October 26, 2020
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       Distinguished Economic Botanist
The award of "Distinguished Economic Botanist (DEB)" is bestowed annually by the Society upon an individual on the basis of outstanding accomplishments pertinent to the goals of the Society. A nominee does not need to be a member of the Society. The Chairperson of the Nominations and Awards Committee shall be responsible for the citation which shall be published in Economic Botany. The only responsibility of the awardee shall be to present an address at the annual meeting the year of his/her selection. He/she shall become an honorary member of the Society for life.

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution, July 11, 2011.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri Dr. Nancy Turner is the recipient of the Society for Economic Botany Distinguished Economic Botanist Award.

Dr. Rainer Bussmann, President of the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), announced today that Dr. Nancy Turner is the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, the society's highest honor for professionals. They were honored July 11th in a formal ceremony during the society's 52nd annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Turner graduated from the University of Victoria, and as a graduate student she worked with Dr. Roy Taylor at UBC. In the 35 years since her graduation in 1974, she has become Canada’s foremost ethnobotanist, and has earned the respect of the botanical and anthropological communities. She is highly respected worldwide for her enormously active research program, centered on rigorous science, and her unequivocal respect for the First Nations people and culture. The esteem with which she is held by colleagues in all cultures is borne from a unique blend of scientific rigor and curiosity, and from an interest in her work to help others protect their cultural roots from the destructive ravages of time and social conditions. She has provided “Western science” with rigorous and sensitive research in ethnobotany, but she is also uniquely in demand as a teacher for First Nations youth rediscovering their heritage and cultural practices. Professor Turner is recognized worldwide for the enormous impact that she has had on the processes of ethnobotanical research and for the development and training of the next generation of ethnobotanists. She is both a world- class botanist who has studied and explained plant taxonomic systems used by First Nations and a world-class anthropologist, who has devoted her career to understanding the cultural context of plant uses—a rare combination indeed.

 

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution, June 11, 2010.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri Drs. Robert Bye and Edelmira Linares are recipients of the Society for Economic Botany Distinguished Economic Botanist Award.

Dr. Mary Eubanks, President of the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), announced today that Drs. Robert Bye and Edelmira Linares are the recipients of the 2010 Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, the society's highest honor for professionals. They were honored June 10th in a formal ceremony during the society's 51st annual meeting in Xalapa, Mexico.

Dr. Robert Bye, Director Emeritus of the Botanical Garden of the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, has conducted fieldwork with indigenous peoples and trained botany students in Mexico with his wife and colleague Dr. Edelmira Linares for over 30 years. Dr. Bye  specializes in plant systematics and the ethnobotany of medicinal, edible, and ornamental plants of Latin America.  He is recognized for his application of modern methods to identify medicinal plants of pharmaceutical value and his promotion of the sustainable use of native plant species to benefit local communities, plant domestication, and sustainable biodiversity management practices of indigenous groups in Mexico. Dr. Linares, also affiliated with the Botanical Garden of the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, specializes in ethnobotanical research and teaching that focuses on medicinal plants, edible plants, ornamental plants, vegetable dyes, ritual plants, traditional agriculture. She is involved in educational programs that are guided by traditional plant knowledge gained through ethnobotany fieldwork in rural communities from which she generates teaching resources and products for the university’s botanical garden, herbarium, ethnobotany collection, and living plant collection. Then she goes back into the local communities to educate teachers and healers about biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of plant resources, and their ethnobotanical heritage. These resources and knowledge are rapidly being lost due to acculturation, Mexico’s accelerated economic growth with consequent urban expansion, and globalization. Drs. Bye and Linares’ educational programs and work with indigenous communities are an exemplar of how botanical gardens with their academic resources and conservation commitments can combine education, research, and community outreach to enhance in situ conservation and revitalize the indigenous knowledge base of native plant use.  The goals of these innovative, interdisciplinary educational programs are to conserve native plant biodiversity and share the knowledge of local plant resources in order to benefit local communities and preserve their ethnic traditions for future generations.

In Will McClatchy’s introduction of the recipients of the 2010 Distinguished Economic Botany Award, he explained why we chose to honor them and why they are so beloved by the Society for Economic Botany: “Together they are unstoppable in at least four ways: First, they are constantly educating everyone around them about the importance of plants in our world. Second, they are documenting information at a staggering rate. It is very good that digital cameras came along or I am afraid to think about Bob's annual film budget. Third, they are an oasis of friendship. It is widely known among the botanical community that this couple has hosted dozens of people who have come to learn about and with the plants and peoples of Mexico. Fourth, and most importantly, this couple has regularly taken on challenges of supporting small communities by conducting research projects that could never lead to huge benefits for themselves, but could lead to the betterment of the lives of the people that have asked them for help. They have really dedicated their lives to helping rural communities in Mexico and it comes through in presentation after presentation.

The Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, established in 1978, is bestowed annually by the Society on the basis of outstanding education and research accomplishments. The award represents the ultimate achievement in the field of Economic Botany. The Society for Economic Botany is the largest international scientific organization fostering and encouraging research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

For more information, please contact Dr. Heather McMillen, SEB Secretary, at seb_secretary@botany.org, or phone the society office at 001-314-577-9566.

