Mark Plotkin

Dr. Mark Plotkin is a renowned ethnobotanist and social entrepreneur who has spent almost three decades studying traditional plant use with elder Shamans (traditional healers) of tropical America. As an ethnobotanist-a scientist who studies how, and why, societies have come to use plants for different purposes-Dr. Plotkin carried out the majority of his research with the Trio Indians of southern Suriname, a small rainforest country in northeastern South America, but has also worked with eminent shamans in other tropical American countries. Dr. Plotkin has served as Research Associate in Ethnobotanical Conservation at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University; Director of Plant Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund; Vice President of Conservation International; and Research Associate at the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Plotkin is now President of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), a nonprofit organization he co-founded with his fellow conservationist, Liliana Madrigal in 1996.. Dr. Plotkin has written several influential books, most notably his popular work Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, which is currently in its thirtieth printing and has also been published in Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Acclaimed filmmaker Miranda Smith produced a related documentary titled the The Shaman's Apprentice featuring Dr. Plotkin's work, which has since garnered awards at sixteen different film festivals. He also wrote the critically acclaimed children's book The Shaman's Apprentice - A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest (1998), illustrated by Lynne Cherry. The author of numerous scientific papers and reports, Dr. Plotkin's critically acclaimed book, Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets, was published in early 2000. His most recent book (coauthored with Michael Shnayerson), The Killers Within: The Deadly Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria was published by Little, Brown in September of 2002. It was selected as a Discover Magazine book of the year.