Jan Salick, Ph.D.

Senior Curator of Ethnobotany
Missouri Botanical Garden
Honorary Adjunct Professor

Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program
Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program

  • 314-577-5165

  • 314-577-5165

  • 314-577-0800

  • 1137

  • Missouri Botanical Garden, Monsanto Building

  • jan.salick@mobot.org

  • http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/curators/salick.shtml

  • ecology, evolution, genetics, population biology, systematics

  • Ethnobotany is the interactions among plants, peoples, and their environments in either ecological or evolutionary time.

Research Abstract:

Ethnobotany is the scientific study of dynamic relationships among people, plants, and their environment. Research objectives in ethnobotany are changing. In the past, cataloguing long lists of plants with their associated preparations and uses constituted ethnobiology. Recently our research objectives have become more process oriented. For example, we now study the processes of cultivation and domestication; the management of useful plant populations and communities; and the processes of indigenous conservation. Research on process has reoriented the objectives in ethnobotany and methodology, which is becoming more quantitative, experimental, technological, and participatory. The complex and often positive interactions between human cultures and biodiversity are of great relevance to ethnobotany, with broader impacts on both conservation of biodiversity and cultural survival.

My research in ethnobotany incorporates ecology, evolution, and systematics while spanning continents and cultures, including the Amazon, Mesoamerica, South Africa, Indonesia and most recently Tibet. In the Amazon, my group works on indigenous agriculture, natural forest management and conservation. In Tibet, we work in the eastern Himalayas with the Kham of Menri (Medicine Mountains) studying global climate change, the genetics and population ecology of overharvested medicinal plants, traditional landuse systems, and conservation through sacred geography.

Selected Publications:

Salick J, Byg A, Amend A, Gunn B, Law W, Schmidt H. Tibetan Medicine Plurality. Economic Botany 2006 60:227–253.

Law W and Salick J. Human Induced Dwarfing of Himalayan Snow Lotus (Saussurea laniceps (Asteraceae). PNAS 2005 102:10218-10220.

Salick J, Yang YP, and Amend A. Tibetan Land Use and Change in NW Yunnan. Economic Botany 2005 59:312-325.

Salick J, Anderson D, Woo J, Sherman R, Norbu C, Na A, Dorje S. Tibetan ethnobotany and gradient analyses, Menri (Medicine Mountains), Eastern Himalayas. Millenium Ecosystem Assessment: http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/bridging/papers/salick.jan.pdf 2004.

Salick J. et al. Intellectual imperatives in ethnobiology: NSF biocomplexity report. Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, 2003 10pp. http://www.econbot.org/pdf/NSF_brochure.pdf

Last Updated: 8/4/2011 12:00:29 PM

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