University of California, Berkeley
Ethnoecology and Ecosystem Conservation
River in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo
Biodiversity Monitoring and Ethnotaxonomy
Research is conducted on how local/indigenous people recognize, classify, name, and perceive nature. Studies have shown that local/indigenous peoples have names for many of their organisms and have distinct groups into which the species are classified. The classification systems can be based on morphology, ecology, taste/smell, medicinal use, and nutritional use. Ethnotaxonomic studies have determined that local/indigenous communities can recognize and have comprehensive knowledge of the ecology, reproductive biology, and uses of organisms in their ecosystems. Because of their comprehensive knowledge, the local/indigenous people and communities can be integrated into regional biodiversity monitoring programs. Brent Mishler and Tom Carlson integrate research in ethnotaxonomy and classical systematics to combine the knowledge of local people with western trained systematists to develop integrated biodiversity monitoring programs.
Ecological Studies on Species with Medicinal Qualities
Research will be conducted the ecology of the medicinal plant species with a particular emphasis on how "wild" harvesting and/or cultivation of these species impacts ecosystem ecology and diversity. This includes studies of how sustainable the supply of the medicinal plant species is for use as medicine. Ethnoecological research will be conducted to learn about the local/indigenous perspective on the ecology and reproductive biology of the medicinal plant species. This includes the local methods of management of these species including casual management within the ecosystem and intensive management with cultivation of the organism.
Non-Timber Forest Product Harvesting and Ecosystem Ecology
Research will be conducted on the different types of non-timber products that are harvested by the local/indigenous peoples from ecosystems. Ethnoecological studies will be conducted to assess the ethnoecological and management perspectives of the local/indigenous people on the different non-timber species.
Ecosystem Management and Ethnoecology
Habitat conversion, urbanization, and the expanding demand for medicinal and food organisms around the world is having a damaging effect on the resource base of many species. We will conduct research on human ecology and sustainable resource use of biological resources including those of cultural significance and medicinal and food plants harvested from different ecosystems. Ethnobiological studies have determined that local/indigenous communities can recognize and have comprehensive knowledge of the ecology, reproductive biology, and uses of organisms in their ecosystems. Because of this comprehensive knowledge, the local/indigenous people and communities can make valuable contributions when integrated into ecosystem management programs.
Contributions to Conservation of Biological, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
In 1996, the Berkeley Natural History Museums co-sponsored and hosted a unique symposium and associated workshop in "Endangered Languages, Endangered Knowledge, Endangered Environments," soon to be published in book form by the Smithsonian Institution Press (edited by the organizer, Luisa Maffi). The planning and implementation of studies conducted by the Center will include strategies on how the research can contribute to the conservation of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity and the enhancement of public health in the countries where the investigations take place. In addition, our expertise in the theory of evolution and systematics can inform conservation efforts in all three areas (e.g., Mishler, in press).
Table of contents |
Purpose and vision of HEBE |
Narrative on Health, Ecology, Biodiversity, and Ethnobiology |
Medical and Nutritional Ethnobotany |
Ethnoecology and Ecosystem Conservation |
Medical Ecology and Ethnoepidemiology |
Associated Researchers |
Undergraduate and Graduate Education |