Sabina Aguilera is a Mexican Ethnologist who has been working for more than 20 years among the Ralámuli People living in northern Mexico. She has obtained her academic degrees in Mexico, Holland and Germany. Currently she is an independent researcher living in Berlin, but still working and learning among this people. Her main research topics are textiles, iconography, worldview, stories and landscape perceptions. Most recently, she is focusing on indigenous plant knowledge. Given the environmental crisis and the cracking western perception and relationship with the world, the intention is to contribute with alternatives ways of being and thinking that, together with other leading researchers works, might open pathways that can generate radical mind shifts.
Afshin Akhtar-Khavari is an international law scholar who studies and writes about the ontologies of environmental law, and is interested in legal responses to damage, destruction and extinction. He uses a range of disciplines and approaches to explore how the natural world is socially, culturally, and politically significant for the way that environmental law functions and prioritises itself. His more recent work has been shaped by thinking about recovery and restoration of ecosystems as techniques for dealing with damage but also in helping human beings to develop and train themselves to establish more cooperative relationships with the natural world. He is currently working on a book studying the potential role for the law in helping socio-ecological landscape to flourish.
Khairani Barokka is a Minang-Javanese writer and artist from Jakarta, whose work has been presented in 16 countries. Her work centres on disability justice as anti-colonial praxis. She is currently Researcher-in-Residence and Research Fellow at UAL's Decolonising Arts Institute, and Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing (UK). Among her honors, she has been Modern Poetry in Translation's Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, an Artforum Must-See for work in her Annah, Infinite series, and an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow. Her books are Rope (Nine Arches) and Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis), and she is co-editor of two anthologies, most recently Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches). Her next book is the poetry collection Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches, March 2021).
Tamryn Bennett is a poet and Artistic Director of Red Room Poetry. Her bilingual poetry collection phosphene is published by Rabbit Poet Series. A second collection icaros is forthcoming. She is the editor of Líneas en Tierra/ Lines in Land a collection of Mexican poems in translation. Tamryn is co-creator of the ‘plant symphony’ and has exhibited work in Australia and internationally with residences in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Bundanon Trust, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and El Centro de Cultura, Mexico. For more information, visit: https://tamrynbennett.com
Damiano Benvegnù is an environmental humanities scholar who teaches at Dartmouth College, USA. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the Creative Writing and Visual Art Editor for Ecozon@, the European Journal for Literature, Culture, and the Environment. Author of Animals and Animality in Primo Levi’s Work (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and of several articles ranging from minority languages to soundscape ecology, Damiano’s research focuses on the interaction between the arts, the environmental humanities, and the digital humanities. He is currently developing an augmented reality thick-map for a forest in Enfield, New Hampshire.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Polish-born Renata Buziak is a photo-media artist, educator and researcher. In 2016, she completed her PhD in Fine Art (Photography), which focussed on native medicinal plants, at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Her practice builds on alternative and experimental photography, intercultural and art–science research, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. For over a decade, she has been developing an image-making process, the biochrome, by fusing organic and photographic materials subject to organic decomposition.
Renata’s work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and her work is in public and private collections. She has received a number of art awards and undertaken several artist residencies. Renata’s monograph Renata Buziak: Afterimage was launched in 2010 by the Queensland Centre for Photography; her work has been published in numerous catalogues and magazines; and her research has appeared in peer-reviewed publications. For more information, please visit www.renata-buziak.com
James Cahill is a Professor of ecology at the University of Alberta, Canada. His work attempts to integrate how plant decision making alters species coexistence and patterns in biodiversity. This line of research has highlighted how behavioral ecological theory, developed primarily for mobile animals, is a very good starting point for understanding the social lives of plants. Over the last twenty plus years, he has trained numerous graduate and undergraduate students in experimental plant ecology, and offered a different perspective than expressed by the common ecological paradigms. He is also actively engaged in science communication, with a focus on using a data-driven approach to enhance public understanding. He may be most well known for his work as the lead scientist on a widely viewed documentary about plant behavior (What Plants Talk About, PBS Nature and Smarty Plants, CBC Nature of Things). To date, those films have been viewed in excess of 2,000,000 times, indicating a public fascination with the biology of plants. For more information: https://grad.biology.ualberta.ca/cahill
Born in Telica, Nicaragua, Esthela Calderón is a poet and visual artist who is the author of Soledad (2002), which won first prize in the Juegos Florales Centroamericanos, Belice y Panamá competition, Amor y conciencia (2004), the pioneering book of ethnobotanical poetry Soplo de corriente vital (2008), Coyol quebrado (2012), Los huesos de mi abuelo (2013), Las manos que matan (2016), the bilingual anthology of her selected poetry The Bones of My Grandfather (2018) and Leyenda urbana (2019).
