Office: H-407
Phone: (657) 278-3361
E-Mail: rvoeks@fullerton.edu

Robert Voeks



PhD Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 1987
MSc Geography, Portland State University, 1981
BSc Geography, Portland State University, 1975

Research Interests

Ethnobotany, Biogeography, Medicinal Plants, Africa and the Diaspora, Brazil, Borneo, Mozambique.

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses
GEOG 120: Global Environmental Problems (once per semester)
GEOG 333: Latin America (once per year)
GEOG 325: Natural Vegetation (once per year)
GEOG 355: Global Cuisines (once per year)
GEOG 425: Tropical Rainforests (two year cycle)
GEOG 452: Ecotourism (two year cycle)

Graduate Courses
ENST 590T: Cultural Ecology Seminar (two year cycle)


Voeks, R. 2018. The Ethnobotany of Eden: Rethinking the Jungle Medicine Narrative . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Voeks, R. A. and J. Rashford (eds). 2013. African Ethnobotany in the Americas . New York: Springer. (Reviewed in: Ethnobiology Letters, 2013, vol. 4: 107-109; AAG Review of Books, 2014, Vol. 1: 165-167).

Voeks, R. A. 1997.  Sacred Leaves of Candomblé: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil . Austin: University of Texas Press.  

Articles/Book Chapters

Santana, B., Voeks, R. and Funch, L. 2022. Quilombola Ethnomedicine: The Role of Age, Gender, and Culture ChangePDF File . Acta Botanica Brasilica . 36: e2020abb0500.

Aparicio, J., Voeks, R., and Funch, L. 2021. Are Mixtec Forgetting their Plants? Intracultural Variation of Ethnobotanical Knowledge in Oaxaca, Mexico.PDF File Economic Botany . In Press.

Maldonado, G. and Voeks, R. 2021. The Paradox of Culturally Useful Invasive Species: Southern Cattail (Typha domingensis) Crafts of Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico.PDF File Journal of Latin American Geography 20: 148-174.

Suto, A. and Voeks, R. 2021. Uprooted: Gardening and Landscaping in the Japanese-American InternmentPDF File . The California Geographer 60: 73-94.

Joseph, E. and Voeks, R. 2021. Indian Diaspora Gastronomy: On the Changing Use of Herbs and Spices among Southern California’s Indian Immigrant Women. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems . 5: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fsufs.2021.610081 

Aparicio, J. C., Voeks, R. and Funch, L. 2021. Mixtec Taxonomy: Plant Classification, Nomenclature, and Identification in Oaxaca, Mexico. Ethnobotany Research and Applications 21: 1-13. http://ethnobotanyjournal.org/index.php/era/article/view/2605 

Senkoro, A.M., Talhinhas, P., Simões, F., Batista-Santos, P., Shackleton, C.M., Voeks, R.A., Marques, I. and Ribeiro-Barros, A.I., 2020. The Genetic Legacy of Fragmentation and Overexploitation in the Threatened Medicinal African Pepper-bark tree, Warburgia salutaris. Scientific Reports , 10(1): 1-13. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-76654-6

Senkoro, A., Shackleton, C., Voeks, R., and Ribeiro, A. 2019. Uses, knowledge and management of the threatened pepper-bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) in Southern MozambiquePDF File . Economic Botany 73 (3).

Vandebroek, I. and R. Voeks. 2019. The gradual loss of African indigenous vegetables in tropical America: A reviewPDF File . Economic Botany 72 (4).

Voeks, R. and Greene, C. 2018. God's healing leaves: The colonial quest for medicinal plants in the Torrid Zone. PDF File Geographical Review.

Farias, B., Voeks, R, and L. Funch. 2016. Ethnomedicinal survey of a maroon community in Brazil’s Atlantic tropical forest. Journal of Ethnopharmacology . 181: 37-49.

Voeks, R. A. 2016. Diaspora ethnobiology. In: Introduction to Ethnobiology . U. Albuquerque and R. Alves (eds), Springer, pp. 39-45.

Watkins, C. and R. Voeks. 2015. A mata transatlântica: Afrodescendentes e transformação socio-ambiental no litoral baiano, 1500-1888. In: Diogo Cabral e Ana Bustamante (eds). Metamorphoses Florestais: Culturas, Ecologias, e as Transformações Históricas da Mata Atlântica Brasileira . Pp. 150-174.

Santos, L., Nascimento, A., Vieira, F., da Silva, A., Voeks, R., and U. Albuquerque. 2014. The cultural value of invasive species: A case study from semi-arid northeastern Brazil. Economic Botany 68 (3): 283-300. (pdf)  

Vu, V. and Voeks, R. 2013. Fish sauce to French fries: Changing foodways of the Vietnamese diaspora in Orange County, California. The California Geographer . 52: 35-54. 

