Ethnobotanist and Ecologist to Speak at SWOSU on September 19

Dr. Kelly Kindscher 

Ethnobotanist and ecologist Dr. Kelly Kindscher will speak on “Wild Tomatillos as Food and Medicine” this Wednesday, September 19, as part of the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Fall 2012 Biology Seminar Series on the Weatherford campus.

The public is invited to Kindscher’s talk in Room 212 of the Old Science Building. Admission is free.

Kindscher, who teaches at the University of Kansas, said plants can be potent medicine. From traditional teas to modern pharmaceutical agents, Kindscher has made a career of investigating medicinal plants and their uses.  He will share new findings about wild tomatillos during his talk at SWOSU. 

Kindscher’s knowledge of the traditional ethnobotany of tomatillos led to a thorough investigation of the chemistry of the plants by the Native Medicinal Plants Program. Thirteen new secondary compounds have been discovered, some of which have potent anti-cancer activity.  Kindscher will share these new findings and other highlights from a career combining biological science with environmental conservation and cultural awareness. He is the author of Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie and Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie.

He will be in Weatherford to collaborate with Dr. Lisa Castle, assistant professor in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences. The two have teamed up with the United Plant Savers, a conservation non-profit organization, to rank wild-collected medicinal plants based on their vulnerability to being over-harvested.  While at SWOSU, Kindscher will also meet with students to discuss opportunities in environmental careers over a casual lunch on Wednesday.  Interested students should contact Lisa Castle at or 580.774.3097 for details.