The Society for Economic Botany

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

SEB 2017 Ballot

President-Elect – Sunshine Brosi    |   Ina Vandebroek
Treasurer  –  Wendy Applequist 
Council  –  Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque  |   Jocelyn Mueller   |   Narel Paniagua   |   Laura Shiels 
Student Representative – Danielle Cicka  |   Susanne Masters


Cast your BALLOT here

The Election Closes March 31, 2017




Sunshine Brosi

Sunshine Brosi is an Associate Professor of Ethnobotany at Frostburg State University in Maryland where she runs the only Bachelor’s-level program in Ethnobotany in the US. She is also an Affiliate Professor of Ethnobotany at the Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she teaches in the two-year Certificate Program in Ethnobotany. She has a PhD in Natural Resources (University of Tennessee), a Masters in Forestry (University of Kentucky), and a BA in Environmental Studies (Warren Wilson College). Sunshine is the middle of seven from eastern Kentucky where she botanizing in the Appalachians since childhood. Her research focus is on sustainability of cultural keystone species and practices in the Appalachians especially materials for artisans including Cherokee basket makers.

She served as the Conference Host for the Annual Meetings in Pine Mountain, Kentucky (2016) and Frostburg State University, Maryland (2012). She was also on the conference organizing committee (2014) and organized the Teaching Tuesday Educational Workshops (2013-2017).  She served as secretary (2013-2016), Council Member & Education Committee (2011-2016), Richard Evans Schultes Student Award Judge (2013) and Student Oral Presentation Judge (2010). She has been the SEB representative at the Life Discovery Conferences, in conjunction with the Ecological Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Botanical Society of America (since 2013).  She serves as the Editor of the EconBotEd, Educational Portal for SEB lesson plans. Her students have received the Travel Award for the meeting in Clanwilliam, South Africa (2015), Edmund H. Fulling Oral Presentation Award (2014), Julie F. Morton Poster Presentation Award (2011), and Honorable Mention Morton Award (2010). She has mentored 37 undergraduate student and seven graduate student attending and presenting at SEB meeting since 2008. Sunshine received the Charles B. Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award in 2014.


Ina Vandebroek

Ina Vandebroek (

My first experience with the Society for Economic Botany was in 2001 during the Building Bridges with Traditional Knowledge Meeting” in Hawai’I. As a young scholar from Belgium, the Society expanded my professional world from Europe to the rest of the world, even before globalization became the new reality. I served on the SEB Council from 2010 to 2013 and learned among many other things that an important strength of this Society lies in the long-term friendships and collaborations we develop with our colleagues from all over the world. Faced with today’s global challenges for humanity and nature, these partnerships are now more important than ever, especially for our student members who represent the next generation of economic botanists. Twelve years ago, I started working at The New York Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany in New York City where I conduct research at the interface of ethnobotany, Caribbean studies, and immigrant health. 

Economic Botany is a discipline that is uniquely positioned to contribute to the ongoing international dialogue on the interactions between Culture and Nature. In a time where many cultural groups, plants and nature are facing great challenges due to large-scale migrations, climate change and subsequent concerns for their survival, it would be a privilege to help the Society in sparking continued dialogue on these crucial topics among its members, expand the Society’s global reach, strengthen the bonds with the local communities we collaborate with in research, and promote the Society’s key positioning on the “Science of Survival” to the media and the general public.

I deeply believe in the value of the research and teaching by our members and feel that it helps shape public dialogue and understanding of Science, and in the overarching need to strengthen our own discussions about Science and other pressing topics at Society meetings and in our flagship journal, Economic Botany.




Wendy Applequist

I am an associate curator in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s William L. Brown Center with research interests in medicinal plants, natural products discovery, and the taxonomy of useful plants in Madagascar.  I am a longtime SEB member, currently serving as treasurer and as book review editor for the journal.  Because the Botanical Society of America office, which handles much of the Society’s paperwork, is located in St. Louis, it has been convenient and efficient for them to work with me as treasurer, so I would be happy to serve another term if elected.  With the Council’s approval, I have arranged for our investment accounts to be allocated more conservatively in the interest of security and would continue efforts necessary to maintain that posture in future.





Council members at large

Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque

Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque, is a Professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) at Recife, Brazil. Albuquerque received Bachelor's (Biological Science), Master's (Plant Biology- Taxonomy and Ethnobotany) and Ph.D. degrees (Plant Biology - Ethnobotany) from the Federal University of Pernambuco. He is interested in understanding all the dimensions and effects of human relations with nature, that's why his approach is basically interdisciplinary. His research interests involve ecological anthropology, evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, human behavioral ecology, pharmacognosy, ethnobiology, human ecology, ecology and evolution. He try to understand how our species co-evolved with the environment and other species. Therefore he explores how the human mind has been evolutionarily shaped to take account of the complexity of the world in which we live, as well as of all processes associated with the transmission and storage (memory) of information, and the strategies of exploitation and management of natural resources. He is also interested in developments in science and scientometrics. Albuquerque serves on the editorial boards for Economic Botany (associate editor), Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (deputy editor) and Ethnobiology and Conservation (co editor in chief). He was the creator and one of the founders of the first graduate program in Ethnobiology and Nature Conservation in Latin America (Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil). He published books, as author or editor, that addressed critical issues for ethnobiology: Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology (Springer, 2014 - with R. Lucena, L. Cunha, R. Alves), Evolutionary Ethnobiology (Springer, 2015 - with A. Casas and P. Medeiros), Introduction to Ethnobiology (Springer, 2016 - with R. Alves), Ethnobotany for Beginners (Springer, coming, 2017), Medicinal and aromatic plants of South America (Springer, coming, 2017).