Voeks, R. A. 2012. Spiritual Flora of Brazil’s African Diaspora: Ethnobotanical Conversations in the Black Atlantic. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture .  6 (4): 499-520.

Stanley, D., Voeks, R. and Short, L. 2012. Is Non-Timber Forest Product Harvest Sustainable in the Less Developed World? A Systematic Review of the Recent Economic and Ecological Literature. Ethnobiology and Conservation . 1 (1): 

Alves, R., Rosa, I., Neto, N. and Voeks, R. 2012. Animals for the Gods: Magical and Religious Faunal Use and Trade in Brazil. Human Ecology. 40 (5): 751-780.

Voeks, R., Short, L, and Gregorio, A. 2012. Whither the Journal Economic Botany: Trends and Transitions, 1947-2010. In: B. Ponman and R. Bussmann (eds), Medicinal Plants and the Legacy of Richard E. Schultes. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press, pp. 119-129.

Neto, N., Voeks, R., Dias, T. and Alves, R. 2012. Mollusks of Candomblé: Symbolic and Ritualistic ImportancePDF File Opens in new window . Journal of Ethnobiology & Ethnomedicine  8:10

Voeks, R. A. 2011. Ethnobotany. Chapter 26. In: The Sage Handbook of Biogeography . A. Millington, M. Blumler, G. MacDonald, and U. Schickhoff (eds). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 493-509.  

Voeks, R. A. 2010. Ecotourism and Ethnobotanical Erosion: A Possible Rescue Effect in Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina?  In: Albuquerque, U.P. and Hanazaki,N. (eds). Recent Developments and Case Studies in Ethnobotany , Recife: NPPEEA, pp. 228-245.

Voeks, R. A. 2009. Traditions in Transition: African Diaspora Ethnobotany in Lowland South America. In: M. Alexiades (ed), Mobility and Migration in Indigenous Amazonia: Contemporary Ethnoecological Perspectives . London: Berghahn, pp. 275-294.

Pfeiffer, J. and Voeks, R. 2008. Biological Invasions and Biocultural Diversity: Linking Ecological and Cultural Systems. Environmental Conservation 35 (4): 281-293.

Voeks, R. A. 2007. Are Women Reservoirs of Traditional Plant Knowledge? Gender, Ethnobotany and Globalization in Northeastern Brazil. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 28 (1): 7-20.

Voeks, R. A. and Nyawa, S. 2006. Dusun ethnobotany: Forest knowledge and nomenclature in northern Borneo. Journal of Cultural Geography 23 (2): 1-31.   

Voeks, R. A. 2004. Disturbance Pharmacopoeias: Medicine and Myth from the Humid Tropics. Annals, Association of American Geographers . 94 (4): 868-888.

Voeks, R. A. and Leony, A. 2004. Forgetting the Forest: Assessing Medicinal Plant Erosion in Eastern Brazil. Economic Botany 58 (supplement): 294-306. 

Carney, J. and Voeks, R. 2003. Landscape legacies of the African diaspora in Brazil. Progress in Human Geography 27: 139-152.  

Voeks, R. A. 2002. Reproductive ecology of the piassava palm ( Attalea funifera Mart.) of Bahia, Brazil. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18 (1): 121-136.  

Voeks, R. A. 1996. Tropical Forest Healers and Habitat Preference. Economic Botany 50 (3): 354-373.

Recent Masters Theses/Projects:

Alexis Stavropoulos. Local Food Production, Farmers’ Markets, and Homegardens in Irvine, California, 2012.

Dysis Holness, The Use of Plants as Home Remedies Among Hispanics in Southern California, 2011

Anya White. The Social Impacts of Ecotourism in the Developing World: An Analysis, 2011.

Aline Gregorio. The Grey Areas of Green: Insights into Life and Conservation in Vila Picinguabga, Serra do Mar State Park, Brazil. 2010.

Vienne Vu. The Changing Foodways of Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, California. 2009

Jamie Stahl. The Effects of Ecotourism on Habitat Conservation in Belize. 2008

Kimberly Cover. A Complex History of the Impending Peyote (Lohohora williamsii) Crisis in South Texas. 2008.


Editor-in-Chief, Economic Botany, 2008-
President, California Geographic Society, 2009-2011
Co-Editor, Ethnobiology Book Series, Springer, 2012-
Editorial Board—Ethnobiology and Conservation, 2012-
Editorial Board—International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 2006-

fall 2022 Office Hours

Coming soon.