Distinguished Economic Botanists

The award of "Distinguished Economic Botanist (DEB)" is bestowed annually by the Society upon an individual on the basis of outstanding accomplishments pertinent to the goals of the Society. A nominee does not need to be a member of the Society. The Chairperson of the Nominations and Awards Committee shall be responsible for the citation which shall be published in Economic Botany. The only responsibility of the awardee shall be to present an address at the annual meeting the year of his/her selection. He/she shall become an honorary member of the Society for life.

Recipients of the Distinguished Economic Botanist award are:

2014, Dr. Jan Salick

Jan Salick, Ph.D. is the Alice H. Brown Curator of Ethnobotany for the William L. Brown Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden. She has held numerous visiting scholar fellowships around the world including the University of Oxford, Ethnobotany Fellowship. After earning a Ph.D. from Cornell University working on ecology and systematics, she was a post-doctoral researcher at The New York Botanical Garden where she focused on Amazonian ethnobotany. Since then, she has steadily served as a leader in ethnobotany with global field studies and training many students. Her research has steadily driven to improve the quality of science in ethnobotany with her high quality publications (e.g., Economic Botany, PNAS, Global Environmental Change, AJB) and grants (e.g., NSF, Ford Foundation, National Geographic Society) being peer-reviewed evidence of her success. Early projects involved study of cassava and indigenous agriculture, more recent work has been on climate change in Tibetan communities, and now she is shifting her focus to examine impacts of climate change on Native American communities. She has been particularly active as an international representative for the science of ethnobotany within committees of the International Union of Biological Sciences, CGIAR, United Plant Savers, and People and Plants International. She founded and has developed the Biocultural Collections Network that has just released a new handbook on Curating Biocultural Collections. Most importantly, she is a past president of the Society for Economic Botany and a long-standing member and supporter of our society.







Dr. Will McClatchey


Dr. Djaja Djendoel Soejarto


Dr. Nancy Turner


Drs. Edelmira Linares and Robert Bye


Nina Etkin
2009 *




Michael Balick


Brent and
Elois Ann Berlin


W. Hardy Eshbaugh


Walter Lewis &
Memory Elvin-Lewis


Harold C. Conklin
[ Profile ]


Gordon Hillman


Daniel Zohary


Sir Ghillean Prance


Isabella Abbott
2001 *


James Duke




S. K. Jain


Hugh. H. Iltis


Carlos Ochoa
1997 *


Jack G. Hawkes
1996 *


Varro E. Tyler
1995 *


Walton C. Galinat
1994 *


Mildred Mathias
1993 *


Douglas Yen


N. W. Simmonds
1991 *


Herbert G. Baker
1990 *




Jack L. Beal
1989 *


Oswald Tippo
1988 *


Charles Rick
1987 *


E. Hernández X.
1986 *


Jack R. Harlan
1985 *


Charles B. Heiser
1984 *


N. R. Farnsworth
1983 *


William L. Brown
1982 *


William H. Tallent
1981 *


T. Whitaker
1980 *




R. E. Schultes
1979 *


Julia F. Morton
1978 *


* deceased