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.
The objective of this volume in the Ethnobotany of Mountain Regions series is to take advantage of the increasing international interest and scholarship in the field of mountain research. We anticipate including 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 will be scientifically rigorous and contribute to the overall field of study.
Dr Ketevan Batsatsashvili graduated from the Faculty of Biology of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU), Georgia, in 1999. She received her doctorate at Tbilisi State University in 2005 for the thesis “Lichens as Bioindicators of Air Pollution in Tbilisi.” Dr Batsatsashvili joined the Botany Department at TSU as a doctoral candidate from 2001 to 2005 and was then Assistant Professor at the Tbilisi Institute of Botany (now Institute of Botany of Ilia State University). From 2008 to 2012 she worked as Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ecology of Ilia State University and became Associate Professor of Botany in 2013. Her major research interests are lichens and plant diversity, biological monitoring of environmental stress, species extinction risk assessment, and ethnobiology. She has authored and coauthored some 20 research papers and over 100 book chapters.
Dr Zaal Kikvidze graduated in 1978 from the Faculty of Biology, Tbilisi State University (Georgia), and defended his PhD thesis Functional Properties of Na,K-ATPase in 1983 at the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia. He worked as a researcher in the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia and in the Institute of Teachers’ Training of Georgia and later graduated in the Certificate Course in Environmental Education at Jordanhill College, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. In 1993 he defended a Doctor of Science (Habil.) thesis Structural and Functional Optimalization in Biological Systems at the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia. Dr Kikvidze worked as Associate Researcher in Chiba University (Japan), as Ramon-y-Cajal Fellow in the Consejo Superior de las Investigaciones Científicas (Spain), and Associate Professor of the University of Tokyo (Japan). The major lines of his research are plant community ecology, species diversity and geographical distributions on ecological gradients, rules of species coexistence and interactions among organisms, environmental education, ethno-ecology, and socio-ecology. Dr Kikvidze published over 100 papers in scientific, educational, and scientific-popular journals and over 100 book chapters. Since 2006 he cooperates with Ilia State University, and in 2012 he became Professor of Ecology. Dr.Kikvidze is a Full professor and the Director of the Institute of Ethno-biology and Socio-ecology since 2014.
Dr Rainer W. Bussmann earned his M.Sc. (Diploma) in Biology at Universität Tübingen, Germany, in 1993, and his doctorate at Universität Bayreuth, Germany, in 1994. He is an ethnobotanist and vegetation ecologist, and currently Affiliate Scientist at Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in La Paz, Bolivia, and Co-director of Saving Knowledge, La Paz, Bolivia, as well as Principal Scientist in 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. Dr Bussmann 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 230 peer-reviewed papers, over 175 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.