Beyond Aromatics

Preserving medicinal and aromatic plants: an Indigenous perspective

Preserving medicinal and aromatic plants: an Indigenous perspective

Kelly Ablard RA® EOT®, MIFPA, PhD holds a Doctorate in Biology, an MSc in Conservation, a BSc in Biology (cum laude), and is a certified aromatherapist. As founder and CEO of Airmid Institute, she is dedicated to the global education, research, and conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). As a community scientist for Science World, founder of the Vancouver Community College Urban Apothecary Learning Garden, and Co-Principal of Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies, she is enthusiastic about teaching botany, ethnobotany, conservation aromatherapy™, and the relationship between MAPs and the animal kingdom.

Kelly has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the fields of conservation and sustainability, genetics, chemical ecology, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology and ethnobotany. Her work has taken her all over the globe including Peru, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, and Bahía de los Ángeles where she has studied the different uses of traditional medicine, worked to help protect threatened species, and discovered firsthand the vital role that chemical communication plays in the natural world.

Currently Kelly, alongside Shipibo communities, is conducting research on Endangered rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) in central Peru and is working with the Quechua on Minthostachys spp. ecology and accurate species identification in southern Peru. She is also working on the development of education programs in support of the sustainable and legal trade of white sage (Salvia apiana).


Adler Pacaya Paredes is a Shipibo-Konibo native who resides in central Peru. Adler has dedicated much of his life to forest regeneration, permaculture, sustainable management of Amazonian plant species, and protection of threatened native Peruvian plants. He has received numerous scholarships, and degrees in agriculture and permaculture. Professionally, he has joined forces with the Agricultural Technical College, the Inca Garcilaso de la Selva, the Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon, the National Institute of Agricultural Research, the National Intercultural University of the Amazon, the NGO Rainforest Ecovercity Center, and the University of Gaia (Ecuador) on projects whereby his primary roles were focused on project management, sustainable development, agricultural engineering, and education. Adler is an Airmid Institute Director and is Peruvian lead on Airmid Institute’s Toucan Project. When Adler isn’t deep in the Amazon working to protect plant species, he is at home with his amazing family, including a beautiful newborn daughter named Michelle.

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