PPI Student Affiliates
Student Affiliates are promising graduate students and young professionals/practitioners being mentored by a member of the Steering Committee. This category was created in response to PPI's desire to mentor and guide new talent in the fields of ethnoscience.
Selena Ahmed is a doctoral candidate interested in ethnoecology, economics and community health. Her current study compares traditional tea agroforestry systems, wild tea populations and modern tea plantations of Yunnan Province, China along three dimensions: Ii) local ecological knowledge, preferences and management practices of tea stewards, (ii) floristic composition and structure and, (iii) morphological, genetic and secondary metabolite diversity of tea resources. She is particularly interested in understanding the influences of tea connoisseurship, economic and policy pressures on these dimensions and their consequences for biocultural diversity. She is working with Akha/Hani, Lahu and Yao communities. This research is supervised by PPI Steering Committee member Dr. Charles Peters, at the New York Botanical Garden; in Yunnan, it is hosted by the Kunming Institute of botany under the mentorship of Professor Chunlin Long. Her previous ethnoecology research is based in the Argan biosphere of Morocco, the Eastern Himalaya and the Western Ghats of India, the Venezuelan Amazon, Belize and the Dominican Republic. Her teaching efforts focus on field methods courses with an emphasis on training high school students in the Bronx, New York, on human ecosystem research.
Daisy Irawan (Indonesia) is a food scientist and technologist interested in applied science and promoting food safety and better nutrition and living conditions through the application of appropriate technology in plant science, ethnobotany and plant-based product development. She is currently working with Patricia Shanley and the Knowledge Exchange Program preparing an illustrated publication on culturally significant plants of SE Asia. For a selected list of Daisy's Irawan publications click here.
Yvonne Scherrer (Switzerland) is a doctoral student interested in local/indigenous/traditional knowledge, especially that relating to medicinal plants, and its relationship to issues of sustainability. Her interdisciplinary research, grounded in sociology and sustainability sciences, seeks to assist a methodologically and epistemologically more effective, generic conceptualization of local knowledge in order to guide development and conservation initiatives. The aim of her research consists in first elaborating a theoretical basis for a generic conceptualization of local knowledge. In the empirical part, through the use of documentation analysis and qualitative expert interviews, the generic approach will be applied to current conceptualizations and understandings of local knowledge by German and Swiss development organizations working with local medicinal plant knowledge. Her previous research focused on social aspects in the context of land distribution processes related to collaborative forestry management initiatives in the walnut-fruit forests in Southern Kyrgyzstan.This research is supervised by PPI Steering Committee member Dr. Patricia Shanley.