The Society for Ethnobotany

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

2021 - SEB Fall Symposium: Careers in Ethnobotany

SEB Fall Symposium

The SEB Fall Symposium: Careers in Ethnobotany took place on Saturday, October 16 from 12-3pm ET. We explored some of the many possible careers in ethnobotany! A recording will be available here shortly.

To see the recording of this event click here.

The virtual event was available for anyone to attend and kicked off with a retrospective career talk by legendary ethnobotanist Dr. Pablo Eyzaguirre, our 2021 Distinguished Economic Botanist. We then held a panel discussion with a diverse panel of individuals that have moved from academic training in ethnobotany to successful, fulfilling, and impactful careers of many types. The event concluded with breakout sessions where our panelists was able to answer audience questions in a more personal setting.


Saturday, October 16 from 12-3 pm ET


Anna Herford Dr. Anna Herforth
Senior Research Associate, Harvard Chan School of Public Health; Co-Founder, Ag2Nut Community of Practice
Anna Herforth is a researcher on global food measurement. Her work helps provide tools and data for measurement of diet quality, food access, and food environments. She studied plant science and international nutrition at Cornell, and has worked with agricultural and indigenous communities in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.



Lisa Offringa Dr. Lisa C. Offringa
Manager, Scientific Affairs and Partnerships, Brightseed
Dr. Lisa Offringa specializes in medical and nutritional ethnobotany. Her doctoral research was in Northern Thailand through the CUNY/NYBG plant sciences program. After her postdoc at Stanford Medical School with the Nutrition Studies Group, she taught at UC Berkeley and was a product developer for the vitamins, minerals and supplement division of Clorox.



Sonia Peter Dr. Sonia Peter
Executive Director, Biocultural Education and Research Programme
Sonia Peter is a Natural Product Chemist working within the field of Ethnobotany and Ethnomedicine to foster investment in the conservation of plants of medicinal value while protecting traditional knowledge and its value in food security and health.



Mark Plotkin Dr. Mark Plotkin
President, Amazon Conservation Team
Mark Plotkin is an ethnobotanist who has been studying plants and healers of Amazon for much of the past four decades. He is the host of the popular ethnobotany podcast, "Plants of the Gods".



Annie Virnig Annie Virnig
Strategic Advisor on Spatial Planning, Global Programme on Nature for Development, United Nations Development Programme (
Annie Virnig works at the intersection of science and policy to support conservation and sustainable development at local, national, and global levels. Through the Equator Initiative, she works to support advocacy for Indigenous Peoples and local communities within UN and government spheres. Her graduate work focused on the ethnobotany of Andean blueberries through the CUNY/NYBG plant sciences program.


  • 12:00 Kickoff and Introduction, Dr. John de la Parra, SEB President
  • 12:05-1:00 SEB DEB Talk and Q&A, Dr. Pablo Eyzaguirre, DEB 2021
  • 1:00-2:30 "Careers in Ethnobotany" Panel Discussion
         Panelists to be announced shortly
         Moderated by Betsabé Castro
  • 2:30-3:00 Breakout sessions with each speaker 

Though was event is free, if you would like to support the Society with a donation to the Student Travel Awards, you can do so by clicking here.

Please direct all questions about the symposium to