s morphology, vocalizations, habitat, and seasonal movements, as described by the Aztec scribes. My confidence in my “educated guesses” varies, but I offer reasoned justifications for 131 of 135 categories named in the Codex.

11:00
Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
Author(s):
Kane
, Stephanie C. - Indiana University Bloomington

This paper presents my open-ended experiment using ethnographic methods to ask biological questions about the socio-spatial dynamics of bird foraging activities in urban edge habitat. Most days for six-weeks before and after low tide in fall 2023, I assumed my post on top of an outlet pipe to record observations in an estuarial node of the East Atlantic flyway. The resulting landscape drawings and text, Android phone photos and video harmlessly capture small flocks moving linearly along the water’s edge and as clustered companions spreading out across the mudflats, their bills rarely lifting up from the bubbling sediment: a thick description of biodiversity. Data analysis will characterize the gestures, body shapes, and foraging styles of flamingos, spoonbills, and godwits as they enact the 21st century trophic ecology of waders. The findings will highlight multi-species urban liveliness in a revitalized and densely populated post-industrial coast and pose questions about the nature of site fidelity and belonging.

11:30 to 13:00 (Friday)

When we listen, what can we hear? Foregrounding listening methods in ethnobotany

Session Type: 
Roundtable
Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
Aubrey Streit Krug - The Land Institute, Kelly Kindscher - University of Kansas

Session Description

In our dominant culture, listening is considered to be something largely passive. Yet, when we have the experience of feeling genuinely listened to, it has the power to transform and expand our relationships. While not always something that is valued or carefully taught, who we listen to and how we listen can have great impact on the design, quality, results, governance and relevance of our research. In a world increasingly built on abbreviated information, how might we return to being active observers in our listening? What are the ethical and practical aspects of leading with listening in our research across lines of difference? What might be some barriers, challenges and tools to getting there? This interactive roundtable discussion will describe the utility of active listening in ethnobotanical research, and the responsibility of researchers to practice that listening with integrity - as is the case with historical sources as well as living, contemporary ones. Participants in this roundtable come together through unique partnerships emerging amongst The Land Institute, the University of Kansas, Indigenous communities, and the community-based Palestinian research group Makaneyyat, that are all investigating the roles of food plants in our lives and cultures through ethnobotany, perennial crop development, art, restoration, participatory research, and education. Participants include Marcela Paiva Veliz, Kelly Kindscher, Tayor Keen, Omar Tesdell, Tala Khouri, Amy June Breesman, and Aubrey Streit Krug.

    13:30 to 15:30 (Friday)

    Advances in Data Science and Environmental Archaeology

    Session Type: 
    Poster
    Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
    Jonathan Dombrosky - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Molly Carney

    Session Description

    Data scientists combine expertise in statistical workflows, database creation and maintenance, and programming language to efficiently analyze large amounts of data. Their goal is to understand complex phenomena and offer new insights from large datasets. Modern society is now reliant on data science considering how effective it is at extracting useful information. Whether we like it or not, data science and its technologies are here to stay. Environmental archaeology—a subdiscipline with explicit ethnobiological connections—is rich in data from a vast array of different areas of research, such as geochemistry, environmental science, ecology, botany, and zoology. Environmental archaeologists have rapidly adopted data science approaches to glean accurate, precise, and replicable insights from the archaeological record. This poster session highlights new approaches in data science that help support the study of how past peoples interacted with their environments. We focus on such topics as the creation and management of ethnobiological databases, open-source tools in scientific communication, interactive data visualizations and user engagement, and new statistical and computing techniques to better understand the archaeology of human-environment interaction. Posters in this session demonstrate how these relatively new techniques and technologies are not mere distractions but offer the potential to expand our understanding of people-organism-environment interactions and relationships. Ethnobiologists can leverage data science to help sustainably support, expand, and transform the field well into the future.