Jocelyn Mueller

Jocelyn Mueller (PhD, Tufts University, 2009) Positions Held: Instructor (2011-Present) Portland State University; Interests: local ecological knowledge, African ethnobotany, participatory research and conservation; Significant Publications: Mueller, J.G., R. Boubacar‡* and I. Dan Guimbo.* (2014). The “How” and “Why” of Including Gender and Age in Ethnobotanical Research and Community-Based Resource Management.  Ambio  EPUB 05: 1-12.  Paulson Priebe, M and Müller, J. G. (2013) Extant Forest Plantations as a Potential Bridge Between Social Needs and Ecological Management: A Comparative Case Study Analysis. Journal of Environmental Management. 129: 608-614 Mueller, J. G., Y. Ogneva-Himmelberger, S. Lloyd‡, and J.M. Reed. (2010) Predicting Pre-historic Taro (C. esculenta) Lo`i Distribution in Hawai’i. Economic Botany 64(1):22-33.  Muller, J. and A. M. Almedom. (2008) What is “Famine Food”? Distinguishing Between Traditional Vegetables and Special Foods for Times of Hunger/Scarcity (Niger). Human Ecology 36(4): 599-607.

Society for Economic Botany has been my academic home for over 10 years now. As a student, I benefited from years of advice, support and encouragement from many members and the society as a whole. Now as an early career professional, this remains one of my most important conferences and professional networks. I hope to give back to the society through service on the board and play a role in its future.



Narel Paniagua

Dr. Narel Paniagua-Zambrana, is a  Bolivian ethnobotanist, and research associate  at the National Herbarium of Bolivia in La Paz (Bolivia) as well as the William L. Brown Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri). Her research interests include ethnobotany, ethnoecology, the relationship between traditional knowledge and its adaptation to global change, biocultural conservation, and the development and application of participatory research protocols. She has conducted ethnobotanical research in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Madagascar and the Caucasus.

If elected to the SEB council Narel would like to help extending the SEB network to ethnobotanists in Latin America and connecting it with different regional organizations such as the Latin American Botany Network (RLB), and the Latin American Society of Ethnobiology (SOLAE), with which SEB has common interests. At the same time she would like to support in the development of inter- and multidisciplinary relations with organizations such as the International Society of Ethnobiology and other national and regional organizations working on the conservation of traditional knowledge.



Laura Shiels

It would be my pleasure to serve again as a council member for SEB.  I was previously the Student Representative to the Council and President of the Student Council. I enjoyed collaborating with other council members and organizing events, fundraising, and teaching workshops for the annual meetings. It would be an honor to again contribute my time in this capacity to help guide the direction of SEB into the future. I am a professional ethnobotanist (MS Botany, Ethnobotany Track from the University of Hawaii), specializing in ethnoecology, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), disease biology, and non-timber forest products.  For about 11 years I taught ethnobotany and other biological courses at the University of Hawaii, as a teaching assistant and then as a lecturer. Recently I moved to northern Colorado where I do botanical and herbal products education, formulation, and consulting.



Student Representative

Danielle Cicka

My name is Danielle Cicka and I am a MD/PhD student at Emory University. I am currently a member of the SEB student committee and would love the opportunity to represent the students of SEB. As an MD/PhD candidate, I hope to incorporate the study of medicinal plants for novel pharmaceuticals using an ethnobotanical approach. I have enjoyed my time on the student committee, and bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds. I have started a calendar of events of interest around the world for students so that wherever they may be, they may have opportunities to network and take advantage of the learning opportunities in their area. As the student representative, I would ensure that the student voice is heard and continue to make SEB beneficial for students to join, as students provide an invaluable perspective for strengthening the future of SEB. For example, I would increase events for the students at the SEB conference and increase ease and accessibility of the SEB student website.



Susanne Masters

Susanne Masters has an MSc in Ethnobotany. Susanne is currently working on PhD research on wild harvesting and trade of edible orchids with Naturalis and University of Leiden. Has been on fieldwork looking at wild plant trade in numerous places from Hong Kong and Yunnan to Turkey and Madagascar. Connects with local botany in the UK as a member of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, and the Association of Foragers. She is keen to promote connection between science and people enjoying outdoor pursuits, and writes about plants and the outdoors for an assortment of publications from Orchid Review to the BBC. Works on product development. Has led workshops for the Open Science Network at the 2 past SEB meetings on product development, plant identification using non-visual clues, and local plant and garden tours for the SEB 2014 meeting in Plymouth. Susanne has special interest in aquatic botany and ethnobotany. As student rep, she would like to encourage links between ethnobotany and areas of work outside of academia. She can be contacted at Email: orTwitter @Ethnobotanica.

Ballot 2017