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 website and its 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 (the various societies, like the Society for Economic Botany, the International Society of Ethnopharmacology, the Society of Ethnobiology, and the International Society for Ethnobiology currently have thousands of members). Growth has been most robust in BRIC countries.
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas takes advantage of the increasing international interest and scholarship in the field of mountain research. It includes the best and latest research on a full range of descriptive, methodological, theoretical, and applied research on the most important plants in the Himalayas. Each contribution is scientifically rigorous and contributes to the overall field of study.
Dr Ripu Kunwar is an ethnobotanist and vegetation ecologist at Florida Atlantic University and has conducted ecological, ethnobotanical and ethnographical researches in the Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL), Nepal for over a decade. The KSL is a trinational and transboundary geopolitically important and historical/cultural/ritual landscape of Nepal, India and China. Earlier research covered cataloguing medicinal and useful plants of that area. Recently human-environment interactions and ecological theories such as Optimal Foraging Theory, Ecological Apparency Hypothesis and Theory of Non-Random Medicinal Plant Selection are tested at the nexus of geo-ecological constraints of the area, socio-cultural transformation, land-use change and global warming.
Dr Hassan Sher has been associated with research and teaching for the last 20 years. He received his MSc (Botany, 1995), and MPhil (Plant Ecology, 1998) from the Botany Department, Peshawar University and his PhD (Plant Ecology, 2005) from GC University Lahore. He's worked on traditional knowledge systems, ethnobotany, ecology, in-situ and ex-situ conservation of valuable endangered plant species with the IUCN, WWF, SDC/IC, FAO and UNDP. He has rich experience in the restoration/rehabilitation of degraded habitats and recovery of rare/threatened plant species. His research interests lie in understanding the ecological consequences of cultural uses of plants and their habitats. He is particularly interested in understanding local and indigenous resource management practices and the ways in which these have shaped and continue to shape our natural environments. On a practical level, he is interested in applying this knowledge towards the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. His research draws on methods in quantitative plant ecology, population modelling and ethnoecology.
Dr Rainer W. Bussmann is an ethnobotanist and vegetation ecologist, and Co-Founder of the Institute of Botany's Department of Ethnobotany at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. Prior, he held directorship of the William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden, worked as Research Fellow in Geography and the Environment at UT Austin, was Associate Professor of Botany and Scientific Director of the Harold Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii, and was Assistant Professor at the Universitaet Bayreuth. Dr Bussmann's work focuses on ethnobotanical research, and the preservation of traditional knowledge, in Bolivia, Peru, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas.