Faculty, staff and students from EEB gathered on May 18, 2023 to celebrate the end of the semester, recognize award-winners, and honor retirees. Check out this YouTube video to see all of the winners, along with some photos from the celebration.
Three of EEB’s own faculty members, Nina Fefferman, Orou Gaoue, and Xingli Giam, were honored with awards at the recent College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards Night.
Nina Fefferman was recognized with the Academic Outreach Award for Service – she was not able to attend the ceremony, as she was doing more of the pandemic preparedness / response work for which she was honored.
Orou Gaoue was recognized with the Academic Outreach Award for Research and Creative Activity.
Xingli Giam was recognized with the Early Career Excellence in Research and Creative Achievement award.
Congratulations to these faculty members!
Ourou Gaoue, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, coauthored a paper titled “Non-random medicinal plants selection in the Kichwa community of the Ecuadorian Amazon,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Researchers analyzed data collected on indigenous people’s uses of non-random medicinal jungle plants at the local level, rather than at the national level. This is the first time a village-level study has taken place, better ensuring the consistency of plant availability in certain areas.
“When people are doing this study, they are usually doing it at the national scale,” Gaoue said. “If you’re doing the analysis at the national level, you are overestimating the number of plants from which the indigenous people actually find that have medicine.”
The study is also one of the most diverse in research of non-random medicinal plant selection, analyzing gender, age, and exposure to outside influences, such as ecotourism projects, to determine overuse and underuse of medicinal plants in jungle communities.
“Village level analysis provides a different result than at the national level,” Gaoue said. “A plant is not medicine for everyone. Men and women know different kinds of plants. An older person will see a plant with medicine in it that a younger person will not see. People who are educated would not see medicine in a plant that someone in a rural area would be able to see.”
Other authors on the paper include Daniela Robles Arias of Florida Atlantic University, Daniela Cevallos of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Maria Fadiman of the University of Parakou, and Tobin Hindle of the University of Johanesburg.
-By Kelly Alley
We are pleased to offer three mini-term courses this year. We are confident that you will love each of these courses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to override pre-req
Natural History of the Smokies – 70213 – CRN 461-001
“Natural History of the Great Smoky Mountains”. This course is a field ecology course that includes a one-week field trip. Course Fee of $350 to cover housing, transportation & food. Questions? Contact Gary McCracken or Randy Small **This course can be petitioned to count for a “Field or Lab Emphasis Course” for the EEB concentration**
Avian Diversification – 70235 – EEB 461 – 002
Avian Diversity will provide a general overview of avian systematics, evolution, ecology, and behavior. Other special topics will include physiology, migration and orientation, mating systems and parental behavior, communication, and conservation biology. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. duration: 3 week course from May 9 – 30 times: 3 days/week in class: Dabney-Buehler Hall 575, 1-4pm, 2 days/week outdoors: mornings to early afternoon.
Theory in Ethnobiology – 70260 – EEB 461 – 004
What are the theories and hypotheses commonly tested in ethnobiology? What types of data are collected to test these hypotheses? How are these data analyzed to understand the link between plant and culture, the way in which human, by selecting certain organs on certain plant species in specific location, and at some specific time, have shaped their environment? How environmental feedback constrained the nature and extent of human-plant interactions? The ultimate goal of this class is to guide students in conducting hypothesis/theory-driven research in ethnobiology. We will review various theories and hypotheses in ethnobiology. Second, we will learn the different methods used in ethnobotanical research and finally we will identify the major types of data commonly collected in this field and how these data are analyzed. At the end of this course students will be able to develop and test simple hypotheses in ethnobiology and discuss how they fit into the broad ethnobiology literature. Although this course method is applied to ethnobiology, the course can be of interest to students interested in learning about how to use the scientific method in biology in general.