    Presentations

    Time
    (UTC-5)
    Abstract
    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Gillreath-Brown
    , Andrew - Washington State University
    Kay
    , Andrea - Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology
    Mychajliw
    , Alexis - Middlebury College
    Erlandson
    , Jon - University of Oregon
    Fitzpatrick
    , Scott - University of Oregon
    Boivin
    , Nicole - Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology
    Rick
    , Torben - Smithsonian Institution

    Archaeology provides long-term records of coupled human-natural systems: the linked causes and effects of culture and environment. Archaeologists increasingly use large archaeological datasets to model human behavior in different landscapes. These data allow researchers the ability to understand human ecodynamics variability across the world and over time. We present a synthetic, global-scale archaeological database—ArchaeoGLOBE Island Extinctions database—of 4,500 events that document human and species arrivals, land use changes, and last occurrences on islands. We explore the expansion of modern humans into island environments globally to test theories about the causes of species extinctions and extirpations in these unique ecosystems using artificial intelligence methods. For example, we can use machine learning to identify which species are most likely to go extinct from human interaction. Thus, data science methods offer new insights into large archaeological and ethnobiological datasets.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Dombrosky
    , Jonathan - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

    Scholars across various fields of research have noted a reproducibility crisis. At the heart of this crisis is the fact that many results are unverifiable because researchers have not provided raw data and/or sufficient documentation. The fields of archaeology, zooarchaeology, and ethnobiology have not eluded these discussions, and they would benefit from unifying open science and publication practices. Quarto is a technical publishing system that integrates multiple programming languages and exports a range of different file types. Every figure, statistic, and calculation in a fully formatted publication or report can be tied back to raw data using one file type. Here, I present a workflow for producing technical archaeofaunal reports from active projects at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, which are integrated with a large multisite, relational database. Quarto has enhanced internal reporting consistency, aided collaboration, reduced writing time, and increased understanding of complex archaeological phenomena.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Carney
    , Molly - Oregon State University

    ChatGPT and other writing tools like Grammarly and QuillBot use generative artificial intelligence (AI) language models to generate comprehensible responses and written content. All three programs work when users input questions, prompts, notes, or general queries and then ask for specific output such as paragraphs, short essays, or annotated code. These programs draw on trained data in their responses. However, all programs save input content, so human trainers and developers can review and analyze user-generated inputs before allowing content to be added to future model versions. What happens, then, when AI is “fed” cultural heritage information as an input? Who then has access to that information? How can we ethically work with archaeological or ethnobiological data and AI without compromising our commitments to descendent communities? This poster explores some of these questions and looks closely at how environmental archaeological data is archived in various AI programs and offers some initial thoughts on using AI ethically. 

    13:30 to 15:30 (Friday)

    General Poster Session

    Session Type: 
    Poster

    Presentations

    Time
    (UTC-7)
    Abstract
    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Takahashi
    , Cheryl

    Quisque facilisis erat a dui. Nam malesuada ornare dolor. Cras gravida, diam sit amet rhoncus ornare, erat elit consectetuer erat, id egestas pede nibh eget odio. Proin tincidunt, velit vel porta elementum, magna diam molestie sapien, non aliquet massa pede eu diam. Aliquam iaculis. Fusce et ipsum et nulla tristique facilisis. Donec eget sem sit amet ligula viverra gravida. Etiam vehicula urna vel turpis. Suspendisse sagittis ante a urna. Morbi a est quis orci consequat rutrum. Nullam egestas feugiat felis. Integer adipiscing semper ligula. Nunc molestie, nisl sit amet cursus convallis, sapien lectus pretium metus, vitae pretium enim wisi id lectus. Donec vestibulum. Etiam vel nibh. Nulla facilisi. Mauris pharetra. Donec augue. Fusce ultrices, neque id dignissim ultrices, tellus mauris dictum elit, vel lacinia enim metus eu nunc.

    Time
    (UTC-5)
    Abstract
    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Takahashi
    , Cheryl

    Quisque facilisis erat a dui. Nam malesuada ornare dolor. Cras gravida, diam sit amet rhoncus ornare, erat elit consectetuer erat, id egestas pede nibh eget odio. Proin tincidunt, velit vel porta elementum, magna diam molestie sapien, non aliquet massa pede eu diam. Aliquam iaculis. Fusce et ipsum et nulla tristique facilisis. Donec eget sem sit amet ligula viverra gravida. Etiam vehicula urna vel turpis. Suspendisse sagittis ante a urna. Morbi a est quis orci consequat rutrum. Nullam egestas feugiat felis. Integer adipiscing semper ligula. Nunc molestie, nisl sit amet cursus convallis, sapien lectus pretium metus, vitae pretium enim wisi id lectus. Donec vestibulum. Etiam vel nibh. Nulla facilisi. Mauris pharetra. Donec augue. Fusce ultrices, neque id dignissim ultrices, tellus mauris dictum elit, vel lacinia enim metus eu nunc.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Johnson
    , Toni - City University of New York/New York Botanical Garden
    McAlvay
    , Alex - New York Botanical Garden