Her poetry has been anthologized in Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon´s Sacred Vine, as well as El consumo de lo que somos: muestra de poesía ecológica hispánica contemporánea, Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and The Latin American Eco-Cultural Reader. She has published in the journals World Literature Today (University of Oklahoma), Translation Review (University of Texas, Dallas: special issue on new Latin American literature), Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (Americas Society-New York), and ISLE.
Her work as a visual artist was featured in individual exhibitions at the art gallery of the Municipal Building of St. Lawrence County in Potsdam, New York. She currently works as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages at St. Lawrence University.
María Luisa Chacarito
María Luisa Chacarito was born in Ojachichi (ojachi is the name of a mushroom), a small ranch in southwestern Ralámuli territory. Already at a young age she began a seasonal movement with her parents between their ranch and different urban scenarios. At some point she established herself in Chihuahua City, where she was for nine years the main authority of a Ralámuli settlement. Today she works independently together with other Ralámuli women selling their crafts.
Sophie Chao is an environmental anthropologist and multispecies ethnographer whose research explores the intersections of Indigeneity, ecology, and capitalism in the Pacific. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. Sophie has carried out long-term ethnographic fieldwork among Marind in Indonesian West Papua and examined how the destruction of biodiverse forests radically undermines the moral, emotional, material, and cultural ties between sago palms and Indigenous communities. Prior to her academic career, Sophie worked for human rights organization Forest Peoples Programme supporting Indigenous communities defend their rights to land in the face of state and corporate interests. Outside of work, Sophie enjoys listening to the voices of the forest and making friends with trees – just as Marind taught her to. For more information about Sophie’s work, please visit www.morethanhumanworlds.com
Stuart Cooke is a poet, scholar and translator. His books include the poetry collections Lyre (2019), Opera (2016) and Edge Music (2011), as well as the critical monograph, Speaking the Earth's Languages: A theory for Australian-Chilean Postcolonial Poetics (2013). He has also translated Gianni Siccardi's The Blackbird (2018) and George Dyuŋgayan's Bulu Line (2014), and he is the co-editor of Transcultural Ecocriticism: Global, Romantic and Decolonial Perspectives (2021). Stuart is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has been a fellow at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (under Joy Harjo), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Omi International Arts Center, among others. In 2020 he was a BR Whiting Fellow in Rome, Italy. His current projects include the exploration of ethological poetics (or: practices of articulation, composition and/or expression in a variety of plant and animal species), and the development of a transcultural poetics in southern Chile with leading Huilliche-Mapuche poet Juan Paulo Huirimilla. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.
Joseph Dumit is an anthropologist of passions, improvisation, brains, games, bodies, drugs and facts. His research and teaching ask how exactly we came to think, do and speak the way we do about ourselves and our world. He asks, what are the actual material ways in which we come to encounter facts, conspiracies, and things and take them to be relevant to our lives and our futures? He serves as Chair of Performance Studies, and is professor of Science & Technology Studies, and of Anthropology at University of California Davis. He is the author of Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans & Biomedical America (Princeton 2004), Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (Duke 2012), and co-editor of Cyborgs & Citadels; Cyborg Babies; and Biomedicine as Culture. He drinks a lot of coffee. http://dumit.net
Anne Elvey lives on Boonwurrung Country in Seaford, Victoria. Author of On arrivals of breath (2019), White on White (2018), Kin (2014), and co-author of Intatto/Intact (with Massimo D’Arcangelo and Helen Moore, 2017), she is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. She also curated the ebook hope for whole: Poets Speak up to Adani (2018). Anne is an Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, and Honorary Research Associate, Trinity College Theological School, University of Divinity, Melbourne. Author of The Matter of the Text: Material Engagements between Luke and the Five Senses (2011), she is coeditor, with Keith Dyer and Deborah Guess, of Ecological Aspects of War: Engagements with Biblical Texts (2017). Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity. Her writing on plants is inspired by Peter Larkin’s tree poetics.
Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new book of poems from Norton is called Floaters. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016),The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Luke Fischer is a poet and philosopher. He is the author of the poetry collections A Personal History of Vision (UWAP, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013), the monograph The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems (Bloomsbury, 2015), and the children’s book The Blue Forest (Lindisfarne Books, 2015). He is a co-editor of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus: Philosophical and Critical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019), The Seasons: Philosophical, Literary and Environmental Perspectives (SUNY Press, forthcoming), and a special issue of the Goethe Yearbook (2015) on ‘Goethe and Environmentalism’. He frequently collaborates in events with other writers, musicians, and artists, and is an honorary associate of the philosophy department at the University of Sydney. For more information see: www.lukefischerauthor.com
Rachel Gagen is a Western Herbal Medicine therapist, facilitator of rites of passage, forager, medicine maker, traditional body worker and musician. Co-founder of Mulai Lagi Iboga, an addiction interruption and psychospiritual retreat service in Indonesia, she works with matters of healing and sickness, utilising relationship and herbal medicine as a mechanism of reconnection with the Self.
She has been initiated into the Bwiti sect Mabanji, a living and growing feminine Gabonese tradition that utilises Iboga as a sacrament of transition and embodiment teacher. Her interest in ethnobotany has led her to pockets of Indigenous cultures across the globe to learn from their relationships with plants, including their use of specific styles of music for enhanced communication & integration whilst in shamanic spaces. She works from the Sunshine Coast, Australia, as a health practitioner, teacher and musician. For more information see: www.entheobotanica.org
Monica Gagliano is a Research Associate Professor in evolutionary ecology and former fellow of the Australian Research Council. She is currently based at Southern Cross University where she directs the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. She has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics, for the first time experimentally demonstrating that plants emit their own ‘voices’ and detect and respond to the sounds of their environments. Her work has extended the concept of cognition (including perception, learning processes, memory) in plants. Her latest book is Thus Spoke the Plant (North Atlantic Books, 2018). More info: www.monicagagliano.com
JUAN CARLOS GALEANO
Juan Carlos Galeano is a poet and environmentalist born in the Amazon region of Colombia. He has published several books of poetry and has translated North American poets into Spanish. Over a decade of fieldwork on symbolic narratives of riverine and forest people in the Amazon basin resulted in his production of a comprehensive collection of storytelling (Folktales of the Amazon, ABC-CLIO, 2008) and the documentary films (The Trees Have a Mother, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2008), and El Río (2019, Gaia Award, USA). His poetry inspired by Amazonian cosmologies and the modern world (Amazonia 2003, 2011, and Yakumama and other Mythical Beings, 2014), has been anthologized and published in international journals such as Casa de las Américas (Cuba), Poesia (Italy/Europe), The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares (USA). He continues to lead field work and service learning journeys to the Amazon Basin with scholars and students from several universities in the States. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he teaches at Florida State University Latin American poetry, and cultures of Amazonia. More information: myweb.fsu.edu/jgaleano
Chelinay Gates (Malardy)
Chelinay Gates is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a practitioner of Hypnosis and Esoteric Acupuncture, as well as a professional artist and Aboriginal author. Known for her light-filled, impressionist works, Chelinay has won numerous prizes and was awarded “Female Artist of the Year” in Australia in 1990. She writes for film, television and theatre and her latest book, Lucky-Child: the secret (Tellwell Talent, 2019) was winner of the prestigious 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award (for fiction and best first novel).
Inspired by her father and other indigenous elders, she has also been involved in issues of social justice, community services and protection of sacred sites. For more information, see: www.lucky-child.com.au
Alex K. Gearin, PhD, is an anthropologist from Australia who spends most of his time researching the Amazonian shamanic brew ayahuasca. He has conducted research in Peru, Australia, and China on the use of ayahuasca by indigenous and Western cultures and is the co-editor of the book The World Ayahuasca Diaspora. He is the founder of the online ayahuasca learning hub Kahpi.net which teaches courses by ayahuasca scholars, scientists and therapists. He is an assistant professor of anthropology at Xiamen University, China.
Prudence Gibson is author of the Critical Plant Studies series book The Plant Contract (Brill Rudopi, 2018) and Lead Investigator of a major environmental aesthetics grant project 2020-23, in partnership with the Sydney Botanic Gardens Herbarium. She is Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of NSW, Sydney. Her particular field of study interrogates the crossover of plant life and art/narrative, and how this energetic interaction can improve human perception of vegetal life. She is author of several other monographs such as The Rapture of Death (2010); Janet Laurence: The Pharmacy of Plants (New South Publishing, 2015.) She co-edited Aesthetics After Finitude (Re.press, 2016) and Covert Plants (Punctum Books, 2018.) She has also published over 350 essays and articles for Art and Australia, The Conversation, Art Monthly and more, and has written many essays for art catalogues.
KATHLEEN CRUZ GUTIERREZ
Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on the Philippines and modern Southeast Asia. She obtained a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing and research have contributed to the history of modern Philippine botany, scholarship on Itneg textile production, Philippine STS, and the environmental humanities of the Asian–Pacific region.
Craig Holdrege, Ph.D., is co-founder and director of The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY, an organization dedicated to research and educational activities applying phenomenological, contextual methods. He is deeply interested in the interconnected nature of things and how we can understand life in truly living ways as a basis for responsible human action. His studies of plants and animals, as well as his commentaries scientific thinking and new developments in the biological sciences, aim to stimulate a transformation in human thinking and perception. Craig is the author of many articles, monographs, and books, including Thinking Like a Plant: A Living Science for Life and Do Frogs Come From Tadpoles? Rethinking Origins in Development and Evolution. He gives talks, workshops, and courses nationally and internationally. More information: www.natureinstitute.org
Joela Jacobs is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona and founded the Literary and Cultural Plant Studies Network. Her research focuses on 19th-21st century German literature and film, Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities, Jewish Studies, the History of Sexuality, and the History of Science. She is currently working on a monograph, entitled Animal, Vegetal, Marginal: Being (Non)Human in German Modernist Grotesques, in which plants are agents in the creation and disruption of human identity (re)production. She has published articles on monstrosity, multilingualism, literary censorship, biopolitics, animal epistemology, zoopoetics, phytopoetics, cultural environmentalism, and contemporary German Jewish identity.
Megan Kaminski a poet and essayist—and the author of three books of poetry, most recently Gentlewomen (Noemi Press, 2020). By exploring ideas of indeterminacy, rootedness, and resilience, her current book project Withness uses plant thinking as a model for response to our current moment and towards the future. Her public-facing work, in the form of the Prairie Divination Deck (w/ L. Ann Wheeler) and the Ad Astra Writing Project, helps people connect to their own ecosystems for strategies to live in their world, to grieve and heal after loss, and to re-align thinking towards kinship, community, and sustainability. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas specializing in poetry and poetics, ecosomatics, queer ecology, plant studies, nonfiction, and the environmental humanities. Her work is informed by collaborative and interdisciplinary research in social welfare, evolutionary biology, the visual arts, and philosophy, as well as previous work in the healing arts and at non-profit environmental organizations.
John Kinsella is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor Emeritus at Curtin University, but most relevantly he is an anarchist vegan pacifist and environmental activist of over thirty-five years. He often works in collaboration with other poets, writers, artists, musicians, and activists. His most recent volumes of poetry include Insomnia (Picador, 2019; WW Norton 2020), and Brimstone: Villanelles (Arc, 2020). His volumes of criticism include Activist Poetics: Anarchy in the Avon Valley (Liverpool University Press, 2010) and Polysituatedness (Manchester University Press, 2017). He has also written many volumes of fiction and memoir. John Kinsella lives in the Western Australian wheatbelt on Ballardong Noongar land.
Sarah Laborde is a research fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Australia. She is a student the connections between people and water. She has a background in the hydrological sciences as well as the social sciences, and completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2012 with joint affiliations in water resources engineering and environmental anthropology. Her current research projects relate to the notion of “flow” and to the links between water and well-being. Some of her teachers are Nyikina and Gooniyandi custodians of the Margaret and Fitzroy Rivers, in the North West of Australia. Fo more information, see: www.sarahlaborde.com
Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, editor, and shamanic healer. She is the author of seven books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, most recently: The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022). She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University.
