The Society for Economic Botany

Fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

Student Committee


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SEB Student Committee

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us – about SEB and the student group in general, opportunities or resources you would like to see us work with the SEB Council to make possible, or about our individual research!

We hail from diverse programs worldwide, and hope our diverse perspectives will increase student involvement in Economic Botany, broadly defined.



Lukas Pawera
Student Representative to the SEB Council
paweralukas@gmail.com
@LukasPowers

Lukas Pawera

Lukas is an ethnobotanist and multidisciplinary food system researcher specialized in agriculture, biodiversity, and nutrition-sensitive food systems. Recently, he obtained his PhD degree from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, based on his project looking at linkages between agrobiodiversity and diets in the traditional food environment of West Sumatra, Indonesia. Currently, he is a consultant for the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, and for the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. His main mission is to foster research and development actions leading to better diets and well-being of communities living in biocultural hotspots. Lukas is interested in joining forces with similarly oriented researchers and in guiding younger students.



Ella Vardeman
Student Representative - Elect
evardeman@nybg.org

Ella Vardeman

Ella Vardeman is a Ph.D. candidate in the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden Plant Sciences program under the mentorship of SEB members Dr. Ina Vandebroek and Dr. Edward Kennelly. Her research focuses on the ethnopharmacology of plants used by Haitian immigrants for women’s health. This work will contribute to a cultural competency program currently under development at NYBG that relays the results of urban ethnobotany projects in collaboration with Caribbean and Latino immigrants to medical students and physicians. She has been a member of the Society for Economic Botany for the past four years and is a recipient of the Garden Club of America Anne S. Chatham Fellowship for Medicinal Plant Research.



Yu Bai
Student Ambassador

Yu Bai

Yu is a graduate student from Minzu University of China, working on economic botany of traditional knowledge associated especially with medicinal plants. She is passionate about studying the knowledge and relationship between humans and plants. Yu has fieldwork experiences mainly from traditional landscapes in China.



Nataly O. Allasi Canales
Student Ambassador
allasicanales@gmail.com
@dnataly

Nataly O. Allasi Canales

Nataly is a PhD student in Evolutionary Genomics at University of Copenhagen. Part of the MSCA ITN Plant.ID, her project “The fever tree: through the chemical, genomic and archival glass” aims to provide new perspectives on the origin, application, and history of the cinchona tree. She is widely experienced in bioinformatics and molecular laboratory work. Nataly is interested in multidisciplinary research that blends evolution, chemistry, history and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.



Brandon Dale
Graduate Ambassador

Brandon Dale

I am an ethnobotanist and pharmacognocist, with particular interests in medical ethnobotany and natural product drug discovery for cancers. I am a dual degree student of medicine (MD) and basic science (PhD) Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. I have a keen interest in natural product therapy development and medical ethnobotany. I look forward to sharing my passions for the field of ethnobotany, while creating opportunities for other students to access mentors, internships and SEB resources. I am especially interested in increasing the cross-talk of graduate students in ethnobotany and biomedical
research fields, and look forward to creating a larger network of ethnobotanical researchers.



Harriet Gendall
Student Ambassador

Harriet Gendall

Harriet is a PhD student at the University of Kent and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, investigating the opportunities, challenges and complexities surrounding the revival of heritage grains and its impact on social-ecological resilience – grounded in her own experience of attempting to revive “pillas”, a naked-grained oat formerly cultivated in Cornwall (UK). She has previously explored the revitalisation of traditional Andean foods in Peru, working closely with the ‘lost’ root crop “mauka” (Mirabilis expansa) and – more broadly – is interested in how the narratives we form around food, heritage, identity and time, shape both ourselves and the biocultural landscapes we inhabit.