Dr. Kelly Ablard

PhD, MSc, RA, EOT

Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Ecology, is a certified aromatherapist, instructor, consultant, and an independent researcher. Her research interests are in sustainability, conservation, chemical communication, aromatic plant medicine, and ethnobotany. She is the Director of the Airmid Institute, which supports aromatherapy training in indigenous communities, projects focused on the conservation and sustainable management of threatened aromatic medicinal oil-bearing plants, and the ethical sourcing of essential and carrier oils.

Kelly has completed and published research on olfactory systems, chemical communication across species, and traditional uses of plant medicine. Her work has taken her all over the world where she has studied the different uses of traditional medicine and discovered firsthand the vital role that chemical communication plays in the natural world. For example, she has recently identified over 60 Peruvian aromatic medicinal plants, started a project on the preservation of the endangered Peruvian rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) tree, her discovery of how small wasps rely on individual chemical signatures to mediate their mating ritual is featured in Canadian Geographic magazine, and how she identified potential toxins in the world’s only toxic and endangered non-human primate, is highlighted by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). She has also reported on the ingenuity of tool use by orangutans and has investigated the link between sociality and olfactory communication in mammals.

She was awarded the British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy 2016 Achievement of Excellence Award and voted one of the top five aromatherapists in Vancouver, BC. Kelly sits on the Board of the United Plant Savers (UpS) and is a Community Scientist for Science World.

www.kellyablard.com

You can support Kelly’s conservation of rosewood in Peru here: https://www.gofundme.com/conservation-amp-education-peru 

Healing Threatened Aromatic Medicinal Plants: Conservation, Sustainability, & Education

Earth is undergoing its sixth extinction, meaning that threatened species – including essential and carrier oil-bearing plants, are being lost at a rapid rate that far outruns the origin of new species. Unfortunately, this extinction is one in which the human race is nearly entirely responsible. Research shows that at least 19 oil-bearing plants are threatened (critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable) of which 37% are facing extinction primarily because of being over-exploited for their essential and carrier oils.

 

In this lecture, we will explore the concept of conservation, sustainability, and biodiversity. We will also review 1) how threatened and trade-protected species are defined, 2) which oil-bearing plants are threatened and/or trade-protected, 3) ways you can help to protect and sustain them, 4) a good model of sustainable farming, 5) the problem with adulterated oils, and 6) guidelines that will help you make responsible decisions when purchasing oils sourced from threatened and/or trade-protected essential and carrier oil-bearing plants.

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