Visit the Distinguished Economic Botanists archive for more information.


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution, January 21, 2009.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri Michael Balick and Nina Etkin are recipients of the Society for Economic Botany Distinguished Economic Botanist Award.

Dr. Jim Miller, President of the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), announced today that Drs. Nina Etkin and Michael Balick are the recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, the society's highest honor for professionals. They will be honored June 5th in a formal ceremony during the society's 50th annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Nina Etkin is a Professor and the Graduate Chair of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa. Past Editor in Chief of Economic Botany, the society’s journal, Professor Daniel Moerman said, “No one has been more generous in those behind-the-scenes collegial activities of reading early drafts of manuscripts, encouraging, supporting and molding….In a phrase, Nina is the class act in ethnobotany." Dr. Heather McMillen, SEB Secretary, said, “With four decades of research and publications that explore the physiologic implications of consumption, and the cultural construction and social circulation of plants used as foods, medicines, cosmetics, and textiles, Nina Etkin has made substantial contributions to our discipline. Specifically, she has helped us see beyond our own cultural and disciplinary constraints and deepened our understanding of plants as biodynamic substances, cultural artifacts, and components of ecological systems.”

Dr. Michael Balick is Vice President for Botanical Science, Director and Philecology Curator, Institute of Economic Botany at The New York Botanical Garden. He is also a past president of the SEB. Professor Will McClatchey, past president of the SEB, calls Dr. Balick, “one of the most faithful and generous participants in the management of the SEB and our journal, Economic Botany.” McClatchey goes on to say, that Dr. Balick, “has conducted research in many parts of the world but is probably most well known for his work in Central and South America and the Caribbean. He is currently working in Micronesia in Pohnpei and Yap on floristic and traditional knowledge studies. Dr. Balick is a student of Society co-founder, Richard Schultes, and has mentored many students himself. He has become one of the most prolific authors within the field of Economic Botany.”

The Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, established in 1978, is bestowed annually by the Society on the basis of outstanding education and research accomplishments. The award represents the ultimate achievement in the field of Economic Botany. The Society for Economic Botany is the largest international scientific organization fostering and encouraging research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

For more information, please contact Dr. Heather McMillen, SEB Secretary, at seb_secretary@botany.org, or phone the society office at 001-314-577-9566.



PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution, February 4, 2008.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri - Brent and Elois Ann Berlin recipients of the Society for Economic Botany Distinguished Economic Botanist Award.

Dr. John Rashford, President of the Society for Economic Botany, announced today that Drs. Brent Berlin and Elois Ann Berlin are the recipients of the 2008 Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, the society's highest honor for professionals. They will be honored June 5th in a formal ceremony during the society's annual meeting in Durham, North Carolina.

Council member Dr. Rick Stepp, said "The work of Brent Berlin and Elois Ann Berlin over the last four decades has led to major theoretical advances in cognitive and medical ethnobiology. Their work has always demonstrated the highest ethical standards during years of intensive fieldwork in Mexico and Peru. They have described the encyclopedic plant knowledge of the Highland Maya in numerous publications and, in the process, revealed a healing system on par with that of the great Far East traditions. They were amongst the first researchers to actively work with native collaborators and they are deeply committed to their research communities and local partners."


Visit the Distinguished Economic Botanists archive for more information.


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution, February 5, 2007.

HONOLULU, Hawai`i., - Society for Economic Botany Names Hardy Eshbaugh as Distinguished Economic Botanist.

Dr. Will McClatchey, President of the Society for Economic Botany, announced today that Dr. W. Hardy Eshbaugh is the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Economic Botanist Award, the society's highest honor for professionals. He will be honored June 7th in a formal ceremony during the society's annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Council member Dr. Mary Eubanks, said "In addition to his work on the origin and evolution of peppers (Capsicum spp.), Hardy has distinguished himself as a tireless advocate for biodiversity conservation, and he has greatly contributed to the next generation of botanists through his inspirational teaching of undergraduate and graduate students at Miami University of Ohio." Many of his students have gone on to distinguished careers in plant systematics, ethnobotany, archaeobotany, and biodiversity conservation. Hardy has also contributed greatly as an able and inspiring administrator and leader in professional service to botany. His remarkable record of service as president of numerous prestigious organizations, which began with the Society of Economic Botany in 1983-84, includes the Botanical Society of America, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Audubon Society. He also played a key role in shaping the future of botany as worldwide chair of the Systematics Agenda 2000 - Charting the Biosphere Initiative.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael B. Thomas, Secretary. Tel: 808 375-6275.


The Distinguished Economic Botanist, established in 1978, is bestowed annually by the Society on the basis of outstanding education and research accomplishments. The award represents the ultimate achievement in the field of Economic Botany. The Society for Economic Botany is the largest international scientific organization fostering and encouraging research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

For more information, contact Michael B. Thomas, Secretary.

Recent DEB's include;


Harold Conklin
(2005)

Gordon Hillman
(2004)

Daniel Zohary (2003)

Sir Ghillean Prance (2002)

Isabela Abbot (2001)

James Duke (2000)

Click here for a complete review of the DEB recipients.


Return to Awards

 

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