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

President: Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and a Special Advisor for the Wyss Academy for Nature. Over the last 20 years, her work in Latin America, Eastern Africa, and more recently the Mediterranean has focused on bridging science and society through transformative ethnobiological research. She has been based for over 12 years in Lima, Peru, where she conducted research on the transformation of ethnobiological knowledge in the Andean Highlands for her Ph.D. in Human Geography at the University of Bern, and then postdoctoral studies at World Agroforestry (ICRAF). Since 2010, she has also been actively involved in the NGO sector, first as Executive Director and then as Board Member at A Rocha Peru, a non-profit organization focusing on community-based conservation. She lives now in Southern Portugal, where she is developing a regional project on native food species, sustainable landscapes, and gastronomyAmong other professional offices, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Global Diversity Foundation and of A Rocha PortugalSince 2016, she is also Associate Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Mountain Research and Development. She has held the positions of regional Representative for Central and South Americas and the Caribbean (2010-2012) and then Secretary (2012-2014) on the ISE Board.

Back to top

Vice President-President Elect: Shujaul Mulk Khan

Shujaul Mulk Khan is serving as a Tenured Associate Professor of Ecology & Conservation in the Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan. He is elected member of Pakistan Academy of Sciences. He is also a Visiting Professor of Ethnoecology in the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy. He served Hazara University Mansehra for more than 9 years as a Lecturer of Botany (2006 -2015). He also served as General Secretary of the Pakistan Society for Conservation Biology. He and his research team mainly focus on Ethnoecology of the Himalayas, the world’s largest mountains with an aim to introduce the potentials and problems of biodiversity and ecosystems at a global scale. He has been a member of the administrative bodies for various Universities across the country. He is a member of a number of international societies like Slow Food Association, Conservation Biology, BSBI, SBS, PBS, etc. He has been on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicines. He is a reviewer of dozens of journals. He has been a member of a number of social welfare groups and Literacy societies. He received various awards during his academic career, Best Scholar award at IBC Shenzhen China 2017, Best Research Paper Award HEC Pakistan 2018, and Research Productivity Award QAU, Pakistan 2019. He has published 9 books, 25 book chapters and 133 papers in prestigious journals. He has been in the top 50 young productive Scientists of Pakistan under the age of 40 years. He supervised 10 PhDs and 71 MPhil students so far. He achieved a number of research projects and travel grants. He participated/presented in more than 140 international and national conferences and academic events.

Back to top                  

Secretary: Nemer E. Narchi

Nemer E. Narchi is an Assistant Research Professor in the Center for Human Geography Research at El Colegio de Michoacán, A.C. He is an anthropologist who has been working in marine ethnobiology and biocultural conservation for 18 years. Nemer has been a member of various Boards of Directors for academic organizations and is now the Chair and co-founder of the CoLaboratories of Social Oceanography.  He is also head of the Marine Biocultural Heritage Research Group, part of the Mexican Network for Biocultural Heritage (Red Temática sobre Patrimonio Biocultural, CONACyT). His research topics revolve around marine ethnobiology and conservation, with particular emphasis on environmental violence, food systems and environmental justice. Lastly, he is a participant editor for the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Latin American Perspectives, and Relaciones Estudios de Historia y Sociedad.

Nemer has attended four International Congresses of Ethnobiology and is a member of the ISE since 2010. He has previously served the board as Student Representative (2010-2012).

Back to top

Treasurer: Jelena Brezjanović

Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Dr. Jelena Brezjanović was a visiting instructor of Anthropology at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at the University of North Florida, where she taught courses in Linguistic and Cultural Anthropology. The scope of her research includes studies in bilingual language patterns, migration, ethnoecology, and conservation. Dr. Brezjanović serves as the Executive Coordinator for the International Society of Ethnobiology, contributing her expertise to help promote worldwide biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity, especially the conservation of the ecosystems and knowledge bases of indigenous communities. She is an advisory committee member at the University of North Florida Digital Humanities Institute and is also serving as a UNF Institutional Representative for the Florida Digital Humanities Executive Council (2022-2024).

Back to top

Regional Representatives:


Africa: Omari Patrick

Patrick Omari is committed to transformational social entrepreneurship research. He has worked at the intersection between culture, ethnobiology, infrastructure, and technology. Patrick has a wealth of experience acquired from projects and research work in various regions of the world outside Africa. He has published and presented papers in various disciplines closely associated with Anthropology, development, and technology.

