President Secretary Regional Representatives Fellowship Program Student Representatives
Vice President Treasurer Global Coalition Ethics Program Congress Organizers

President: Alain Cuerrier

Alain Cuerrier is an ethnobotanist and plant taxonomist involved primarily with the First Nations of Eastern Canada. He hold a research position at the Montreal Botanical Garden and Plant Biology Research Institute (University of Montreal). He is a member of the Traditional Aboriginal Antidiabetic Medicines (TAAM). His works encompass antidiabetic traditional medicines, impact assessment of harvesting medicinal plants, perception of climate change by Inuit people. Earlier works have pertained to their traditional medicine (TM) and botanical knowledge as well as their perception of Nature. Alain has been involved with the Access and Benefit Sharing policies within Canada. He is also board member of the Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada. He is helping First Nations and their TM to be recognised.

Vice President: Verna Miller (Pepeyla)

Pepeyla (Verna Miller) is from the Nlakapamux homelands located in what is known as Canada and the United States. Now a retiree, she is looking forward to working with the ISE again. She has been a Board member in the past and an ISE member since 2006, when she was also invited to be part of the Ethics Committee in Thailand.

She has chaired many Boards in her role as Elder and during her working career. She continues to sit on a variety of Boards and committees in a leadership role. In the summer of 2013 Pepeyla completed her Master of Education (and she rides a Harley Trike!).

Since 2006 she has attended every Congress and enjoyed the people she’s met from other Indigenous Communities and around the world. She has found that they have a lot of common issues on any number of topics that are of concern to their communities, environment, life-way, traditions, language and culture.

Pepeyla’s intention for becoming a Board member again is to do whatever she can to keep the ISE going and moving ahead.   She feels that now that we are nearing the close of the Christensen Fund, it is apparent that we have to be creative in finding more funding   or opportunities to boost our funding. Now that she is retired, she now has more time to be part of searching for funding and discussing these issues.

Her vision is for the ISE to continue to work and understand better how respectful relationships can be of benefit to not only the researcher but for the Indigenous and traditional people from whom they gather information.   Information is power, but not to the detriment of the people of place.

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Secretary: Marion Johnson


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Treasurer: Jon Corbett

Since completing his Masters degree in Sustainable Forestry Management, Jon’s community-based research has investigated processes and tools that can be used by local and Indigenous communities to help express their relationship to, and knowledge of, their traditional territories and resources. Jon has worked with communities in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and over the past six years with First Nations and Aboriginal communities in British Columbia. Jon is now an assistant professor in the department of Community, Culture and Global Studies Unit at UBC Okanagan and co-director of the Centre for Social Spatial and Economic Justice.

In particular Jon’s interests include how digital multimedia technologies can be effectively used by remote and marginal communities to document, store, manage and communicate their culture, language, history and traditional ecological knowledge. His research also explore how geographic representation of community information using these technologies can strengthen the community internally through the revitalization of culture and traditional environmental management practices, as well as externally through increasing their influence over regional decision-making processes.

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Regional Representatives:

Africa: Bobo Kadiri Serge

Dr. BOBO Kadiri Serge is Director of the School for the Training of Wildlife Specialists Garoua, and Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Forestry, the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang (Cameroon). He has held a PhD since 2007 in Conservation Biology from the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany and is a Forest and Wildlife Engineer by profession.

As the African representative for ISE, in order to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the ISE, his ambitions are to:

  1. create an effective communication platform and promote an interactive forum for cultural exchanges between African members of the ISE whereby students, indigenous communities, early career scientists, professionals and researchers can exchange opportunities within the field of Ethnobiology (bio-cultural diversity) and other related fields;
  2. lobby industrial companies and international/regional conservation and financial institutions in order to initiate financial mechanisms to support researches in ethnobiology from students and early career scientists in Africa and their participation in the 2016 ISE congress and other related workshops;
  3. help African ISE members to connect and create collaborations with other stakeholders (NGO’s, local governments, private firms,…) in order to support the activities of the ISE-Africa in particular and ISE in general;
  4. encourage scientific publications in ethnobiology by African partners;
  5. promote the importance of ethnobiology to natural resource management especially within community-based management projects implemented by conservation NGOs;
  6.  promote the relevance of ethnobiology as a course in African institutions;
  7. try to organize an Africa ISE congress before 2016.

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Central and South Americas and the Caribbean: Diana Lope-Alzina

Diana was born, grown, and currently lives in the Yucatán, México, where she has carry out extensive research about gender and management of agrobiodiversity with emphasis on the homegardens agroecosystem. She holds a B. Sc. from University of Texas at El Paso (1997) with a major in Psychology and minor in Biology; an M. Sc. in Management of Agroecological Knowledge Systems from Wageningen University (2004) and is currently in the last year of a PhD in Gender studies in Agriculture at the same institution. As part of her PhD, she also did the coursework for the M. Sc. in Ethnobotany at University of Kent –Canterbury. Diana began her career in Biocultural Diversity related issues in 1999, as part of the local team at Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politecnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN) in the Yucatan for a project about in situ conservation run in nine countries by IPGRI (nowadays, Bioversity International). Diana has lectured the ‘Thesis Seminar’ at the School of Natural Resources of the Universidad Marista de Mérida (2004-2005) and ‘Research Design I and II’, ‘Scientific Writing’, ‘Rural Sociology’, ‘Sustainable Development’, and ‘Ethnoecology’ as an interim Research Professor at Instituto Tecnológico del Valle de Oaxaca (2012-2014); she is currently an external advisor at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur and at Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CIIDIR-IPN)-campus Oaxaca. Diana is also the founding member of the virtual group Red Huertos Familiares and the Executive Editor of the scientific journal Etnoecológica.

