John Tuxill

John Tuxill

Biography

John Tuxill, Associate Professor, Farhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies: An ethnobotanist by training, my academic interests center on understanding how people value, utilize and manage plants and the natural world.  I am particularly interested in how ethnobotanical and ethnoecological knowledge can help contribute to ecological restoration, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable natural resource management.  My field research (ongoing since 2001) has centered on the management of agricultural biodiversity by contemporary Yucatec Maya farmers in central Yucatan state, Mexico.  My goal is to understand how environmental variables influence Mayan farmers’ decision-making about the diversity of crop varieties they choose to grow in household agricultural systems.  What leads farmers to maintain and conserve traditional crop varieties under some circumstances, but not others?  How do traditional patterns of agriculture and management of plant resources influence diversity at the community and landscape level, where farming and natural habitats occupy a contiguous landscape?  I also have incipient research interests in traditional agricultural landscapes of the Central Andes (Peru, Ecuador) and southwest China.  In addition to my research interests, I have taught undergraduate field courses (ethnobotany, agroecology and environmental studies) in Yucatan, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and most recently Cuba.