    Micronutrient deficiency, or hidden hunger, is a global challenge that affects hundreds of millions of people each year. Traditionally, fermentation has served as a practice to enhance nutrient availability, mitigate anti-nutritive compounds, and provision probiotics. In many African nations, traditional beers, often characterized by low alcohol content, are crafted from a wide range of crops. Despite their nutritional richness, these beverages remain largely understudied. As diets change and growing culture shifts to a focus on quantity, the importance of these traditional beers can be overlooked despite their contribution to nutritional balance and economic and socio-cultural well being of local peoples. The persistence of these drinks is threatened by introduced foods, changing lifestyles, and global development initiatives that neglect the value of traditional foodways and crops. We provide a review of African beers, taking into account cultural contexts, fermentation processes, and nutrition. We discuss the prospects of fostering continuity and revitalizing knowledge, production, and utilization of African beers.

     

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Zandvliet
    , Alyssa - Simon Fraser University

    Using historical-ecological approaches, this research presents proposed pathways for better understanding settler colonial and Quw’utsun (Cowichan, Coast Salish) land-use histories over decadal and centennial scales. Focusing on the Cowichan River Estuary, a highly developed and industrialized inlet on eastern Vancouver Island, and in collaboration with Cowichan Tribes, this research will integrate primary source data (ship logs, trader diaries, early surveys), ecological surveys, and ethnographic interviews, to assess how land-use in the estuary has changed over time. Preliminary results indicate that at the onset of early colonial incursions, the estuary was a dynamic food system characterized by forest gardens of Garry oak savannah, native fruit tree orchards, and intertidal root gardens. Within decades, commercial logging and farming resulted in a net turn-over in species and increased sediment loading (upwards of 2 m of sediment deposited in ~70 years), drastically reducing plant diversity and Quw’utsun food system resilience. 

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Ming
    , Emma - University of Arkansas
    Carney
    , Molly - Oregon State University

    Archaeological and paleoethnobotanical research done along the Pend Orielle River in Northern Washinton offers insight into the ancient food ways of the Kalispel Tribe. Part of our contemporary collaborative work seeks to understand the Tribe’s history of food security and provisioning practices. In this poster we draw on the findings of the Calispell Valley Archaeological Project report to look at one pillar of food security: availability. We show that past food availability can be traced through the botanical remains among both camas processing sites and residential sites. Through this record, it is clear that camas processing sites were carefully curated while in comparison residential sites held much more diversity in botanical remains. Our goal of this poster is to present these findings and discuss the modern applications of food security regarding the ancestral usage of camas in the Pacific Northwest. At the center of our discussion is the ability to have preference regarding access to food products. 

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Seupaul
    , Taylor - University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

    This study addresses the scarcity of resources on Southwestern macro botanicals, emphasizing seed documentation within herbaria. Serving diverse disciplines like archaeology, anthropology, biology, botany, and agriculture, the establishment of reference collections organizes and preserves essential macro botanical specimens. By documenting native seed varieties in the Southwestern United States, the research aims to fill existing gaps, offering a user-friendly resource for both remote and hands-on applications. This collection, focused on various seed families, contributes to a deeper understanding of regional flora and supports crucial research in botanical fields. The resulting archive facilitates identification, comparison, and exploration of unique macro botanicals in the Southwestern U.S., promoting biodiversity appreciation and preservation. 

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Crowley
    , Jazlee - Oregon State University
    Prevelige
    , Brenna - Oregon State University
    Denver
    , Dee - Oregon State University

    The Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa), under which the Buddha became enlightened in India ~2,500 years ago, is highly significant to Buddhist cultures. Bodhi trees were introduced to Hawai’i in the 1900s by multiple conduits, including Buddhist-Japanese migrants. The Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee identified this plant as a High Risk Invasive, but also acknowledged its important religious relevance. To better understand this complex ecocultural issue, we conducted a transdisciplinary project that integrated genetics, biological fieldwork and community engagement at the Kaua’i Soto Zen Obon Festival. We studied seven trees around residential spaces in Kaua’i and found that the majority shared chloroplast DNA with the tree of enlightenment in India. We took part in Japanese Buddhist cultural activities, including an art project that utilized Bodhi tree leaves. Approaching this issue through an ecocultural transdisciplinary lens may inform the ethical quandary of how to balance the invasive yet sacred relevance of F. religiosa. 