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North Americas: Karim-Aly Kassam

Dr. Karim-Aly S. Kassam is International Professor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies in the Department of Natural Resources and the American Indian Program at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. In 2013, Dr. Kassam received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Diversity Award for creating and fostering diversity in research and teaching. From 2008 to 2011, he was Director of Graduate Studies of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. Prior to joining Cornell, Dr. Kassam was Associate Professor with the Faculty of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary, Canada.  In 2003, he was the first Canadian to receive the Organization of American States – Fulbright Ecology Fellowship. He developed and established the Theme School in Northern Planning and Development Studies in 1995 and until 2003 was its Director. From 1998 to 2001 Dr. Kassam was the first Murray Fraser Professor of Community Economic Development at the University of Calgary. In 2003, Venture Magazine named him, one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people along with business and political leaders. Dr. Kassam is a Senior Research Fellow of the University of Central Asia, Fellow of the Commonwealth Society at Cambridge University, Research Associate of the Arctic Institute of North America, Faculty Fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, and Elected Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Dr. Kassam’s objective is to seamlessly merge teaching with applied research in the service of communities. His research focuses on the complex connectivity of human and environmental relations, addressing indigenous ways of knowing, food sovereignty, sustainable livelihoods, and climate change. This research is conducted in partnership with indigenous communities in the Alaskan, Canadian, and Russian Arctic and Sub-Arctic; the Pamir Mountains in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; and the rain forest in the south of India. By investigating the relationship between biological and cultural diversity, Dr. Kassam seeks to expand the foundations of the notion of pluralism.

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Asia: Jigme Dorji

jigme Jigme Dorji works for Department of Forests and Park Services in Bhutan as wildlife researcher. He has completed various professional training in forestry related field besides holding a Bachelors Degree in Forestry. Currently Jigme works for Royal Manas National Park as head of Integrated Conservation and Development Program. He became a member of the ISE in 2010 and attended the First Asian Congress on Ethnobiology (FACE) in Taiwan in the same year. In 2012, he attended both the ISE congress and the pre-congress international student’s workshop in Montpellier, France, where he presented a paper on “Agro-Pastoralism, Barter System and Biodiversity Conservation: a self sustained Mountain Culture of Brokpa Community in the Bhutan Himalayas.” He was a recipient of the Indigenous Participants travel award. As a member of the ISE, his other contributions include articles in ISE newsletters. In June 2014, he attended the 14th ISE congress in Bhutan and also help ed student representatives organize the pre-congress student’s workshop.

His current interests range from species research to organizing community-based ecotourism in the park. Jigme also works on human-wildlife mitigation measures in the remote villages of the park. With sixteen years of experience in the field, he is very keen on working with the local communities in the most remote areas in Bhutan.

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Europe: Bernard Moizo

Bernard Moizo is a Social Anthropologist and Research Director at IRD in France. For over 20 years he has endeavored to understand the complex relationships between indigenous groups, territories and identities. His current research questions include: rural tourism in Morocco and Mediterranean area with a focus on local communities and local products, the feasibility and potential for development of ecotourism sectors co-managed by local communities in Laos in response to the increasing impoverishment; local knowledge (acquisition and transmission) in the context of the relocation policy of ethnic mountain in Laos; Broadening the approach to ASEAN and GMS regional context; Analysis of the relationship between international discourse, national and local practices in forest in Mekong countries; and Writing a book on the Aborigines of Australia and a work of synthesis. Bernard was part of the 2012 ISE Organizing Committee and in addition to his duties as the ISE European Representative, he is the appointed 2014 ISE Congress Liaison on the ISE Board.

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Oceania and Pacific Islands: Yih-Ren Lin

yihren Yih-Ren is an active member of the International Society of Ethnobiology, having taken part in the work of setting up the code of ethics for work with indigenous peoples (including Chinese translation) and was invited to be a part of the international research team. He was elected the ISE Asian representative in 2008, and hosted the First Asian Conference of Ethnobiology in 2009 in Taiwan. In 2013, he continued to collaborate with the ISE to launch the Mountain Communities Initiative (MCI) and establish the collaborative relationship between Taiwan’s Tayal communities and the Potato Park communities in Peru.This work has effectively encouraged Taiwan’s Tayal people’s contribution to the whole society in terms of ecological issues and brought in new vision through the international collaboration to reflect upon Taiwan government’s policy on climate change.

