The Society for Economic Botany

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

Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany

SEB Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany

Event: SEB Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany

Date: Saturday, April 17 12-2:30 pm ET

Cost: Free to all with a suggested donation toward student travel awards. We hope to utilize the popularity of this event to promote new membership and the SEB Summer 2021 Symposium (which will require membership for attendance). To become a new member or renew please click here.

Registration Link: Click here to register.

Tentative Agenda:
12:00: Introduction
12:05: Panelist 1 introduction and brief talk
12:20: Panelist 2 introduction and brief talk
12:35: Panelist 3 introduction and brief talk
12:50: Panelist 4 introduction and brief talk
1:05: Moderated Panel Discussion
1:40: Panel open to audience questions
2:00: Virtual Coffee Break (breakout rooms for attendees and panelists)
2:30: END

Confirmed Panelists:

Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz, Associate Professor of Ojibwe Language at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Dr. Geniusz is a Cree and Métis woman, whose research focuses on Ojibwe language and botanical knowledge.  Anyone can watch her Ojibwe language classes at: She will present a short talk entitled “Biskaabiiyang: When we talk about decolonizing in Ojibwe, we say we are returning to ourselves”.

Dr. Alexis Bunten, Director, Indigeneity, Bioneers Collective Heritage Institute. Dr. Bunten (Unangan/Yup’ik) co-directs the Bioneers Indigeneity Program and consults in mixed methods research and cross cultural communications. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous economic development, organizational decolonization, and cross-cultural communications. She will present a short talk entitled “How to Decolonize Ethnobotany: The University as Colonizing Institution, IP and Indigenous Knowledge”.

Dr. John Rashford, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, College of Charleston. Dr. Rashford received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the City University of New York. He has been particularly interested in the ethnobotany of the Caribbean viewed in the context of the making of our present world system. He will present a short talk entitled "Globalization and Decolonizing Ethnobotany".

Dr. Catherine Lukhoba, Senior Lecturer and Director of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, will partner with Professor Paul Kamau Mbugua

  • Dr. Lukhoba has worked extensively in the Lake Victoria basin and catchment area in search of medicinal plants and works with local communities to develop their knowledge on medicinal resources for economic development. She was instrumental in starting the Kenya chapter of the Society of Economic Botany and serves as its current Vice President.
  • Dr. Mbugua is a Professor in Plant Taxonomy at Kenyatta University. He has grown up and lived among various ethnic groups in Kenya and is the current President of Society of Economic Botany, Kenyan Chapter. 
Together, they will present a short talk covering a number of topics relevant to decolonizing ethnobotany in Africa.

*Please note that in order for you to participate in the Virtual Coffee Break you will need to have Zoom version 5.3.0 or later for the desktop client or mobile app. Zoom via a web browser only will not allow you to use breakout rooms. To download Zoom click here. To update your zoom to the latest version click here.