Megan Ljubotina is a plant biologist and horticulturalist who has frequently worked with Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, using it as a model organism to ask questions about how plants seek out nutrients, respond to stress, and interact with other plants belowground. Her work with James F. Cahill Jr. on sunflower root foraging and social behaviour has recently been published in an article in Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2019).
LUIS EDUardo LUNA
Luis Eduardo Luna was born in Florencia, Colombia. He conducted research on shamanism and the use of sacred plants among the indigenous and mestizo population of the Peruvian and Colombian. He has a B.A. from Madrid University (1972), an interdisciplinary Master from Oslo University (1980), and a Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Religion Stockholm University (1989). He is a Guggenheim Fellow (1986), a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London (1989), and is a Doctor Honoris Causa, from St. Lawrence, Canton, New York (2002). Luna is the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon (1986), a co-author with Pablo Amaringo of Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman (1991), and co-author with Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicsz and Ede Frecska of Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual technologies (2008). He is co-editor with Steven White of Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine (2000, 2016). He is director of Wasiwaska, Research Center for the Study of Psychointegrator Plants, Visionary Art, and Consciousness, Florianópolis, Brazil. More Information: www.wasiwaska.org
Jeremy Narby, Ph. D., studied history at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and received a doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University. For the last 30 years, he has coordinated projects in favour of Amazonian people for Swiss NGO "Nouvelle Planète”, involving land titles, bilingual education, and sustainable forestry. He has written several books including "The cosmic serpent, DNA and the origins of knowledge" (1998, New York, Penguin Putnam/Tarcher), and "Intelligence in nature: an inquiry into knowledge" (2005, New York, Penguin Putnam/Tarcher), and co-edited with Francis Huxley "Shamans through time: 500 years on the path to knowledge" (2001, New York, Penguin Putnam/Tarcher). He recently co-signed with Rafael Chanchari Pizuri “Plant teachers: ayahuasca, tobacco, and the pursuit of knowledge” (2021, Novato CA, New World Library).
Barry McDonald lives in rural Australia. He regards his life in terms of relationship rather than achievement; of engagement with Land, Ancestors, people and Story. Barry continues to learn about relationship (too slowly!) from great teachers, something he explores in writings across a variety of media – poetry, creative non-fiction, song and letters (so many letters ...).
Sally Birch is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian language and literature, Spanish language including Latin American history and literature. Her recent work was published in the Australian quarterly cultural periodical Dumbo Feather. More information: www.sallybirchwriter.com
Solvejg Nitzke is a postdoctoral scholar at Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. She was part of the DFG-funded project “Climate’s Time” at the University of Vienna and earned her doctorate at Ruhr-University Bochum in 2015 with a thesis on the Tunguska-Event (“Die Produktion der Katastrophe. Das Tunguska-Ereignis und die Programme der Moderne” transcript 2017). Her current research project “Precarious Nature” examines proto-ecological knowledge in 19th century country-literatures. She works on disaster and science fiction, the intersection of story-telling and knowledge production and ecological thought. Her work on plants focuses on trees and their relationship with and agency in story-telling, she is working on a book-project called Making Kin with Trees and the collection Baum und Text (in German) will be published in spring 2020.
Guto Nóbrega is an artist, associate professor in art at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Rio the Janeiro. He is a research fellow in Art and Technology in the postgraduate program in Visual Arts / UnB and PhD (2009) in Interactive Arts by the postgraduate program Planetary Collegium (former CAiiA-STAR), the University of Plymouth UK. He founded and acts as one of the coordinators of NANO - Núcleo de Arte e Novos Organismos, an academic research lab for investigation and artistic creation on the intercrossing of the domains of art, science, technology, nature and spirituality. He was the coordinator of the postgraduate program in Visual Arts / EBA / UFRJ (2015-2017) and currently acts as Research Productivity Fellowship CNPq - Level 2.
