Winter Symposium

"Eat, Drink, and Be Merry—Chocolate, Tequila, and the Intersection of Plants and People"
Featuring Sarah Bowen, Ph.D., NC State University; Bradley Bennett, Ph.D., Florida International University; and Jillian M. De Gezelle, Ph.D., NC State University

  • Saturday, February 20, 2021 – 9:00 am12:00 pm

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ethnobotany collage

What is Ethnobotany?
Bradley Bennett, Ph.D.

The term ethnobotany was established more than a century ago, but the discipline is much older. It remains a nebulous and often unappreciated field of study. The foundations of ethnobotany encompass both botany and cultural anthropology, yet the discipline does not fit comfortably into any conventional academic categories. Nonetheless, the major foci of ethnobotany provide crucial answers for human survival and prosperity. Here, Bradley briefly discusses five of the many ethnobotanical studies in which he has been involved. The first two, "Useful Plants of the Shuar People of Amazonian Ecuador" and "Ethnobotany of Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)" are the kinds of studies most people associate with the discipline. The third, "Hunting and Hallucinogens," begins in familiar ethnobotanical territory but ends somewhere entirely unexpected. The last two ("The Sound of Wood" and "Ethnobotany: Science in Fiction") seemingly breach the discipline's boundaries. Yet, they both share ethnobotany's botanical and cultural roots. "What Is Ethnobotany?" cannot be answered easily, especially in a single presentation. The disciple is too diverse and essential to human existence. A better title would be, "What Isn't Ethnobotany?"


Bradley Bennett, Ph.D., Florida International University

Bradley Bennett, Ph.D.
Florida International University

Sarah Bowen, Ph.D.
NC State University

Jillian M. De Gezelle, Ph.D.
NC State University

Early registration (ends Sunday, February 14, 2021): $25.00 for members, $35.00 for nonmembers; late registration (begins Monday, February 15, 2021): $30.00 for members, $40.00 for nonmembers.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store. Registration is limited and is considered complete when payment is received.
Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks before the program's start date. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
Online. Instructions will be provided by e-mail to all participants.
Please contact Chris Glenn at for more information about this symposium.