2004 Distinguished Explorer Announced
Mark J. Plotkin, an ethnobotanist devoted to preserving and understanding the medicinal use of rain forest plants, will the second scientist to receive the Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award. He received the award in 2004.
Dr. Plotkin made his first trip to the rain forests of South America in 1979 while serving as a curatorial assistant in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. That journey cemented what has become a lifelong study of the medicinal use of local plants by the indigenous peoples of the region. He has made countless trips to the Amazon since then, both to record the diversity of the flora and its associated healing properties and to encourage the preservation of that knowledge among the forest’s native inhabitants.
grew up exploring the bayou country of his native Louisiana – and reading books by Roy Chapman Andrews. Dr. Plotkin was devastated to learn as a youngster that dinosaurs were extinct.
He has devoted his scientific career to documenting and preserving the peoples and plants of the Amazonian rain forests.
Dr. Plotkin presented an acceptance lecture on “Rainforest Conservation in the Amazon: The ACT Experience” as part of the Friday afternoon program.