Research in recent years has increasingly shifted away from purely academic research, and into applied aspects of the discipline, including climate change research, conservation, and sustainable development. It has by now widely been recognized that "traditional" knowledge is always in flux and adapting to a quickly changing environment. Trends of globalization, especially the globalization of plant markets, have greatly influenced how plant resources are managed nowadays. While ethnobotanical studies are now available from many regions of the world, no comprehensive encyclopedic series focusing on the worlds mountain regions is available in the market. Scholars in plant sciences worldwide will be interested in this dynamic content.
The field (and thus the market) of ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology has grown considerably in recent years. Student interest is on the rise, attendance at professional conferences has grown steadily, and the number of professionals calling themselves ethnobotanists has increased significantly. Various societies of such professionals include the Society for Economic Botany, the International Society of Ethnopharmacology, the Society of Ethnobiology, the International Society for Ethnobiology, and many regional and national societies in the field that currently have thousands of members. Growth has been most robust in BRIC countries.
This new addition to the Ethnobotany of Mountain Regions series covers the latest scholarship in the field of mountain research. It offers the best and latest research on a full range of descriptive, methodological, theoretical, and applied research on the most important plants for each region. Each contribution was scientifically rigorous and contributes to the overall field of study.
Dr Narel Y. Paniagua-Zambrana was born in La Paz, Bolivia. She received her PhD in Biological Sciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, in 2016. Dr Paniagua-Zambrana is one of the most published researchers in Bolivia, according to a regional report by Elsevier. Her research has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed papers, more than 100 book chapters, and 15 books. In addition, she works with undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students around the globe who are interested in ethnobotanical studies, many of them young women scientists. She is a member of the Society for Economic Botany, where she currently serves on the council, the Latin American Association of Botany, the Latin American Group of Ethnobotany – Bolivia Chapter, the Bolivian Organization for Women in Science, and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). Dr Paniagua-Zambrana’s research focuses on documenting and protecting traditional knowledge of plant use by indigenous populations and local communities, especially in Bolivia, and taxonomically has mostly focused on native palms of the Andes and the Amazon. She works to provide local populations with tools that allow them to make decisions about the conservation of their natural resources and associated traditional knowledge and has worked consistently to disseminate the results of her research among the local communities with whom she works. Her research has been incorporated into educational materials in local schools and has also served as important documentation protecting the traditional knowledge of local communities to elaborate strategies to conserve their natural resources.
Dr Rainer W. Bussmann earned his M.Sc. (Diploma) in Biology from Universität Tübingen, Germany, in 1993 and his doctorate from Universität Bayreuth, Germany, in 1994. He is an ethnobotanist and vegetation ecologist and currently Co-director of Saving Knowledge, La Paz, Bolivia; as well as Principal Scientist at the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University, both of which he co-founded. Before retiring from Missouri Botanical Garden, Dr Bussmann was director of the William L. Brown Center at Missouri Botanical Garden, William L. Brown Curator of Economic Botany, and Senior Curator. Before accepting the directorship of WLBC, he held academic appointments as Research Fellow in Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin from 2006 to 2007, as Associate Professor of Botany and Scientific Director of Harold Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii from 2003 to 2006, and as Assistant Professor at the University of Bayreuth from 1997 to 2003, following a postdoc at the same institution from 1994 to 1997. He holds affiliate faculty appointments at Washington University St. Louis, USA; University of Missouri St. Louis, USA; Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, USA; Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil; Universidád Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Perú; and at Ilia State University, Republic of Georgia, and serves as external thesis advisor at multiple other universities worldwide. His work focuses on ethnobotanical research, and the preservation of traditional knowledge, in Bolivia, Peru, Madagascar, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas. To date, Dr. Bussmann has authored over 270 peer-reviewed papers, over 750 book chapters, and authored or edited over 30 books.
Dr. Bussmann is a past President of the Society for Economic Botany and has served as board/council member of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology, Society of Ethnobiology, Botanical Society of America, and International Society of Ethnobiology. See more of his work on his website (https://www.cejaandina.org/rainer-w-bussmann/) and download publications from ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rainer_Bussmann).