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.

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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.

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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 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 member of the ISE since 2010. He has previously served the board as Student Representative (2010-2012).

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Treasurer: Maren Peterson

Maren is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Anthropology at Oregon State University. Her research interests include the ethnoecology of wild edible plant knowledge, access, and management. She earned her M.A. in Geography from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and her B.A. in Anthropology and English from Luther College.

Maren’s experience in ethnoecology, natural resource management, and community-based conservation spans a 20-year career. She recently collaborated with the Ebiil Society (Palauan non-profit) and Stanford University on a Global Environment Facility-funded study of gender and natural resource use in Palau. She was a Senior Instructor in Geography at Eastern Oregon University and a grant writer for the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at California State University, San Marcos. Maren worked on local and international biocultural conservation projects as a McBeth Conservation Fellow at the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. Working for the non-profit, ECOLIFE Conservation, Maren coordinated the Bwindi Community Health and Conservation Program in Uganda and assisted in grant writing and program development for programs in Mexico (clean cookstoves). Maren actively volunteers for local and international non-profits focusing on conservation and disability.

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Regional Representatives:

Africa: Kendi Borona

Dr. Borona was born and brought up near a forest in the Kenyan highlands. It was because of the waters flowing from this forest that she did not have to walk for long distances to fetch water – a task expected of girls in her community. This forest and its critical watersheds were and are protected by elders through the application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, providing water for community needs downstream. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry. She is a firm believer in the application of Indigenous Knowledge in the furtherance of just conservation regimes and sustainable community livelihoods. Over the course of her career, she has worked towards the integration of natural and cultural heritage into a concrete whole, and to locate communities firmly in their landscapes. Her teaching philosophy is anchored on the belief that education should be transformational, and that it should help us create a just society for all beings.

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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. 

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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.

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Asia: Govind Singh Rajwa








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Europe: Jelena Brezjanović-Shogren

Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Dr. Jelena Brezjanović is a visiting instructor of Anthropology at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at the University of North Florida, where she teaches 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). 


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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.

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ISE Ethics Committee Co-Chairs:

Simone Athayde

Dr. Athayde is an environmental anthropologist and interdisciplinary ecologist, who has carried out extensive research and training activities in collaboration with universities, indigenous peoples, NGOs and governmental institutions in the Amazon. At the University of Florida, Dr. Athayde is an Associate Scientist in the Center for Latin American Studies, Core Faculty of the Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) Program, and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Anthropology, the Florida Climate Institute, the UF Water Institute, the UF Biodiversity Institute and the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIIS). She is the UF Leader of the Amazon Dams International Research Network (ADN-RCN), a World Social Science Fellow of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and a lead author and expert of the Science-Policy Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator of a new TCD-led Project focusing on developing a Pan-Amazonian Community of Practice on Infrastructure Governance in the Amazon (GIA), working with partner institutions in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. In her research and teaching practices, Simone combines mixed (quantitative-qualitative) and participatory methods, as well as tools such as storytelling, arts, games and mapping exercises. Her work has been recognized with awards from both the Center for Latin American Studies and TCD Programs, from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida, from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil, and from the International Society of Ethnobiology.


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

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Student Representative: Christopher Cosby

Chris is a PhD student in the Applied Anthropology program in the School of Language, Culture, and Society at Oregon State University. He holds a BA and an MA in anthropology from the University of Memphis. Interested in intersections of ecological knowledge systems and plant-people interactions, his current research centers on horticultural practices associated with the cultivation, propagation, management, and harvest of medicinal plant species in the Huancabamba Valley of Northern Peru and their potential implications for and contributions to medicinal plant conservation policy and praxis.

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.


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2020 Congress Organizers:

David Picking and Ina Vandebroek

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