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UH Anthropology Professor to Give Plenary Talk on Medicinal Plants at China Biodiversity Conservation Conference

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 21, 2002

Dr.Nina Etkin, Department of Anthropology professor and chair at UH Mānoa, has been invited to present a plenary keynote address at the 2002 China International High-Tech Industries Week/Third International Conference on Science and Technology in Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization in Beijing, May 22-24. The main topic of the conference this year is "Conservation of Medicinal Plant Diversity and its Sustainable Utilization."Dr. Etkin, an internationally recognized leader in ethnopharmacology and medical anthropology, will present a talk on the "Contributions of Traditional Knowledge and Practices to the Conservation of Biodiversity." This presentation, drawing on Dr. Etkin‘s field research among the Hausa of Nigeria, will show how carefully conceived conservation efforts involving indigenous knowledge and the participation of local populations, can contribute to sustainable use of traditional plants as medicines, foods and for other uses.

Dr. Etkin is the former president of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology and a fellow of the Linnean Society. She is a past recipient of the University of Hawaiʻi's Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research, has published widely on medical anthropology and ethnopharmacology, and received a number of grants from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Etkin‘s work juxtaposes pharmacologic assessments of indigenous plant medicines to ethnographic data on the cultural constructions of illness and health, and she has studied human biological variability with a focus on the pathophysiology of inherited red blood cell disorders and their protection against malaria infection. Her research ranges from West Africa, to the eastern Maluku Islands of Indonesia, and to urban Honolulu.

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