Emerging Synergies Between Information Technology and Applied Ethnobotanical Research


  • Michael B. Thomas


Ethnobotanical research has historically played a vital role
in humankinds understanding of the relationship between
people and the biological environment. Today, it remains
a  rapidly growing field of  research, gaining professional,
student and public  interest both within  the US and  inter-
nationally. Ethnobiologists have however been very slow
to adopt and apply tools of the informatics revolution and
to  integrate  research data collaboratively.  If ethnobotany
is  to continue  to develop as a discipline, what  is needed
in the near future is not only a continued effort to promote
collaborative  ethnobotanical  research  but  also  to  devel-
op an  initiative  to bridge  the digital gap between ethno-
biologists and emerging bioinformatics tools. Through an
improved understanding of  the application of  information
technologies and  the  traditional ethnobotanical  research
model, tomorrow’s scientists may better record and com-
pare  traditional  botanical  knowledge  (TBK).  This  inte-
gration would  greatly  assist  in  stemming  the  tide  of  the
unprecedented  loss of global bio-cultural diversity  in  the
twenty-first century.




How to Cite

Thomas, M. B. (2008). Emerging Synergies Between Information Technology and Applied Ethnobotanical Research. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 1, 065–074. Retrieved from https://ethnobotanyjournal.org/index.php/era/article/view/30