Posts tagged ‘University of Hawaii’

March 21, 2013

Follow the Fellows: Understanding the Link Between Indigenous People and Native Ecology

by Melissa Harding

anita-varghese2

The Botany in Action Fellowship program at Phipps fosters the development of the next generation of plant-based scientists who are committed to both excellent research and educational outreach. Open to PhD students enrolled at US graduate institutions, the BIA program provides Fellows with funding for use towards scientific research in the US or abroad and a trip to Phipps, to engage in science outreach training and opportunities to share his or her research to public audiences.

Current BIA Fellows are engaged in local research in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland and research abroad in Nepal, Thailand and India. Their work covers topics ranging from the role of green roof plants in urban storm water management and the effects of plant invasion on a rare woodland butterfly to identification of plants used by healers for treatment of dementia.

March’s featured fellow is Anita Varghese. Anita is PhD student in Botany at the University of Hawaii. She has lived and worked in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Western Ghats, India since 1993, after completing her Masters in Ecology. Anita is interested in the relationship between ecology of forests and indigenous people. Her research focuses on the reasons why some people in India choose to remain harvesters of medicinal plants and forest products, while others are moving away from livelihoods that depend on forest resources. Her research combines the knowledge of native people with scientific studies to produce a comprehensive understanding of plant species to aid in conservation.

Read an update on Anita’s research and life as a scientist at the Botany In Action website!
You can follow Anita and all of the BIA as they study plants across the US and across the world at Follow the Fellows.

The following Botany In Action update was written by Amanda Joy, Botany in Action Fellowship coordinator.

The above image was provided by Anita Verghese.

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