Patrick has done extensive research in Sub-Saharan Ethnobiological Classification Systems, Conservation and Commercialisation of Traditional Medicines & Herbals and Aromatics, Human Aspects in Road Safety, Digitisation and promotion of road engineering software, and application of Artificial Intelligence among other topical interests. Education: Ph.D. in Management-Business Anthropology [2022-24]- San Sebastian College -Recoletos, Philippines-[Institute of graduate Studies]; Ph.D. in Ethnobiology (2009) University of Kent, Canterbury, UK [To be completed]; MSc in Ethnobotany (2004) University of Kent, UK; BA (honours)-Anthropology-Social-Cultural Studies. Moi University, Kenya; Post-graduate Certificates in Road Safety from Delft University, Netherlands.


  • Founder Member-African Journal of Ethnobiology
  • Secretary General- Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK)
  • Associate Member-Institute of Highway Engineers, UK

Back to top

Central and South Americas and the Caribbean: Juarez Pezzuti

Juarez Pezzuti is a Full Professor at the University of Pará, teaching in the Centre For Advanced Amazon Studies and in the Institute of Biological Sciences. He graduated in Biology, and concluded his Master’s degree in Ecology at the National Institute of Amazonian Studies (INPA) and a doctorate in Ecology at the State University of Campinas UNICAMP), having studied the local management system of river turtles in Negro River basin. He has been conducting research on ecological and cultural aspects of wildlife use among Amazon indigenous and caboclo communities, community-based wildlife management and ethnozoology since 1995. More recently, his research focus has been directed to the application of local ecological knowledge (LEK) on wildlife monitoring programs in Brazil, especially In the development of community-based wildlife management plans incorporating LEK in the monitoring of target game species. He was the Program Chair of the 16th International Congress of Ethnobiology. 

Back to top

North Americas: Janelle Marie Baker

Janelle Baker has been a member of the International Society of Ethnobiology since 2003, and has attended several congresses, most notably the 14th congress in Bhutan in 2014, as a Darrell Posey Doctoral Fellow and attendee of the student pre-congress workshop. During that time, she was also the Society of Ethnobiology Promotion and Outreach Coordinator: Student Engagement (2013-2016).

Janelle is an assistant professor in anthropology at Athabasca University and her research is on sakâwiyiniwak (Northern Bush Cree) experiences with wild food contamination in Canada’s oil sands region. This work is inspired from doing applied research as a traditional land use consultant for First Nations in the region since 2006. She continues to be involved in community-based environmental monitoring (berries and wetland plants) projects with Aboriginal communities whose territories are affected by oil sands extraction. She is also working on new research that celebrates traditional foods and boreal forest identities.

In 2016, Janelle was a visiting Ph.D. scholar on Professor Anna Tsing’s Niels Bohr Professorship project at Aarhus University in Denmark called “Research on the Anthropocene: Discovering the Potential of Unintentional Design on Anthropogenic Landscapes”. She was selected to attend the Global Environments Summer Academy in Bern, Switzerland in 2015 and is a past Warren Fellow at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, a Vanier Scholar, the 2013-2014 Canadian Federation for University Women CHEA Fellow, a Canadian Northern Studies Trust Scholarship recipient, and a Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction recipient.

Back to top

Asia: Govind Singh Rajwa

Govind Singh Rajwar is serving the Himalayiya University, Dehradun, India as a Professor of Botany. He has served as a Professor of Botany at Government Post Graduate College, Sri Dev Suman Uttarakhand University, Rishikesh, India. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, UK, National Institute of Ecology, India and Society for Plant Research, India, and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences India. He has explored the floristic and vegetational aspects of Garhwal Siwalik hills for his Ph D. He has a total teaching and research experience of 43 years. He has worked on biodiversity, ethnobotany, ecology, remote sensing studies, and the conservation of Himalayan vegetation. He has been a member of various academic boards of some universities in India. For his scientific contributions, besides being elected Fellow of some scientific bodies of the UK and India, he has received recognition as a brilliant young scientist by the XIV International Botanical Congress, West Berlin, Germany (1987) and an outstanding scholar award by The First International Congress on Ecological Integrity and Environmental Ethics: Living for a Sustainable Future, Pantanagar India (2014). He has edited 7 books on Himalaya/world mountains including 5 proceedings of conferences held in India, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Norway. He has published 114 research papers in various national and international research journals. He has completed 5 research projects on the ecology and conservation of Himalayan vegetation and has supervised 22 Ph.D. dissertations. Ha has presented papers at many national and international conferences held in Asia, Europe, and Africa including chairing technical sessions at international conferences held in Italy and China. He is working as an editor/editorial board member of World Environment, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, and Vegetos. 


