Projects I am a part of help to make sure my research is useful to those I work with, as well as contribute to other conservation efforts throughout the Pacific. 


 Rosi Batibasaga giving a lecture using Vula Vakaviti

Rosi Batibasaga giving a lecture using Vula Vakaviti

Vula Vakaviti: A traditional Fijian calendar coloring book

A product of previous field research led by Dr. Tamara Ticktin and those involved in an NSF Coastal SEES grant, Vula Vakaviti was created in response to community concerns about the challenges of passing on local knowledge important for recognizing significant changes in weather and seasonality, and how to prepare and recover from natural disasters. I was privileged to be able to distribute these books during my fieldwork to schools that service the villages where we carryout our research, and am currently working with members at the University of the South Pacific to develop a follow up book to address methods of food preparation and their nutritional importance. 


 Home on Tanna Island

Home on Tanna Island

Plants and People of Vanuatu

Led by Drs. Greg Plunkett and Michael Balick, and in collaboration with the government of Vanuatu, the Plants and People of Vanuatu project aims to help conserve plants, plant knowledge, and improve human health though transdisciplinary research methods. A large team composed of linguists, cultural practitioners, mycologists, ethnobotanists, community members, taxonomists, and students help to make this work possible. My work on this project is to record women's knowledge about plants used in women's health, which is often an undocumented, yet critical, resource important in primary health care and cultural resilience. 


 Jaina, or bananas, at the Suva Market. Photo Credit: Giulia Anderson

Jaina, or bananas, at the Suva Market. Photo Credit: Giulia Anderson

Fijian plant Loan words and Word Borrowings

Language is constantly evolving. Understanding how words are adopted and/or modified according to describe introduced plants can sometimes help reveal where the plant came from, its use or importance to the culture, or even give insight into worldviews. I work with Dr. Albert Sch├╝tz in the Linguistics Department at UHM in this work and am specifically interested in analyzing plants introduced to Fiji post-European contact and the names they have been given by people in Fiji. This work has helped me identify plants that were once more heavily used as food plants in Fiji, but today are largely forgotten, that could be reintroduced as viable sources of nutrition.