Kristi Onzik is a Phd Candidate in the UC Davis Sociocultural Anthropology program. Her dissertation research studies a small but growing community of scientists experimenting with the boundaries of the scientifically (un)thinkable: plant thought. Building upon conversations in feminist science studies and a “more-than-human” anthropology, she asks how concepts like plant cognition, neurobiology, and behavior are being assembled from within the experimental practices of a variety of plant scientists—many of whom are risking their careers on not simply the possibility that plants think, but working from an inner feeling, a “tacit” knowing, that plants have always already been making sense of us; we just need to learn how to listen. She has been a visiting researcher at LINV in Florence, Italy, the MINT lab in Murcia, Spain, the Plant Growth Lab in Seattle, WA, and is an ongoing collaborator with the Biological Intelligence Lab in NSW, Australia and the Plant Studies Collaboratory.
Andre Parise holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in the southern Brazilian city of Florianópolis, and has recently completed his master’s degree in Plant Physiology at the Federal University of Pelotas, in the more-southern-still Pelotas, also in Brazil. Through the last years, he has been studying plant cognition, intelligence and communication, which is a new and fascinating topic of research. He is very fond of science communication and, as far as possible, he is always trying to make science understandable to the general audience.
Matteo Politi has a PhD in natural product chemistry and a specialization in naturopathy. He has more than 20 years of multidisciplinary experience related with herbal medicine, working for several University centres, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies. He is currently a research collaborator at the Takiwasi Center in Peru and at the University of Chieti in Italy.
He has a deep passion for all sorts of traditional medicines, especially those orally transmitted from bio-diverse cultural contexts. He likes to travel to remote and wild environments, constantly looking for new insights from people and nature. He supports the vitalistic approach to health, and the animistic vision of nature, he practices with pleasure herbal medicine as a form of care and learning.
Susan Prescott is a paediatrician, immunologist and internationally acclaimed physician scientist, well known for her cutting-edge research into the early environmental determinants of health and disease. At the global level, as the Founding President of inVIVO Planetary Health, her work focuses on the interconnections between human health and planetary health - promoting holistic value systems for both ecological and social justice. Locally in Western Australia, she is Director of The ORIGINS project, which examines how the environment influences all aspects of physical and mental health throughout life. She was also the founding President of the DOHaD Society (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) of Australia and New Zealand, and previously served as a Director of the World Allergy Organization. Susan has over 300 scientific publications. She is also an artist and award-winning author of several books including The Allergy Epidemic, The Calling, Origins and gold medal winning book The Secret Life of Your Microbiome. Her inspiration to study medicine came from her grandmother, one of the few women to study medicine in the 1930s. www.drsusanprescott.com; @susanprescott88;
ivan dario vargas Roncancio
Iván Darío Vargas-Roncancio is a Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University, and graduate fellow Leadership for the Ecozoic program. He is a lawyer with Master degrees in Bioscience and Law (National University of Colombia, 2012), and Latin American Studies (Duke University, 2016); Junior Specialist (CPPR-UC Davis) and ethnographer (Everyday Peace Indicators-George Mason) and has been a Colciencias scholar (Colombia, 2013), and a FLAS fellow (Foreign Language and Area Studies-PUC São Paulo, 2016). His research ethnographically follows Indigenous practitioners, scientists, legal scholars, and ritual plants across territories, documents, and courts of justice to contribute to a larger paradigm shift: from reductionist environmental law and governance models to ecological, systems-based, and other-than-human jurisprudence in post-conflict Colombia. Iván asks how forests become legal agents through different sets of practices; how human and other-than-human beings such as Amazonian plants co-produce protocols for forest governance, and how a law that comes from the territory challenges concepts of justice, agency, and value in times of socio-ecological transitions. His interests include Earth Law, Indigenous Law and Cosmologies, Ethnography, Amazonia. More information: www.l4ecozoic.org/iván-vargas-roncancio
Laura Ruggles is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Adelaide in philosophy of biology and cognitive science, and an avid gardener and macrofungal enthusiast. With a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, her research explores the emerging use of plants as model organisms in the cognitive sciences. She looks at how plant research is offering novel insights into the diversity of cognition and how cognitive frameworks offer insights into understanding plant mechanisms. She is interested in how our ways of framing plants and the metaphors that we use as thinking tools constrain the sorts of questions we ask about them and the research we do, and how plant theorising and plant-human relations have changed over time.
