Mexico: Scientists recognised at Society for Economic Botany


The annual Distinguished Economic Botanist prize at the 51st Society for Economic Botany (SEB) conference in Xalapa, Mexico has been awarded to Drs. Edelmira Linares and Robert Bye.

The remarkable colleagues, who also happen to be married, have been working together in the field and training botany students for over 30 years and have an enviable track record in the subject. Dr. Bye, Director Emeritus of the Botanical Garden of the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico specialises in systematics and the ethnobotany of medicinal, edible, and ornamental plants of Latin America.

people collecting award at conference

Drs. Edelmira Linares and Robert bye being presented with the Distinguished Botanist award by President Dr. Mary Eubanks.

Dr Linares, also affiliated with the same Botanical Garden, specialises in ethnobotanical research and teaching that focuses on medicinal plants, edible plants, ornamentals, ritual plants, and the sustainable biodiversity management practices of indigenous groups in Mexico. She is involved in educational programs that are guided by traditional plant knowledge gained through ethnobotany fieldwork in rural communities from which she generates teaching resources and products for the university’s botanical garden, herbarium, ethnobotany collection, and living plant collection. Then she goes back into the local communities to educate teachers and healers about biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of plant resources, and their ethnobotanical heritage.

The SEB, established in 1959, has been granting the award each year to people who excel in the fields of education and investigation into economic botany. Linares and Bye are, naturally, very worthy winners.

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Images from the SEB conference in Mexico

Ireland: Review of 4th Botanic Gardens Congress

01.07.10 by Sara Oldfield

picture of lots of people at botanic gardens congressThe sun shone on the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland as hundreds of delegates from around the world met in Dublin on 13 -18 June for the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress. The theme of the meeting was Addressing global change – a new agenda for botanic gardens.