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ACES People

Frostburg State University

Peggy Biser
Dr. Biser is an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at Frostburg State University. Peggy Biser is interested in various aspects of the chemistry of ethnobotanicals. Her current research is centered on populations of Black Cohosh found in western Maryland and Virginia.  Three areas of interest are the measurement of the key triterpene constituents using LC-MS, assessment of anti-oxidant capacity using fluorometry and determining heavy metal content using ICPE.

Dr. Peggy S Biser
301/687-3193
pbiser@frostburg.edu
Chemistry Department
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Sunshine Brosi
Dr. Sunshine Brosi is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Frostburg State University.  She coordinates and teaches courses within the undergraduate Ethnobotany major; one of only two programs in the United States.  Brosi also supervises graduate students in the Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology program.  Brosi works actively with the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies, ACES, on researching the great diversity of plants in the Appalachian region of medicinal or edible value.  Brosi's research emphasis is on preserving ecological and cultural keystone species threatened by exotic forest pests.  Brosi is from Berea, KY and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.  She earned a Master’s of Science in Forestry from The University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from The University of Tennessee.  

Dr. Sunshine L. Brosi
301/687-4213
slbrosi@frostburg.edu
Biology Department
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Dan Fiscus
Dan is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Frostburg State University who teaches and conducts research in forest and ecosystem ecology, environmental sustainability and related areas. His main interests are in holistic, interdisciplinary and multi-scale studies to help understand the causes of, and develop solutions for, the global ecological crisis. He works to help achieve human-environmental sustainability using ecological network analysis and general systems modeling. Dan works with the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ACES) in efforts to document the insect pollinators of black cohosh, to develop tools and methods for ecological network analysis in Appalachian forests, and to promote holistic understanding of the web of ecological relationships for each species of medicinal plant to aid conservation, management, research, harvest and production. Dan got his Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the Appalachian Laboratory and through the University of Maryland. He also has an M.S. in Ecology with a minor in Biomathematics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He grew up in Allegany County, Maryland and Parsons, West Virginia.

Dr. Daniel A Fiscus
301/687-4170
dafiscus@frostburg.edu
Biology Department
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Joseph Hoffman
Dr. Hoffman currently serves as Dean of Frostburg State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and administrates the ACES Project.  He also serves as Professor of Physics and Engineering.  Dr. Hoffman graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Physics andreceived M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado in Astro-Geophysics.  His career in higher education spans more than Thirty three years in both private and public institutions.  His administrative experience includes fourteen years as Chair of FSU’s Physics and Engineering Department, three years as Associate Dean, and eight years as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  He has authored numerous academic publications and presentations and has obtained or participated inover one million dollars of grant-funded activities.  During his tenure with FSU, Dr. Hoffman has overseen the establishment of engineering programs on the FSU campus and coordinating construction of the University’s $33 million Compton Science Center.  Dr. Hoffman is actively involved with local business and economic development initiatives, serving as academic liaison for the Tawes Science and Technology Business Incubator at FSU.  He is active in the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce and completed the Leadership Allegany program in 2003, graduating as valedictorian.  He is also a graduate of the 2006 Leadership Maryland class.

Dr. Joseph Hoffman
301/687-4120
jhoffman@frostburg.edu
Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Robbie Kutchman
Robbie Kutchman is a Graduate Student in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology.  He grew up in Western Maryland and acquired an interest in botany while studying at Allegany College of Maryland. He continued his studies at Hood College in Frederick, MD earning a B.A. in biology. Robbie is currently a graduate assistant teaching plant taxonomy lab for Dr. Sunshine Brosi at Frostburg State University. Prior to this he has taught and assisted in general biology lectures and labs.Robbie’s thesis research work, with Dr. Sunshine Brosi and Dr. James A. Howell includes the cultivation of Actaea racemosa rhizomes under artificial shade cloth.

Robbie Kutchman
301-687-7080
rrkutchman@frostburg.edu
Biology Department


Mimi Hernandez
Mimi is the Coordinator of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studiesat Frostburg State University. A member of the governing council of the American Herbalists Guild, Mimi received her Master of Science in Herbal Medicine from the Tai Sophia Institutewhere her research focused on herbal and nutritional strategies for addressing cardiovascular inflammation and elevated C-reactive protein levels. Mimi holds a special interest in economic development of nature based businesses within the Appalachian area having served as a consultant in many arenas of the herbal industry. An herbal educator, Mimi has designed and directed several herbal curriculum programs from the introductory to the and has lectured around the country.  Her workshops emphasize a balance between traditional reverence and scientific understanding.  She also leads workshops throughout Appalachia that focus on ethnobotanically important roots and flora of the mountains and she teaches Introduction to Ethnobotany at FSU.

Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH (AHG)
Coordinator, Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies
301/687-4120
mhernandez@frostburg.edu
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


David Puthoff
David Puthoff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Frostburg State University. His research interests focus on plant-insect interactions, improvement of agricultural crops through plant genetics and plant defense responses. ACES research focuses on determining the biological role of triterpenes in normal Black cohosh development and identifying the signaling pathways that can be used to stimulate their production. Dr. Puthoff earned a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University in Molecular Genetics and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in Botany (Plant Genetics).

Dr. David Puthoff
301-687-4172
dpputhoff@frostburg.edu
Biology Department
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Linda Steele
Linda Steele serves as Program Specialist for the Office of the Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Her responsibilities include budget oversight and administrative support for the ACES project grants.  Ms. Steele holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Frostburg State University.

Linda A Steele
301/687-4137
lsteele@frostburg.edu
Program Specialist
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Rd
Frostburg, MD 21532


Amanda Vickers
Amanda Vickers is a Graduate Student in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology.  Shegrew up in eastern North Carolina, attended the North Carolina School for Science and Math and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She discovered a love of wild plants through interest in herbal medicine at Tai Sophia Institute. She is currently learning and teaching plant taxonomy and field identification at Frostburg State University under the guidance of Dr. Sunshine Brosi. Amanda's current research with Dr. Brosi and Dr. David Puthoff of Frostburg State, Dr. Jim Howell of Allegany College of Maryland and Dr. Ed Eisenstein at the University of Maryland involves quantification of medicinal compounds in the roots of Actaea racemosa. She also works as the Curator for PostNatural Ethnobotany at the Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, PA.

Amanda Vickers
301-687-7080
amandajunevickers@gmail.com
Biology Department

 


Allegany College of Maryland, Science and Forestry Division
 

Jim Howell
Areas of Expertise: Plant Taxonomy, Plant Ecology, Plant Geography, Field Biology, and General Biology.  Recent and current areas of involvement with ACES research into Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L. Nutt.):

In collaboration with other ACES investigators Jim is collecting and analyzing ecological data relative to a number of black cohosh populations.  These include vegetative assessments of dominant, sapling, and herbaceous communities found at black cohosh sites.  Research has occurred on public lands in western Maryland and surrounding states, including State Parks, State Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas.  Research will assist in determining sustainable harvesting levels by determining species abundance and areas of suitable habitat.  In addition, determining environmental requirements for black cohosh assists in restoration and cultivation efforts.

Dr. Jim Howell
jhowell@allegany.edu
Allegany College of Maryland
Science and Forestry Division
Room S-52, Science Building
Allegany College of Maryland, 21502
 


The University System of Maryland’s Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR)


Ed Eisenstein
After many years of investigating the structures and mechanisms of interaction among proteins and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and control of bacterial metabolites, as well as protein folding by chaperones, the Eisenstein laboratory has shifted its focus to address a number of questions involving plants.  Current research is focused on the remarkable genetic and biochemical capacity of plants to produce a complex array interesting bioactive compounds, the molecular mechanisms whereby plants to respond to pathogens and disease, and also the feasibility of engineering plant biosynthetic machinery for applications ranging from human health to biofuel production.  Eisenstein has considerable experience in higher education administration, serving as Associate Director of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB) from 1996-2000, and Director from 2001-2008, as well as Acting President of UMBI during its reorganization in 2009-2010.  He is currently on the faculty of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, and an investigator at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR). 

Dr. Ed Eisenstein
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR)
University System of Maryland Shady Grove Campus
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland
9600 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 240-314-6244
FAX:   240-314-6255
Email:eisenstein@umd.edu
 


Appalachian Lab


John B. Churchill (J.B.)
J.B. works at the Appalachian Laboratory (UMCES). He is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist who has been working with GIS since 1998, and studying wildlife and the environment since 1991. He specializes in Spatial Analyst raster analysis, Geo-processing, and programming with VB and Python.For the ACES Black Cohosh Project, J.B. processed variables for use in our various statistical models. J.B. tabulated data on proximity to roads, trails, and campgrounds from study locations. He calculated 9 USDA soil data parameters for each location (ph, k-factor (erosion), saturated conductivity, available water capacity, bulk density, organic matter, percent clay, depth to any soil restrictive layer, and representative slope). He calculated several landscape variables as well (aspect, beers aspect, elevation, landform type, land cover class, distance from nearest road, slope, topographic convergence index, topographic position index, and solar radiation index). He also calculated % Hemlock in 100, 200, 300 ,400, and 500 m buffers. He is also making field maps for visiting randomly generated sites to be used in a comparison with our study sites.
 


Tai Sophia Institute


James Snow
James Snow is Director of the Master of Science in Herbal Medicine program at Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, MD, the first and only such degree program in the United States. He has been working in the field of herbal medicine since 1986, completing the herbal residency program at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine in 1991. Mr. Snow is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, practicing as a clinician and/or student clinical supervisor since 1994. Mr. Snow’s expertise is in integrating the traditional understanding of herbs by North American botanico-medical movements of the 19thand early 20thcenturies with modern research perspectives. He lectures throughout North America, has served as a reviewer for the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and is a contributing author to the soon to be published Gastrointestinal Nutrition Desk Reference and The American Dietetic Association’s Pocket Guide to Gastrointestinal Nutrition.  James is coordinating the ACES Appalachian Plant Monographs Project. 