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Odeogberin
    , Ebenezer

    Ethnobotanical knowledge analyses the tight interaction between indigenous communities and the wide diversity of therapeutic plants within their habitats. This study combines data from various sources, including ethnographic research, fieldwork, and scholarly publications. It investigates indigenous societies' holistic techniques to selecting, preparing, and using medicinal herbs to heal a variety of diseases. The research sheds light on the cultural, spiritual, and ecological importance of these botanical resources, emphasizing the interdependence of humans and nature in indigenous belief systems. Furthermore, the review highlights the issues that these communities confront in retaining their traditional knowledge in the face of fast globalization, environmental deterioration, and cultural disintegration. Ethnobotany, Indigenous communities, Medicinal plants, Traditional knowledge, Healthcare, Biodiversity conservation, Cultural preservation are some of the keywords used in this study.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    North
    , Joel - University of Arkansas
    Carney
    , Molly - Oregon State University

    The American beautyberry (C. americana) is a member of Lamiaceae native to the American Southeast, characterized by its bunches of small, bright purple berries. Historical accounts detail the preparations of C. americana used by Southeastern Indigenous groups to treat several ailments, including dysentery, arthritis, and fevers. As recently as the early 20th century, Rural Euroamericans used the leaves of C. americana as an insect repellent for themselves and domestic animals. Two biologically active compounds, callicarpenal, and intermedeol, were isolated from C. americana leaves and demonstrated experimentally to be as effective as DEET against common mosquito species and deer ticks. In the summer of 2022, I spent a couple of days processing Beautyberry leaves to extract the essential oil and found it effective against mosquitos in Central Arkansas. Further study into the viability of these compounds could prove important in producing sustainable insect repellents in the future.

     

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (virtual)
    Author(s):
    Sekulic
    , Annalee - University of Vienna

    Since 2013, Croatia has joined the European Union which has required an alignment of domestic policies to the agreed upon international governmental policies. In the case of agriculture, land ownership for access to funding are central tenants for the Common Agriculture Policy. This has resulted in a mirage of effects on the local level modes of subsistence.  For olive groves in particular, agrarian communities have negotiated technology and labor changes. This master’s thesis employs methods of anthropology - participant observation, community mapping and in-depth interviews - as well as complimentary policy and archival analysis to understand the ethnobotanical changes occurring for the human-olive relationships as a result of international policy adoption for capital and land exchange. By working with the Olive Oil Cooperative of Lun and applying theories of cultural ecology, relationships between policy, growing cycles of Olea europaea (olive), and land/technology exchange will be examined to understand how local communities negotiate regional practices with international policy.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Olasehinde
    , Emmanuel Olayemi - Student

    This study explores the synergies between economics and ethnobiology, uncovering the reciprocal benefits of their integration. Examining the interplay of economic principles with ethnobiological knowledge systems, it highlights the enriching effects on both disciplines. The convergence of ethnobiology—examining interactions between people and their environments—with economics provides fresh perspectives on resource management. Drawing from Native American ethno-biological insights, the research explores alternative methods for biodiversity conservation and resource use. The study emphasizes the bidirectional knowledge flow, revealing how economic models gain sophistication through ethnobiological integration. This symbiosis not only strengthens economic assessments of traditional knowledge systems but also holds potential for promoting environmentally sustainable and equitable economic development. Overall, the research underscores untapped opportunities at the intersection of ethnobiology and economics, advocating for a comprehensive understanding of sustainable development enriched by both disciplines.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Lopez Rojas
    , Maria - Environmental Dynamics, University of Arkansas
    Carney
    , Molly - Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

    In the Pend Oreille Valley of northeastern Washington State, USA, intensive plant food processing sites are quite common. In this area, the site 45PO358 offered an opportunity to examine how and when these places formed, why people chose these locations, and how they made bulk plant food processing and storage decisions. Consequently, this study aimed to identify fuel wood used in Kalispel food systems and preparation practices. For this study, bulk soil samples were collected during archaeological excavations, and floated to extract macrobotanical remains, including charred and partially charred wood. The data collected from nine features indicated an abundance of gymnosperms. Overall, the results suggested practices for selection and treatment of wood, as well as uses of wood fuel for food processing (i.e., roasting, drying). We further compare our results with other contemporaneous sites ca. 3,000 cal BP throughout the valley to explore inter-site patterns in fuel use.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (virtual)
    Author(s):
    Gamit
    , Sandip - Department of Life Sciences, Bhakta Kavi Narsinh Mehta University, Junagadh
    Solanki
    , Hitesh - Department of Botany, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad

