This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled BioQUEST Summer 2008 Faculty Workshop Problem Solving in Biology: Data, Tools and Resources from Plant Science at Southeast Missouri State University in June 2008. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Ethnobotany as a Hook to Generate Interest in Plant Research
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions




Possible Audiences:

High School through early college level (phylogenetic analysis can make the project more advanced)  


Brief Overview:

To demonstrate to students through investigative, fun exercises the value of botanical knowledge & skills in the discovery of new medicines  


Project Materials:

Word Document describing exercises Excel sheet with fake flora data  


Resources and References:

Ekunsanmi, Toye J. 2005. A Classroom Demonstration of Garlic Extract and Conventional Antibiotics' Antimicrobial Activity. Bioscene Vol. 31(Issue 3): pp. 4-9. Available at: Describes of a lab test to look for antibiotics in plants Procheš, Šerban; Wilson, John R.U.; Vamosi, Jana C.; Richardson, David M. 2008. Plant Diversity in the Human Diet: Weak Phylogenetic Signal Indicates Breadth. BioScience Vol. 58 (Number 2), pp. 151-159. Fascinating paper that test whether humans prefer certain plant phylogenetic groups  


Future Directions:

- more activities could be added to this group - the spreadsheet information could be made more realistic