James Snow, RH (AHG)
Director, Master of Science in Herbal Medicine Program
410-888-9048 ext. 6675
jsnow@tai.edu
Tai Sophia Institute
Laurel, MD 20723


Andrew Pengelly
Dr. Pengelly is a key member of the Herbal Medicine Department of Tai Sophia Institute (Maryland) where he serves in the teaching faculty, director of the herb dispensary and as lead research officer. He completed professional training programs in botanical medicine, naturopathy, and homoeopathy in 1983 at the Southern Cross Herbal School (Australia), and obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of New England in 1997 - majoring in plant biology. In 2002, he initiated a research project into the ethnopharmacology of Australian indigenous plants, completing a doctoral thesis on the topic in 2008. This five year project involved extensive field collecting and monitoring, chemical analysis using HPLC-diode array systems, tissue culturing with human fibroblasts and antioxidant assays with microplate reader.

In 2009 Dr Pengelly was appointed lead investigator for a randomized double-blind clinical trial conducted at Tai Sophia Institute, in which an elderly group of subjects were tested for changes in cognitive responses to an herbal intervention by applying a battery of computerized tests. The results of the study are expected to be published shortly. Dr. Pengelly is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and a fellow and full life member of the National Herbalists Association of Australia.  Dr. Pengelly is a contributing author for the ACES Appalachian Plants Monographs Project. 

Dr. Andrew Pengelly, Ph.D., RH (AHG), FNHAA
apengelly@tai.edu
410-888-9048 x6625


Simon Mills
Simon Mills was the founder of Tai Sophia Institute’s Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine program, served as the program’s first Director from 2000 to 2006 and continues to contribute as a faculty member. Mr. Mills graduated in medical sciences from Cambridge University in England, completed the 4-year professional training program at the 145-year-old National Institute of Medical Herbalists, and has practiced as a medical herbalist since 1977. In 1987, he co-founded the Centre for Complementary Health Studies at the University of Exeter the first such university centre in the world, and pioneered the establishment of clear professional and academic standards in the practice of complementary health care. He was Special Advisor to the seminal report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the British House of Lords in 2000. Mr. Mills’ mission has been to mobilize resilience and self care beyond medical practice. He has recently led a major self care project on behalf of the UK government and spearheads a broad new professional orientation to self care in that country. He has published widely in the scientific literature, including controlled clinical trials and other primary research, and lectures around the world. He has written many books, including two standard texts with Kerry Bone: The Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy (2000) and The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety (2005).  Simon has contributed to many ACES events. 

Simon Mills, M.A., FNIMH, MCPP
simon.mills@sustaincare.net


James A. Duke
As an economic botanist with a Ph.D. in botany from the University of North Carolina, Jim Duke had a 32-year career with the United States Department of Agriculture. Today, in his Green Farmacy Garden, he serves as distinguished lecturer in the Master of Science in Herbal Medicine program. He continues to compile data on medicinal plants and to update several of his 30 published books. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Duke leads ethnobotanical trips with Tai Sophia Institute to ecologically rich areas of the world. Dr. Duke is a Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), where he was elected distinguished alumnus some 50 years after his degree was conferred.  Dr. Duke is also a folk musician who has provided ample entertainment through his songs about Appalachian plants at ACES events.


Peggy Duke
Peggy K. Duke is a contributing illustrator of Appalachian plants for ACES.  She is a professional botanical illustrator with many scientific and popular publications, including the Flora of the Carolinas, The Herbaceous Flora of Maryland  and The Green Pharmacy. She has an MA degree in Botany from UNC, Chapel Hill. Peggy hand colors prints of her original pen & ink drawings in the traditional fashion. Duke has been studying watercolor painting for many years and oriental brush painting for some twenty years. She has participated in many local and national shows with a number of awards to her credit. She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, The Botanical Art Society of the National Capitol Region,Society of Woman Geographers, Potomac Valley Water Colorists, the Laurel Art Guild, the Sumi-e Society of America, and was the National Capitol Area Chapter President for several years. She resides in Fulton, MD with her husband James - a botanist and author.
 


West Virginia University


David W. McGill, PhD
Dave is a Forest Resources Associate Professor & Extension Specialist for West Virginia University. Dave’s interests are in Invasive Species Control in Upland Forest Ecosystems, Nontimber Forest Products, Forest Regeneration, and Woodland Owner Education.  For ACES, Dave facilitated sponsorship of the Mountain Herbalists Series in West Virginia by the Society of American Foresters and assisted in the coordination of the series which was presented to over 600 local participants throughout West Virginia. 

Dr. Dave McGill
(304) 293-5930
dmcgill@wvu.edu
West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources
PO Box 6125
Morgantown, WV, 26506