    This study highlights traditional medicines used for treatment of various diseases by tribal communities living in Tapi district of Gujarat state, India. Extensive field survey was carried out during 2015 to 2018 in the study area. Information was collected from 16 well known traditional healers of different area through semi-structured quaternaries and personal observation during the field visit. In the present study a total 176 etho-medicinal plants belonging to 64 families and 155 genera, used against 67 diseases by various tribal communities were collected and documented. It is observed that some critical diseases like cancer, malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes and paralysis are treated by traditional healers using various parts of plants. Traditional knowledge is passed on orally from one generation to another from the ancestors of the traditional healers. This traditional knowledge is threatened due to modernization. Therefore, the documentation of traditional knowledge can be used for conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants of study area.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Zanghi
    , Marco - Columbia University/New York Botanical Garden
    McAlvay
    , Alex - New York Botanical Garden

    Indigenous farming systems face pressure to change globally, with unintended cascading impacts on resilience and soil health. Mesoamerican milpa systems face rapid changes or complete abandonment in many regions. To understand the potential unanticipated agroecological consequences of shifting from traditional milpas to tilled monocultures, we are working with partners in Wixárika community of Xatsitsarie, Nayarit. In this area, the living roots of leguminous trees such as ɨpa (Vachellia pennulata) and xuuyá (Vachellia farnesiana) are allowed to persist in the soil, resprouting rapidly alongside crops after the aboveground parts are cut back before sowing. Our methodology involves conducting semi-structured interviews to gain insights into the management practices used and soil analyses to understand nitrogen fixation in these systems. This research aims to understand and raise awareness about the potential benefits of this understudied management practice.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Duan
    , Qimeng - Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, US
    Jin
    , Guiyun - Shandong University, China

    Agriculture has long been recognized as a pivotal factor in the emergence of early civilizations. Investigating agricultural management practices within their historical context is essential for comprehending the development of social complexity. This study employs phytolith research as a powerful tool for uncovering critical aspects of water management and crop processing, both integral to ancient agricultural systems. Our analysis of phytolith assemblages at the Liangchengzhen archaeological site provides intriguing insights into rice cultivation in arid conditions and reveals shifts in crop processing patterns during the construction of moats. These findings shed new light on the intricate relationship between agriculture, water management, and the evolution of societal structures, offering valuable contributions to the broader understanding of early urban settlements.

    13:30 to 15:30 (Friday)

    Measuring up to Environmental Archaeology: New Biometric Applications to the Study of Past Plant and Animal Remains

    Session Type: 
    Poster
    Session Organizer(s)/Chair(s): 
    Jonathan Dombrosky - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Martin Welker

    Session Description

    Some of the first studies in ethnobiology relied on the measurement of anatomical features from biological specimens, such as skeletal elements or plant seeds. Advances in environmental archaeology increasingly rely on robust measurements of biological specimens, or biometrics. This increase is related to the development of new imaging technology and robust statistical computing techniques. For example, environmental archaeologists now frequently turn to 3D scanning technology and/or open-source packages for multivariate statistics that allow for objective shape-based analyses (i.e., morphometrics). These new techniques and perspectives promise to reinvigorate a classic area of ethnobiological research. In this session, we highlight the reassessment of standard metrics used for taxonomic identification, the creation of new measurements for identification, the replicability of different protocols, and new areas of research that benefit from a focus on biometrics.

    Presentations

    Time
    (UTC-5)
    Abstract
    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (virtual)
    Author(s):
    Cajtak
    , Karl

    In this poster we discuss biometric data and contextualize it with data from the surrounding areas (present-day Catalonia). Sant Esteve d’Olius stands out for its evolution from a specialized nucleus in the Iron Age to an ecclesiastical settlement in the High Middle Ages. Data from this site fills a geographic gap in the zooarchaeological analysis of Northern Iberia between the coastal lands and the Occidental plain, and suggests variation between the two periods, which has previously been interpreted as reflecting changes in the socio-political structure and the food production system (Nieto-Espinet et al. 2021). Such changes in the zooarchaeological data reveals the importance of the politico-economical structure as well as environmental factors on animal husbandry, food consumption and the livelihood of ancient peoples.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (virtual)
    Author(s):
    Brandes
    , Claire - University of Texas at Austin

