The New York Botanical Garden


Ina Vandebroek

Matthew Calbraith Perry Assistant Curator of Economic Botany and Caribbean Program Director, Institute of Economic Botany

Ph.D., Ghent University
Expertise: Ethnobotany, Caribbean Floristics, Cultural Heritage, Migrant Studies, Conservation Biology


Dr. Ina Vandebroek's research is at the intersection of floristics, ethnobotany and community health. She has fifteen years of experience in research and international cooperation projects in Bolivia, the Caribbean and New York City. Currently she conducts fieldwork in rural Jamaica. Ina studies plant diversity and the dynamics of medicinal plant knowledge and use for primary healthcare by local communities in remote rural areas, as well as by Caribbean immigrants in New York City. Her research shows that, even in times of general loss of biological and cultural diversity worldwide, the use of wild plants remains popular in many communities today. Her work with immigrants from the Dominican Republic in New York City has important implications for healthcare delivery to an underserved community. Ina uses the results of her research to develop training activities with healthcare providers in New York City to help establish a better dialogue and trusted relationship between providers and their Caribbean patients, and promote culturally sensitive healthcare for underserved communities.

Selected Publications

Sander, Logan & Ina Vandebroek (In Press) Small-scale farmers as stewards of useful plant diversity: A case study in Portland parish, Jamaica. Economic Botany.

Vandebroek, Ina (2016) Cultural comparisons in ethnobiological research. In: Introduction to Ethnobiology (Eds. U.P. Albuquerque and R.R. Nóbrega Alves). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 265-271. View PDF

Vandebroek, Ina & Dan Moerman (2015) The anthropology of ethnopharmacology. In: Ethnopharmacology (Eds. M. heinrich and A.K. Jaeger). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell., pp. 17-28. View PDF

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