JOHN CHARLES RYAN
John Charles Ryan is an aspiring writer and plant enthusiast. His interests include poetry and the environmental humanities. He recently edited an issue of the online journal Plumwood Mountain on plant poetics and co-authored a textbook on the environmental humanities forthcoming with Routledge. His botanical poetry collection Seeing Trees: A Poetic Arboretum, with Glen Phillips, came out in 2020. His academic affiliations are with Southern Cross University as Adjunct Associate Professor and Nulungu Research Institute, Notre Dame University, Australia as Adjunct Senior Research Fellow.
Craig Santos Perez
Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru poet from the Pacific island of Guåhan (Guam). He is the author of five books of poetry and the co-editor of five anthologies. He is a Professor in the English department at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.
Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international writer of poetry, plays and picture books. She is a teacher, cultural consultant and artist. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. Her books include celebrated The Incredible Freedom Machines, Kindred and Bindi.
Harriet Tarlo’s single author poetry publications are with Shearsman Press and Etruscan books and her artists’ books with Judith Tucker are with Wild Pansy Press. Her first volume of the Cut Flowers series is out with Guillemot Press in 2021. She is editor of The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry (2011) and special features on ecopoetics for How2 and Plumwood Mountain and on cross-disciplinary environmental art in Green Letters. She is the author of numerous academic essays on poetics, place and environment, including recent joint essays with Judith Tucker on walking, landscape and collaboration in special features of Sociologia Ruralis and Critical Survey. She is Professor of Ecopoetry and Poetics at Sheffield Hallam University.
Gabriel Toledo was born in the west of São Paulo state, Brazil, and always was troubled with the destruction that the region’s environment suffered through the years because of greed and ignorance. Willing to learn more about life and its links with human behaviour, he started his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the State University of Maringá. However, he completed it at the University of Western São Paulo. Later on, he did his master’s degree in ‘Environmental and Regional Development’, also in the University of Western São Paulo. He is currently finishing his PhD at the Federal University of Pelotas, in Rio Grande do Sul state. He has worked with topics related to plant cognition, such as plant behaviour, plant communication and plant intelligence. For ecological, educational and conservational purposes, he always try to show the importance of considering plants as intelligent beings.
Mauricio Tolosa is an independent writer and photographer. For the last few years, he has been working on arborecer, a multimedia project depicting the interaction and possible communication between plants and human beings. He feels honored to have the chance to get a glance at what could be in the future a shared world, where all life will be respected and cherished. He has worked as a communication expert and international consultant for governments and organizations in different cultures. He has also developed teaching programs for universities and foundations. As a writer, he has published books on communication and science, a novel and two books of poetry. He creates and directs writing workshops, the latest ones being "The Voices of Plants" and “Flourish” which explore new ways of thinking and expressing about our relationship with plants.
Giorgia Tresca studied social anthropology and recently completed a master’s in environmental anthropology at the University of Kent. Her thesis addressed Amazonian plant healing diets and how they are adopted into European natural and cultural environments. Currently she lives in Italy, takes people on wine and forest tours and, through her writing, continues to explore how developing a relation to plants may challenge our understanding and stimulate our experience of what it means to be human.