    Zooarchaeologists need flexible methods to interpret demographic profiles (e.g., age, sex, taxonomic identification) of faunal assemblages considering that (a) different skeletal elements will be present, and (b) remains will exhibit varying degrees of preservation, depending on the site. Faunal analyses will therefore benefit from the application of interdisciplinary quantitative methods in novel ways. Shannon’s informational entropy is a fundamental concept in information theory that measures the information content of variables within a system. This methodology has been used in ecology and zooarchaeology as a measure of biodiversity in and between ecosystems and sites. This research demonstrates the application of Shannon’s entropy to osteometric data with both micro and macrofauna. By using this measure, faunal analysts can identify which metric variables are most informative of characteristics like age and sex. Further research should result in the development of novel indices to elucidate demographic characteristics of a given population.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Kiahtipes
    , Christopher - University of South Florida
    Young
    , Olivia - Imagine Museum,
    Huebner
    , Benjamin - University of South Florida
    Jean-Baptiste
    , Janell - University of South Florida
    Koerner
    , Lauren - University of South Florida
    Malerba
    , Amanda - University of South Florida
    Rogers
    , Jaime - University of South Florida
    Skinner
    , Haille - University of South Florida
    Stone
    , Riley - University of South Florida

    The reconstruction of past fire regimes through physical and chemical analysis is critical to understanding human-ecological dynamics and their influence on past and present landscapes. Quantification of macroscopic charcoal accumulation in sedimentary archives provides reliable information on fire frequency and the vegetation types burned. Established methods for charcoal quantification utilize chemical preparation methods that are destructive to non-charred macrobotanical remains. Using macrobotanical remains in cores from the inner Congo Basin, we apply image analysis of samples under refracted and transmitted light to quantify charcoal accumulation and characterize local vegetation at the coring site. After classification of the plant remains based on color, size, and morphological characteristics, we compare our results with standard microcharcoal analysis using bleached samples. Our preliminary findings provide first insights into fire dynamics in Congo Basin swamp forests and provide a roadmap for developing non-destructive methods of analyzing macrobotanical remains and assessing microcharcoal accumulation rates.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Dombrosky
    , Jonathan - Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
    Wolverton
    , Steve - Department of Geography and the Environment, University of North Texas
    McCright
    , Tessa - Department of Geography and the Environment, University of North Texas

    Barbara Lawrence published morphological criteria for identifying pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) from skeletal remains in the U.S. Southwest, and these criteria are routinely used in the analysis of archaeofaunas across North America. Some criteria are often extrapolated to other related species, such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Despite the widespread and general use of Lawrence’s protocols, zooarchaeologists have not assessed whether these criteria discriminate taxa when larger sample sizes are considered or when the same taxa are evaluated from different geographic areas. Researchers have also not demonstrated that observers can identify these criteria. Here, we developed linear measurements to capture morphological criteria for identifying pronghorn and mule deer from the astragalus. We investigate intra- and interobserver variability in measurement error and determine the probability of successful taxonomic identification using the criteria. Our results offer a means to assess and thereby bolster data quality in faunal analysis.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Belmaker
    , Miriam - The University of Tulsa

    Reconstructing the environment is critical for understanding past human-environment relationships. The common use of species presence-absence and relative abundance works well across large spatial and temporal resolutions and with species with unique environmental requirements. However, this is not necessarily the case. Periods and areas where species have remained static over long periods preclude using these methods.

    Using paleodietary proxies can aid in this conundrum. Mechanical properties of food leave distinct wear patterns (tribology) on the teeth of herbivores and can be used as paleoecological proxies. For example, fossils with signs of dental wear indicative of grazing can be interpreted as the presence of grasslands. At the same time, evidence for browsing can be used to suggest more closed and wooded habitats. New imaging methodologies, e.g., white-light confocal microscopy and scale-sensitive fractal analysis, allow for more robust conclusions. This paper will discuss the use and misuse of dental tribology in archaeology.

    13:30
    Presentation format: 
    Poster display (live)
    Author(s):
    Welker
    , Martin - Arizona State Museum/University of Arizona
    Kremer
    , Max

    White-tailed deer and mule deer occur over much of North America, with significant overlap in the western United States including Arizona. Though white-tailed and mule deer occupy different environmental zones, and can differ in size, they have similar skeletal morphology. When archaeologists have attempted to differentiate white-tailed deer and mule deer skeletal elements, they generally rely upon size as the distinguishing factor. In 2004 Jodi A. Jacobson developed a system for differentiating these species using post-cranial skeletal landmarks. We tested the reliability of individual landmarks in Jacobson’s system by having volunteers perform a blind study using 34 modern reference samples from two collections curated by the Arizona State Museum. This analysis also enables us to test the consistency with which analysts with varying levels of experience could apply Jacobson’s system.