Yih-Ren also organized a team including indigenous representatives and scholars to attend the ISE Bhutan Congress and hopes to widen the communication and collaborative circle in terms of these global issues. In the past few years, he has actively participated in related international conferences concerning indigenous people and traditional ecological knowledge, and has invited American, Canadian, British, Australian, and other key scholars to Taiwan for scholarly exchange.

His vision as the Oceanic representative is to promote the network, communication and mutual help amongst the Austronesian people in terms of their local ecological knowledge. In addition, he is also keen to facilitate the integral communities development by the ways of environmental education and eco-tourism based on sound ecological knowledge. International workshops, communities exposure and conferences are tools that he will adopt to meet these goals.

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Global Coalition Directors: vacant

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Darrell Posey Fellowship Program Chair: Mary Stockdale

Mary Stockdale is an adjunct professor in the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies at University of British Columbia, Okanagan branch (UBCO), where she teaches courses and engages in research related to community resilience, sustainability and natural resource management. Internationally, she has spent the past 20 years working in Southeast Asia (mainly Indonesia and the Philippines) on community-based forest management, particularly on issues related to non-timber forest products (NTFP) management. Most of her work in the past 10 years has been done in collaboration with the NTFP-Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia, a regional network of community organizations (mostly indigenous), local NGOS, and others, with a mission of promoting sustainable forest management and sustainable livelihoods for forest-dwelling communities. She is also an activist in her own community, working on resilience and sustainability initiatives. While based at the University of Oxford, Mary was a friend of Darrell Posey’s, and is pleased to carry on his legacy by acting as Co-Chair of the Darrell Posey Fellowship Selection Committee.

Darrell Posey Fellowship Program Co-Chair: Miguel Alexiades

Miguel Alexiades (France, Colombia) is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobotany at the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent (UK), and Co-director of People and Plants International, where he directs the Cultural Landscapes and Resource Rights Program ( For the past twenty-five years he has worked extensively on issues relating to indigenous health, livelihoods and land and resource rights, primarily  among the Amazonian Ese Eja in Peru and Bolivia.  In recent years he has also been supporting local initiatives for intercultural eduction in Mexico.  In 2004 he was awarded the Darrell Posey Field Fellowship (2004-2006) to support his work on cultural landscapes and resource rights among the Ese Eja, and he has  served in the Darrell Posey Fellowship Selection Committee since then.

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ISE Ethics Committee Chair: Kelly Bannister

Kelly Bannister is Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Center for Global Studies, at the University of Victoria (Victoria, B.C., Canada). She has B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Microbiology/Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Ethnobotany/Medicinal Plant Chemistry. She applies her background in Ethnobiology to policy development, research and collaborative education on biocultural diversity, in collaboration with a number of non-profit, Indigenous and community organizations. Her focus is on ethical and legal issues in research involving biodiversity and Indigenous cultural knowledge and she has extensive experience in ethics policy analysis and development. Her work explores local to international governance mechanisms (e.g., codes of ethics, ethical guidelines, research agreements, community research protocols) to address power relations and facilitate equitable research practices. Her ultimate goal is the evolution of new institutional frameworks (i.e., principles, policies, practices) and practical tools that support collaborative and equitable research between universities, rural communities and Indigenous peoples.

ISE Ethics Committee Co-Chair: Gleb Raygorodetsky

Born and raised in a coastal village in Kamchatka, Russia, Gleb is a conservation biologist with expertise in resource co-management and traditional knowledge systems. His work has taken him from the Brazilian Amazon to the Canadian Beaufort Sea, to the Russian Altai Mountains. He has lived and worked with the Evèn reindeer herders, the Aleut fur seal hunters, the Caboclos pirarucu fishermen, and the Gwich’in caribou hunters. For his Ph.D. (Columbia University, 2006), he looked at the resilience of social-ecological systems after the collapse of the Soviet-Union in the Russian Far East, by researching furbearer use and conservation in Kamchatka. Between 2006-2010 he led the development of a new global grant-making strategy for the Christensen Foundation on biocultural issues and since then has continued to work in the field of biocultural diversity with a focus on participatory conservation, climate change adaptation and communication. He currently consults and collaborates with multilateral organizations such as the UNDP, UNESCO and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has written and contributed to books, scientific and popular articles on indigenous issues and conservation in both English and Russian.

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Student Representative: Robin Wild

Student Representative: Karly Burch

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2016 ISE Congress Organizer: Christine Kabuye (bio/photo coming)

2014 ISE Congress Organizer: Sangay Wangchuk

Sangay WangchukSangay Wangchuk works for Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, a government based research and training institute in Bhutan. Currently, he is the Head of the Sustainable Forestry Department and Program Director of Madanjeet Singh Centre for South Asia Forestry Studies of the Institute. In addition to teaching forest ecology, field botany, and forest management, Sangay conducts research on ethnoecology and is currently studying the contribution of Cordyceps to the livelihood of alpine communities of Bhutan and impact of Cordyceps collectors on the ‘pristine’ alpine ecosystem. He also has deep passion for understanding the historical climatic pattern and how it changes through the use of dendro-climatology techniques.  Sangay is the chair of the Organizing Committee for the 14th International Congress of Ethnobiology that will take place in June 2014 in Bumthang, Bhutan.


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