BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium Botanical Society of America Southeast Missouri State University Missouri Botanical Garden
Ethnobotany as a Hook to Generate Interest in Plant Research
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Joyce Cadwallader
Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College

Mary Puterbaugh Mulcahy
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford


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  



- Ethnobotany_Project_Notes1.doc
- Data_set.xls
- MedicinalPlants.ppt