Emory faculty are engaged in a variety of exciting botanical research projects both locally and around the world! Herbarium specimens from these projects are deposited at GEO. Here, we highlight some of their work:

Ecology and Evolution of Host-Parasite Interactions

Research in the De Roode lab focuses on the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. As part of one project, the lab investigates the effects of milkweed chemicals on the interaction between monarch butterflies and their prorozoan parasites. Milkweeds with high levels of cardenolides (secondary steroids) reduce parasite infection and virulence, and monarchs can use such anti-parasitic milkweed as a form of medication.


Medical Ethnobotany and Anti-infective Drug Discovery

Research in the Quave lab focuses on medical ethnobotany in the Mediterranean, which is complemented by laboratory analysis of herbal remedies. A special focus is placed on medicinal plants used in traditional medical practices for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections. Natural products derived from these plants are studied for their antimicrobial activity, specifically their ability to block bacterial communication systems. A series of photos are available from recent field studies in southern Italy, Sicily, Albania and Kosovo.

 Ethnobotany and Conservation of American Starvine Forest

The urban Atlanta campus of Emory University is nestled in one of the best surviving patches of the Great Piedmont Forest that once stretched in a graceful arc from New York to Alabama. The rare, yet elegant, American Starvine (Schisandra glabra) has become a living symbol of our commitment to protect this forest heritage.

Our collaboration with phytochemists, medical professionals, ecologists, and holders of Traditional Ecological Knowledge of the rural Southeast (Native American, African American, and European American communities) helps us to better understand the relationship of the American Starvine Forest to emerging challenges to social and ecological sustainability, including climate change, urban development and human health.

More Research Summaries Coming Soon!