The Society for Ethnobotany

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

2021 - Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany

SEB Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany

We were very pleased to host the Spring Panel on Decolonizing Ethnobotany, Saturday, April 17, 2021. This event included 5 Panelists as well as a "Virtual Coffee Break" breakout session. 

Click here to view the recording of the panel
(the virtual coffee break was not recorded)


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 presented 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 presented 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 presented 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 presented a short talk covering a number of topics relevant to decolonizing ethnobotany in Africa.