Expedition Has – June 2022
Support us this summer on expedition in the rugged mountains of the Balkans! The Quave Research Group and Emory University Herbarium is joining forces with an expert team of eight research partners from Kosovo, Italy, Spain, the UK, and USA to undertake a research mission to study medicinal plants from the high montane Has region across the Albanian and Kosovar border! We need to raise $10,000 to make this expedition possible.
This region is the rock garden of Europe—there’s a lot of mountain. Local people collect wild plants from the mountains for use as food and medicine throughout the year. Like billions of people across the globe, here, plants serve as the main source of medicine. Wild plants are also collected as part of an expansive trade network, and are sold down the mountains eventually ending up as ingredients in dietary supplements and personal care products in Europe, the US, and beyond.
Our mission is two-fold. First, we plan to document and collect samples of plants being used by local people as medicine so that they can be studied in the lab to determine their safety and efficacy. This approach can also lead to the discovery of bioactive molecules from plants that may be developed into new life-saving therapies! Second, we plan to investigate the trade of wild medicinal plants to determine if endangered and toxic species are being sold.
Benefits to Local Stakeholders
We anticipate the following benefits to local stakeholders: 1) Graduate students from the Balkans will gain intensive research training experience in line with our research capacity building mission in the region; 2) Knowledge gained from the project will be returned to local communities in an accessible format of their choice; and 3) Our research findings will be used to make recommendations on the wild harvest of medicinal plants in the region, fostering sustainable pathways for economic development.
Your gift to the Cassandra Quave, PhD Research; Center for the Study of Human Health fund, no matter the donation level, helps make all aspects of this expedition possible! We’ll keep donors apprised of our progress through regular videos, photos, and short blog posts on our research progress.