Alex Greene

Ethnobotanist/ Ecologist/National Geographic Explorer

Alex Greene is an Ethnobotanist and Ecologist, with research experience in field botany and ornithology in the USA, Vietnam, Thailand and Nepal. He graduated with a First Class Msc in Ethnobotany from Kent in 2018, winning the Annual Prize for Best Ethnobotany student, and is now a NatGeo Early Explorer, studying Karen ethnoveterinary medicine in Thailand. He has also recently received a Firebird Foundation grant to document the endangered jhoda oral literature of the Dhami people of Malikarjun, in far western Nepal, where he conducted his MSc research, Linking belief to conservation in sacred forests of far western Nepal.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Ethnobotany

Medicinal plant knowledge and elephant self-medication, Thailand  2018

This ongoing study investigates the possibility that some plants used in human herbal medicine originated as plants used by elephants for self-medication, then were employed by mahouts for ethnoveterinary medicine and finally were used in human medicine.

Linking belief to conservation in sacred forests of far western Nepal  2018

A study on the role sacred forests and community forests play in the preservation of biodiversity and biocultural diversity within the Kailash Sacred Landscape. Anthropological and ethnobotanical techniques were employed.

Traditional plant knowledge of the Raglay in Nui Chua National Park, Vietnam  2010

This survey of ethnobotanical knowledge investigated the plants used traditionally by the Raglay people, an Austronesian minority group living in a national park buffer zone.

Ornithology

Tricolored Blackbird Breeding Colony Survey, California, USA  2017

This study surveyed all active breeding colonies of the endangered Tricolored Blackbird in Solano County using a team of paid field technicians. Data was used to ground-truth an audio survey device deployed at one colony.

Centennial Park Bird Monitoring Program, California, USA  2015-2016

An avian survey of three riparian corridors using a team of hired technicians to collect baseline data on the avian community utilizing these streams just prior to riparian restoration. The study will be repeated 5 years after the riparian restoration is complete to determine how stream restoration affects birds.

Napa Creek Bird Monitoring Program, California, USA  2015-2016

This one-year study trained teenage citizen scientists to conduct an avian survey using a point count protocol. One urban riparian corridor was monitored to determine its importance to the avian community across different seasons.

 

EDUCATION

M.Sc.  Ethnobotany, University of Kent, U.K. (First Class)  2018

Dissertation: “God’s own country: Linking faith to conservation in sacred and community forests of far western Nepal” (Distinction)

 B.A.    Religious Studies, University of Puget Sound, U.S.A.  2011

Study Abroad: University of Cần Thơ, Việt Nam, 2010

Mekong Delta Ecology and Community-Based Natural Resource Management

 

RECENT RESEARCH/EMPLOYMENT

National Geographic Explorer   2018-current

Independent Researcher, northern Thailand

Grant-funded research into elephant self-medication, ethnoveterinary medical practices and human herbal traditions. In partnership with Chiang Mai University and the Thai Elephant Conservation Center.

Environmental Education Coordinator   2014-2017

Napa-Solano Audubon Society, Napa, California

Delivering educational programs, developing curriculum and leading field trips, designing and running avian studies, coordinating volunteers and events, grant writing and fundraising, building partnerships and developing printed materials.

Program Leader   2017

Rustic Pathways, Thailand and Laos

Leading teenagers on immersive service learning trips in Southeast Asia. Conducting group discussions and ensuring student health, safety and satisfaction in conditions ranging from crowded urban markets to remote mountain villages.

Botany Field Technician   2016

University of Idaho, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada

Collecting botanical data on recently burned sagebrush steppe, biomass preparation, data entry and proofing, GPS navigation.

Avian Field Technician   2014; 2015

Colorado State University, Colorado

Conducting breeding bird point count surveys for a study on how spruce beetle outbreaks affect avian diversity.

Breeding Bird Survey Technician   2013; 2014; 2015

Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Arizona and Colorado

Conducting point count surveys of breeding birds, collecting botanical data, GPS navigation and data entry.

 

PRINTED MATERIAL

California Birds in a Changing Climate: 170 Species At Risk  2016

Napa-Solano Audubon Society, California

A 50-page booklet of science communication interpreting a study by National Audubon Society on the effects of climate change on avian populations. 2,000 printed; freely distributed to classrooms and at community events.

12 Interpretive Signs  2017

Napa County Regional Park & Open Space District, California

Text for interpretive signs about local bird and mammal species. Installed at Wetland’s Edge Park, American Canyon, California

15 Interpretive Signs  2015

Napa County Regional Park & Open Space District, California

Text for interpretive signs about local bird species. Installed at Moore Creek Park, Lake Hennessey, California