Friday, April 8, 2011 - Oxbow's April 16 Lecture Focuses On Historical Uses Of Native PlantsSince the beginning of civilization, plants have played a critical role in the lives of people. Beyond food and medicine indigenous peoples used plants in every aspect of their day-to-day lives, from their shelter and clothing to hunting and religious ceremonies. Join the Oxbow Eco-Center on Saturday, April 16 at noon for an engaging Brown Bag Lecture on the ‘Plants of the Seminole and Miccosukee’ by Dr. Bradley C. Bennett.
Dr. Bennett will discuss Florida’s extant indigenous peoples; relatively recent occupants of southern Florida. The Seminole and Miccosukee settled permanently in the region at the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858. Their Creek ancestors from Alabama and Georgia migrated to northern Florida in the 1700s where they found many of the same plant species that occurred in their homelands. In southern Florida, they encountered some familiar widespread plants of the southeastern coastal plain along with new tropical species characteristic of the southern end of the peninsula. In this presentation, Bennett will discuss Seminole and Miccosukee history and some of the plants they commonly use, such as cabbage palm, cypress, red bay and button snakeroot.
An associate professor of biological sciences and environmental studies, and director for the Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products at Florida International University, Dr. Bennett received his B.A. from Bucknell University, M.S. from Florida Atlantic University, and Ph.D. in biology from the University of North Carolina. He spent two years as a post-doc and two years as a research associate with New York Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany. During this time, Dr. Bennett studied plant use by the Shuar people of Amazonian Ecuador. He completed a similar study with the lowland Quichua in Ecuador and directed a multidisciplinary study of the economic value of non-timber forest products in terra firme and floodplain forests. Dr. Bennett also examined plant use of the Chachi, who live in the Pacific lowlands of Ecuador. After returning to Florida in 1992, he began studying plant use of Florida’s Seminole and Miccosukee people and recently initiated a project with the Guaymi in Panama. His research has been published in Ambio, BioScience, Brittonia, Economic Botany, Selbyana, and the Journal of Tropical Ecology.
The lecture is free. Bring your brown bag lunch and learn about native plants and their historical uses.
The Oxbow Eco-Center is a St. Lucie County Environmental Learning Center located at 5400 N.E. St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie on 225 acres along the St. Lucie River. For more information, contact the Oxbow at 772-785-5833, send an email to email@example.com or visit www.oxboweco.com.