Judith Tucker's work explores the meeting of social history, personal memory and geography; it investigates their relationship through drawing, painting and writing. The paintings in this volume are from her ongoing series Dark Marsh, exploring the pioneering salt marsh plants of the Humberston Fitties, Tetney Marsh area, considering plants that are both vulnerable to sea level rise, but that also help to protect the land from flooding. In 2018 and 2019 she was a finalist in the Jackson’s Open Painting Prize, third time lucky, in 2020 she won a category prize. In 2020 she was shortlisted for the New Light Art Prize and in 2019 she was shortlisted for the Westmorland Landscape Prize. Other exhibition venues include Arthouse1 and Collyer Bristow, London and regional galleries throughout the UK, and further afield in Lasi, Romania, Gdansk, Poland, Brno, Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria, Minneapolis and Virginia USA and Yantai, Nanjing and Tianjin in China. She is an invited artist in Contemporary British Painting a platform for contemporary painting in the UK. She is currently vice-chair of the organisation. She co-convenes the networks Land2 and Mapping Spectral Traces. She also writes academic essays which can be found in academic journals and in books. When she is not in her studio, she is Senior Lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. She has a long-term collaboration with the poet Harriet Tarlo. Website: https://www.judithtuckerartist.com/
Patrícia Vieira is Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra and Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, at Georgetown University. Her fields of expertise are Latin American and Iberian Literatures and Cultures, Portuguese and Brazilian Cinema, Utopian Studies and the Environmental Humanities. Her most recent monograph is States of Grace: Utopia in Brazilian Culture (SUNY UP, 20018) and her most recent co-edited book is Portuguese Literature and the Environment (Lexington, 2019). She has published numerous articles in her fields of expertize, as well as op-eds in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books and The European, among others. For more information visit: www.patriciavieira.net
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild. For more information, visit: www.robinwallkimmerer.com
JONATHON MILLER WEISBERGER
Ethnobotanist Jonathon Miller Weisberger has spent the past thirty years studying rainforest plant medicine traditions. Since 1994 he has organized biannual “Rainforest Medicine Councils,” experiential workshops journeys, promoting “Personal, Community and Planetary Renewal”, participants immerse themselves in an intimate first-hand experience meeting and learning from indigenous elders, cultural adepts, the majesty of the wilderness, and the omnipotent plant teachers themselves. He has collaborated on historic rainforest conservation and cultural heritage revalidation initiatives in the Ecuadorian Amazon, such as the demarcation of the Waorani peoples’ ancestral homelands and the demarcation and protection of the isolated limestone massif of Napo-Galeras in the upper Amazon. His passion is plants, and to share them with others! He is the author of Rainforest Medicine ~ Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon and the steward of Ocean Forest Ecolodge in Costa Rica where he lives most of the year.
Steve Whalan is an Associate Professor at Southern Cross University with two decades of experience researching life in marine ecosystems. He has published over 50 scientific articles on the ecology of marine invertebrates, with a focus on the behavior of their larvae. He spends his time piecing together the puzzle of marine population maintenance, particularly for sponges and corals; both groups have remarkable biology’s, but it is how their motile larvae disperse, and choose their homes, that intrigues him most. As an animal ecologist it is perhaps wacky to write about connections to the “mind of plants”, but it is the connection among us all that provides fodder for interesting stories. Here, sponges and corals are intricately entwined to their coralline algae neighbours. More info: Steve_Whalan
Jessica White is the author of the award-winning A Curious Intimacy (Penguin 2007) and Entitlement (Penguin 2012), and a hybrid memoir about deafness, Hearing Maud (UWA Publishing, 2019). Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared widely in Australian and international literary journals and have been shortlisted or longlisted for major prizes. Jessica is the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts and has undertaken residencies in Hobart and Rome. She is currently working on two books: an ecobiography of Western Australia’s first female scientist, 19th century botanist Georgiana Molloy, as well as a scholarly monograph on the genre of ecobiography. In 2020, Jessica will be based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, the University of Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network, and at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in the United States.
Steven F. WHITE
Steven F. White was guest editor of a special issue on ecology and Latin American literature of Review: Latin American Literature and the Arts. He did the bilingual ecocritical study Seven Trees Against the Dying Light by Nicaraguan poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra (Northwestern University Press). A second edition for Synergetic Press of his coedited work (with Luis Eduardo Luna) Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine won an Independent Publishers Book Award. His current research with Microscopy Specialist Jill Pflugheber is called “Microcosms: A Homage to Sacred Plants of the Americas” and can be viewed here. He recently retired from St. Lawrence University after teaching Latin American literature and film as well as Spanish and Portuguese language classes for more than thirty years.
Catherine Wright grew up on a cattle station in northern New South Wales. Her relationship with the land was heavily shaped by long, solitary walks as a child when she developed a passion for wild places. She first received a Bachelor of Economics before completing a Bachelor of Arts in Performance and then worked as an actress. Since turning to writing, her poems and creative non-fiction have won or been shortlisted for a number of awards, a Varuna residential fellowship, and been published in literary journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. She is finishing her first collection ‘The Consolation of Birds', and continues to find inspiration especially in the natural world and its power over us. After many years of travel, Catherine has returned to live in the dramatic gorge landscape close to her childhood home outside Armidale, New South Wales.