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Ina Vandebroek

Senior Research Fellow



    Ina Vandebroek is an ethnobotanist who holds a BSc in Biology (with specialisation in Morphology and Systematics) and a PhD in Medical Sciences from Ghent University in Belgium. Prior to coming to The UWI Mona in 2021 she was an Associate Curator at The New York Botanical Garden where she worked as the Caribbean Program Director at the Institute of Economic Botany for 16 years. Ina's research is in partnership with Caribbean communities and is centered around the interconnectedness of Caribbean biological and cultural diversity. Her projects seek to understand patterns of community-based traditional knowledge about the environment and cultural plant use across space and time, using mixed methods such as ethnobotanical surveys, plant taxonomy, and GIS mapping. Currently, she leads a National Geographic project studying the cultural heritage and plant diversity of Jamaican root tonics, and a Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation grant aimed at re-assessing the conservation status of wild cinnamon (Cinnamodendron corticosum), an endemic spice tree that is restricted to Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains.


    At present, she is accepting prospective Master and PhD students to collaborate in these projects. Please email her with expressions of interest. Ina is also the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Economic Botany of the Society for Economic Botany published by Springer and The New York Botanical Garden. Her full CV can be consulted here


    Select Publications


    Articles can be downloaded or requested on my ResearchGate profile

    1. Khattar J, Calvo P, Vandebroek I, Pandolfi C, Dahdouh-Guebas F. (2022) Understanding interdisciplinary perspectives of plant intelligence: Is it a matter of science, language, or subjectivity? Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 18: 41,
    2. Vardeman E, Vandebroek I (2021) Caribbean women’s health and transnational ethnobotany. Economic Botany Sep 10; 1-22.
    3. Albuquerque UP, Ferreira Júnior WS, Vandebroek I, Bussmann RW, Paniagua-Zambrana NY, Ladio AH, Voeks R, Melo F, Jacob MCM, Gonçalves-Souza T, Lopes AV, Soldati GT (2021) A Reply to Pierotti’s (2018) Review of “Evolutionary Ethnobiology”: Decolonizing Latin American Science. Ethnobiology Letters 12: 79-81,
    4. Pieroni A, Fontefrancesco MF, Vandebroek I (2021) Traditional food knowledge: New wine into old wineskins? Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 21 July 2021,
    5. McAlvay A, Armstrong C, Baker J, Black Elk L, Bosco S, Hanazaki N, Joseph L, Martínez-Cruz TE, Nesbitt M, Palmer MA, Priprá de Almeida WC, Anderson J, Asfaw Z, Borokini IT, Cano-Contreras EJ, Hoyte S, Hudson M, Ladio AH, Odonne G, Peter S, Rashford J, Wall J, Wolverton S, Vandebroek I (2021) Ethnobiology Phase VI: Decolonizing institutions, projects, and scholarship. Journal of Ethnobiology 41: 170-191, 
    6. Vandebroek I, Picking D, Tretina J, West J, Grizzle M, Sweil D, Green U, Lindsay D (2021) Root tonics and resilience: Building strength, health, and heritage in Jamaica. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5: 640171,
    7. Dahdouh-Guebas A, Vandebroek I (2021) Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility scholars who participate in international study exchange and research programs. Ethnobiology and Conservation 10: 17, 
    8. Pieroni A, Vandebroek I, Prakofjewa J, Bussmann RW, Paniagua-Zambrana NY, Maroyi A, Torri L, Zocchi DM, Dam ATK, Khan SM, Ahmad H, Yeşil Y, Huish R, Pardo-de-Santayana, M, Mocan A, Hu X, Boscolo O, Sõukand R (2020) Taming the pandemic? The importance of homemade plant-based foods and beverages as community responses to COVID-19. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 16: 75,
    9. Vandebroek I, Pieroni A, Stepp JR, Hanazaki N, Ladio A, Alves RRN, Picking D, Delgoda R, Maroyi A, van Andel T, Quave CL, Paniagua-Zambrana NY, Bussmann RW, Odonne G, Abbasi AM, Albuquerque UP, Baker J, Kutz S, Timsina S, Shigeta M, Ribeiro Oliveira TP, Hurrell JA, Arenas PM, Puentes JP, Hugé J, Yeşil Y, Jean Pierre L, Olango TM, Dahdouh-Guebas F (2020) Reshaping the future of ethnobiology research after the Covid-19 pandemic. Nature Plants 6, 723-730,
    1. Pieroni A, Fontefrancesco MF, Vandebroek I (Eds.) (2021). Traditional Food Knowledge: New Wine Into Old Wineskins? Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88971-831-3
    2. Vandebroek I, Picking D (2020) Popular medicinal plants in Portland and Kingston, Jamaica. Advances in Economic Botany 19. New York: Springer. 


    1. Vandebroek I (2023) Traveling traditions: Dominican ethnobotany in service of caring for the community. In: Decolonizing Paradise: A Radical Ethnography of Environmental Stewardship in the Caribbean (Ed. Rosalina Diaz), pp. 203-230. New York: Peter Lang.

    2. Vandebroek I (2023) Transnational journeys and biocultural heritage: The Caribbean food-medicine nexus. In: Food Mobilities: Making World Cuisines (Eds. Simone Cinotto and Daniel Bender). Toronto: University of Toronto Press (In Press).
    3. Vandebroek I (2023) Traveling traditions: Dominican ethnobotany in service of caring for the community. In: Decolonizing Paradise: Radical Ethnography of Environmental Stewardship in the Caribbean (Ed. Rosalina Diaz). New York: Peter Lang (In Press).  

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