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Nancy Turner, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology

Dr. Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research integrates the fields of botany and ecology with anthropology, geography and linguistics, among others. She is interested in the traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous peoples, particularly in western Canada. Nancy has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 40 years, collaborating with Indigenous communities to help document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines, as well as language and vocabulary relating to plants and environments. Her interests also include the roles of plants and animals in narratives, ceremonies, language and belief systems. 

Nancy is working on several research and writing projects. In 2011, she was named to a new position as Hakai Chair in Ethnoecology and was awarded a $1.25 million grant from the Quadra Island-based Tula Foundation to support her ongoing work. This funding and new role allows her to participate more fully in community-based learning and research, especially as it pertains to critical issues facing Canadians today around the importance of sustaining biocultural diversity in an ever-changing world. She remains active in organizations such as Global Diversity Foundation, The Hakai Institute, Society of Ethnobiology, Society for Economic Botany, International Society of Ethnobiology and Slow Food International. She is a prolific author and co-author of many books, journal articles and other publications and has won numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including Order of British Columbia, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Member of the Order of Canada.

Page last updated: 02/03/2013