The Society for Economic Botany

Fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.



1 hour workshop

  • Turning over a new leaf: The untold stories that must be told - Miranda Lowe
    • Participants will receive guidance presenting hidden histories through public tours and/or stories that recognise contributions of indigenous people to the world of science and the natural history of their collections alongside existing interpretation of botanical specimens.


1.5 hour workshops

  • Tea Time - A comparison of cooling teas in Afrocentric and Hispanic/Latinx Caribbean - Betsabe Castro and Sonia Peter
    • The biocultural tradition of cooling teas is found across the Caribbean archipelago. This hands-on workshop will expose paticipants to the dried plants used in cooling teas in Afrocentric and Hispanic/Latinx Caribbean, with special emphasis in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and Jamaica.
  • Single Origin Spices: Building New Supply Chains to Connect Smallholder Farmers with High Value Markets - Ethan Frisch
    • There are beautiful botanicals grown around the world, but farmers and foragers often lack access to international markets to be able to sell their products at their true value. Join chef & entrepreneur Ethan Frisch for a discussion about building new supply chains directly from smallholder farmers to high value markets in the US. We'll discuss the challenges involved, and the opportunities created by new communication technologies and the global proliferation of inexpensive smartphones. We'll also facilitate a hands-on tasting of various single origin spices to illustrate the process of finding and building product-market fit for lesser-known spices and botanicals.
  • Ethnobiology Ethics lab - Liz Olson and Sara Walshaw
    • Participants will learn about the existing Codes of Ethics and priorities in both the International Society of Ethnobiology and the Society of Ethnobiology. This workshop has been conducted three weeks prior, at the SoE Annual Meeting, and there will be opportunity to collaborate on shared items of shared value across the organizations. In this workshop we will facilitate discussion, identify priorities, and report back to Ethics committees of both the organizations hosting the conference.
  • Science with abstract borders – using art to communicate science - Meenakshi Poti
    • Participants will explore their research topics through different art mediums of their choice (watercolours, visual narrations, collages). Participants will be guided to create a visual abstract of their ISE conference abstract or make a personal business card.
  • Identifying Best Practices for Scientific and Ethical Ethnobiological Research - Murodbek Laldjebaev and Morgan Ruelle
    • Participants will identify best practices in the design and implementation of interview-based studies, attending to ethical considerations. The workshop will leverage the experiences of researchers and community members to consider what needs to be done before, during, and after interviews.
  • Breadfruit Flour Production - Mike McLaughlin
    • Participants will complete a hands-on project with videos, scale model, test results and discussion of all steps in processing fresh fruit into high quality flours as an ingredient in nutritious, appealing post-harvest products.


3 hour workshops

  • Local ecological knowledge x biodiversity conservation: analytical assessment tools - Bruno Esteves Conde and Amanda Surerus Fonseca
    • Participants will complete a hands-on project in which the relationship between local ecological knowledge and biodiversity conservation of forest environments will be assessed. Hypothetical data based on studies carried out in maroons communities in Brazilian rainforests will be used. Participants will need to bring a laptop/tablet.
  • Documenting Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts: A Citizen Science Approach - Xiaoyue Li and Giulia Mattalia
    • Participants will gain hands-on experience about documenting local indicators of climate change impacts using a citizen science platform. We will present the classification system of local indicators of climate change impacts and then have hands-on practice of how to use the platform. Laptop/Desktop/Tablet will be required to attend the workshop.
  • Printing with Natural Dyes - Joiri Minaya and Keren Alfred
    • A dyeing / block printing art workshop using inks and dyes extracted from local plants that can be picked in Jamaica. Participants could choose to dye paper or fabric with dyes or make block prints (linocuts).
  • Data visualization tools for ethnobotany - M. Ruelle, Jeffrey Wall, Michele Baumflek and M. Laldjebaev
    • In this hands-on workshop, participants will engage with data visualization tools for ethnobotany through discussion of principles, learning specific graphical techniques, workshopping figures in progress and a participant skill share. Participants will need to bring a laptop/tablet.
  • Extracting and Using DNA to Identify Plants in Foods and Other Products - Sara Handy
    • Participants will complete a hands-on project to extract DNA from two types of plants and use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify the different plant species. Finally, they will run the PCR on a gel to visualize results.
  • Dance and Music as connection to ancestral knowledge - the art Afro-Caribbean Bomba tradition - Anna Solis and J. Cepeda Martinez (Taller Bombalele)
    • Participants will be introduced to the basics of the Bomba tradition, an Afro-indigenous Puerto Rican practice. With an overview of the history in the context of oppression, colonization, and resistance, we will present Bomba’s role in the revitalization of ancestral knowledge.
  • Teaching Citrus: new format and tools - Natty Mark Samuels
    • Interactive throughout, attendees will also engage in a one-act play, followed by small group work and whole group discussion; further enhancing their knowledge of citrus and exploring a new format and tools, for teaching of the Rutaceae family and herbal medicine.
  • Connecting to the Caribbean ancestral preparation of maracas - an Afro-indigenous instrument - Barbara Pérez Rodríguez and Luis X. Ramos Torres (Taller Kenuati)
    • Maracas, also known as rattles, are a central percussion instrument in many musical genres in the Americas. What many might overlook, is that maracas are an Afro-indigenous instrument with deep Caribbean roots. This workshop will use a hands on approach to expose participants to the ancestral elaboration of maracas.
  • “What’s in your herbal tea?” Identifying plants through DNA barcoding and predicting medicinal uses through evolutionary pharmacology - Jean Molina
    • Students will learn how to identify plants contained in herbal medicines and any unidentified plant by performing DNA testing/barcoding. As a step further, I will teach them the concept of evolutionary pharmacology to predict plant medicinal uses.
  • Conservation and Art: Exploring the importance of the intersection of art and science - Keren Alfred and Frances Ngo
    • This workshop is about developing observational skills and taking time to re-discover the natural world. Participants will sketch, create botanical prints and make simple pamphlet books or zines.
  • Tintas tropicales / Tropical Inks - Rosaura Rodríguez
    • Participants will delve into the world of inkmaking with natural materials such as turmeric, achiote and other elements from our tropical context. We will cover basic techniques, sources and tools for making our inks and creative artworks with end it.


3 hour or two 1.5 hour workshops
(presenters are flexible)

  • Indigenous and Local Knowledge in IPBES Assessments: scoping, progress and approaches - Simone Athayde and Peter Bates
    • Participants will review the scoping documents and approaches for two upcoming IPBES assessments: Transformative Change for Biodiversity and the Nexus of Biodiversity, Food, Water and Health. Input from participants will shape the framing of these global scale assessments.