Back to top

Europe: Open Position


Back to top

Oceania and Pacific Islands: Katie Kamelamela

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Dr. Kamelamela graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi Botany Department with a vision of “Hawaiʻi practices on Hawaiʻi landscapes.” With diverse climate and soil types across the islands, she brings together place and practice-based community needs with policy. Her professional and public service goals are to support the understanding and management of forest-gathered resources for cultural and economic value to empower cultivators, managers, and consumers. Gathering practices are intertwined with policy at all levels, especially related to Native Hawaiian Access Rights. Having served at multiple agencies, she bridges the gap in communication between on-the-ground practitioners, governing bodies, and advocacy agencies preparing for a changing climate.

Back to top

ISE Ethics Committee Co-Chairs:

Zabta Khan Shinwari


Dr. Zabta K. Shinwari initiated work with safeguarding interest of local communities while working in World Wide Fund for Nature. He introduced the subject of applied Ethnobotany in Universities of Pakistan. He organized several workshops to acknowledge that biological and cultural harms have resulted from research undertaken without the consent of Indigenous peoples. His emphasis was to work collaboratively, in ways that support community-driven development of Indigenous peoples’ cultures and languages; acknowledge Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights; protect the inextricable linkages between cultural, linguistic and biological diversity; and contribute to positive, beneficial and harmonious relationships in the field of ethnobiology. Because of these efforts, several M. Phil and PhDs graduated in Pakistan and are now working in various universities and are adding to the goods of poor communities.


Tak Bahadur Tamang

Tak Bahadur Tamang is an Indigenous representative from the Tamang Community in Nepal. He has been working as human rights and social activist in several NGOs and social organizations. He advocates to promote and strengthen human rights and justice of Indigenous Peoples in accordance with the international human rights instruments and conventions such as the ILO Convention 169, the UNDRIP, and Art. 8j of the UN Convention on Biodiversity. Tak focuses on empowering Indigenous Peoples at local and national levels by mainstreaming their participation in decision-making related to resource management, development processes, bio- and biocultural diversity conservation, traditional knowledge and customary practices revitalization, as well as strengthening their identity and dignity at all affairs of the state.

Back to top


Student Representative: Nicholaas Pinas

Nicholaas M. Pinas is a Ph.D. candidate from Suriname. He is currently residing in the Netherlands and is working at the Naturalis biodiversity center in Leiden in the ethnobotany group with Tinde van Andel. His work focuses on the traditional varieties of Maroon rice in Suriname. 

Nicholaas holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology obtained in Suriname, and an MSc in biochemistry and molecular biology obtained in China.


Student Representative: Abdullah Allah

Abdullah is a Ph.D. Scholar at the Department of Plant Sciences Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Currently, he is a visiting researcher at the Department of Biology, Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity Section, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is interested in the ethnobiology of palms and wild food plants, in the Hindukush Himalayan valleys with a unique culture. His PhD work centers on the ecology, ethnobotany, and seed dormancy of a palm Nannorrhops ritchieana concerning climatic changes using species distribution or niche modeling techniques. Alongside basic curiosity about palm and climate change, Abdullah is highly motivated to contribute to the conservation and restoration of different species projects. He explored different areas of Pakistan for ecological and ethnobiological data collection. He has published 27 research papers and 12 book chapters. Abdullah presented his research work at 8 different prestigious conferences.


Back to top

2024 Congress Organizer:

Mohammed Cherkaoui (Chair of the 2024 ISE Congress)

Mohamed Cherkaoui was born on March 27, 1962 in Marrakech, Morocco. After studying at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech between 1980 and 1985, he obtained a degree in science specializing in plant biology. In 1985, he studied at the University of Paris VII where he obtained an Advanced study diploma in 1986 and then a Doctorate in 1989 in Population Genetics. In 1990, he was hired at Cadi Ayyad University as a teacher-researcher. During his professional career, he participated in the implementation of several courses in Genetics and Evolution of Populations, Epidemiology and Statistics, Anthropobiology and Human Ecology. He also conducted research at the Human Ecology Laboratory on the dynamics of populations and environments in the Moroccan High Atlas. His work gave rise to a State doctorate which he defended in 2002, to around a hundred scientific publications, and to the direction of around ten doctoral theses. He also participated in the implementation of several research projects and the foundation of several scientific and social associations for the benefit of the populations studied. Currently, he is actively involved in the Association “Friends of the University Hospital Center” which works to improve the quality of life and health of the populations of the High Atlas. He is also a member of the Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA) which works in the High Atlas Mountains to manage biological resources and improve the economies of local farming communities and value sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices.

Back to top