- Jardin botanique
At last night’s annual Acfas 2023 awards gala, Alain Cuerrier, botanist at the Jardin botanique, research member at the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV) and adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Université de Montréal, was presented with the prestigious 2023 Acfas Jacques-Rousseau award. Since 1981, this distinction has recognized the excellence and influence of the work of a researcher who has developed innovative bridges between scientific disciplines beyond their field of specialization.
Alain Cuerrier’s research focuses on ethnobotany, i.e. the relationship between the plant world and human beings. He is interested in local and traditional knowledge connected with nature. He has established working relationships with the Inuit, Cree, Innu and Naskapi in Quebec, the Squamish in British Columbia and the Palikur in French Guiana. Some of his students work in French Guiana and Costa Rica.
In addition to his research in ethnobotany, Dr. Cuerrier also conducts studies into the perception of nature and climate change by Canada’s Indigenous peoples. He has a special interest in traditional Indigenous medicine, especially the use of Arctic and boreal forest plants and, more recently, plants from some tropical countries. He is a member of the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) Aboriginal Antidiabetic Medicines research team and serves as treasurer of the International Society of Ethnobiology.
Alain Cuerrier has published over 60 papers and more than 12 books as part of his research work. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Ethnobiology and of Ethnobotany Research and Applications.
Alain Cuerrier’s career is nothing short of remarkable. He won the Jacques-Rousseau award, named in honour of an eminent botanist, ethnologist and explorer who was the first director of the Jardin botanique after Brother Marie-Victorin.
Founded in 1923, Acfas is a non-profit organization that contributes to the transmission of knowledge in French and promotes the advancement of the research community in Québec, in the Canadian Francophonie and in the international French-speaking world.