Plenary speakers

Cassandra Quave, Emory University, USA

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Cassandra Quave, PhD is Curator of the Emory University Herbarium and Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University, where she leads antibiotic drug discovery research initiatives and teaches undergraduate courses on medicinal plants, food and health. Trained as a medical ethnobotanist, her research is focused on the documentation and biochemical analysis of botanical remedies used in the traditional treatment of infectious disease in the Mediterranean and Balkans.

To date, she has authored more than 50 publications, 2 edited books and 3 patents. C. Quave is a Past President of the Society for Economic Botany. Her work has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and featured on NPR. Learn more about her research by visiting her website or following her on Facebook or Twitter.


Ina Vandebroek, New York Botanical Garden, USA

ina-vandebroek_hs2Ina Vandebroek is the Matthew Calbraith Perry Assistant Curator and Caribbean Program Director at The New York Botanical Garden. She has more than fifteen years of experience in research and international cooperation projects in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and New York City. Her research is at the intersection of plant diversity and community health. Ina studies the dynamics of medicinal plant knowledge and use for primary healthcare by local communities in remote rural areas, as well as by Latino and Caribbean immigrants in New York City.

Ina research shows that, even in times of general loss of biological and cultural diversity worldwide, the use of plants as medicines remains a popular healthcare practice in many communities today. Her work with Caribbean and Latino immigrants in New York City has important implications for healthcare delivery to underserved communities. Ina uses the results of her research to develop training activities with medical students and healthcare providers in New York City to help establish a better dialogue and trusted relationship with their Latino/Caribbean patients, and promote culturally sensitive healthcare.  Ina’s curriculum vitae and research articles can be accessed here.


Łukasz Łuczaj, University of Rzeszow, Poland

lukasz-luczaj-photoŁukasz Łuczaj is associate professor and head of the department of Botany in the Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Rzeszow, Poland. His main interest is the traditional use of wild foods in Eurasia. His other ethnobiological interests include ceremonial plants and the knowledge of plants among children. He has carried out field research in Poland, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia (Caucasus) and China. In China he works both with Chinese and Tibetan communities of the Qinling Mountains and eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. He is also interested in archival sources concerning plant uses – he worked extensively with archives concerning Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. He also co-edited a book entitled Pioneers in European Ethnobiology (with Ingvar Svanberg, Uppsala University Press). In 2011 Łukasz founded an open access Polish language journal Etnobiologia Polska. He is the editor of Ethnobotany section in Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae (oldest Polish botanical journal) and associate editor in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.

Apart from the work in Academia he runs an educational center and a wild garden in the Carpathians where he organizes cooking workshops with wild plants, fungi and insects (www.luczaj.com and www.lukaszluczaj.pl). Łukasz authored a few popular books on edible plants and insects and a few cooking television programmes (all in Polish), and runs a youtube channel devoted to wild foods. Łukasz also worked as a garden designer and plant ecologist. He popularized the issue of wildflower meadows in Poland and organizes the collection of wildflower meadow seeds.


Rainer Bussmann, Missouri Botanical Garden, USA

02-foto-rainer-bussmannRainer W. Bussmann is an ethnobotanist and vegetation ecologist, and currently Director of William L. Brown Center at Missouri Botanical Garden, William L. Brown Curator of Economic Botany, and Senior Curator. Before accepting the directorship of WLBC, he held academic appointments as Research Fellow in Geography and the Environment at University of Texas at Austin, as Associate Professor of Botany and Scientific Director of Harold Lyon Arboretum at University of Hawaii, and as Assistant Professor at University of Bayreuth. He holds affiliate faculty appointments at Washington University St. Louis, University of Missouri St. Louis, Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, and Universidade Federal de Paraíba, Brazil.

Rainer work focuses on ethnobotanical research, and the preservation of traditional knowledge, in Bolivia, Peru, Madagascar, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas. To date R. Bussmann has authored over 180 papers, 175 book chapters, and authored or edited 29 books. R. Bussmann is also a Past President of the Society for Economic Botany, and has served as Board / Council member of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology, Society of Ethnobiology, Botanical Society of America, and International Society of Ethnobiology. See more on his work on his website and download publications on Researchgate.


Ulysses  Albuquerque,  UFPE, Pernambuco, Brazil

01-foto-ulysses-albuquerqueUlysses Paulino Albuquerque,  is Professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) at Recife, Brazil. Albuquerque received Bachelor’s  (Biological Science), Master’s (Plant Biology– Taxonomy and Ethnobotany)  and Ph.D. degrees (Plant Biology – Ethnobotany) from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. His recent research activities include to understand the different dimensions of the interrelationship between humans and nature under an ecological and evolutionary perspective; research, development  and evaluation of plant drugs; scientometrics and science communication;  and validation and development of research methods in ethnobiology and related sciences.

Albuquerque serves on the Editorial Boards for Economic Botany (associate editor), Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (deputy editor) and Ethnobiology and Conservation (co editor in chief). He was the creator and one of the founders of the first graduate program in Ethnobiology and Nature Conservation in Latin America (Recife, Pernambuco,  Brazil). He published books, as author or editor,  that addressed fundamental issues for ethnobiology: Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology (Springer, 2014 – with R. Lucena, L. Cunha, R. Alves), Evolutionary Ethnobiology (Springer, 2015 – with A. Casas and P. Medeiros), Introduction to Ethnobiology (Springer, 2016 – with R. Alves), Ethnobotany for Beginners (Springer, coming, 2017), Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of South America (Springer, coming, 2017). See more here.


Victoria Reyes-García, ICTA-UAB, Barcelona, Spain

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Victoria Reyes-García (Ph.D in Antropology, 2001, University of Florida) is  ICREA Research Professor at the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA/Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). Her research addresses the benefits generated by local ecological knowledge and the dynamic nature of these knowledge systems. She coordinates the Laboratory for the Analysis of Socio-Ecological Systems in a Global World at ICTA-UAB . Between 2010-15, she coordinated an ERC Starting Grant to study the adaptive nature of culture using a cross-cultural approach. Victoria’s curriculum vitae and research articles can be accessed here.