Verena Kulak

Rural Studies PhD

What role do understandings about nature play in conservation research and practice? Is there a level of spiritual engagement in considerations of technological solutions to environmental protection?

These are some of the questions that brought Verena to the Brunet lab. Her interest results from backgrounds in Paleo-ecology, Human Health and Art History, which allow a multi-lens exploration of the nexus between humans and nature. Further, this unconventional academic background has served Verena well in attempting to understand the many aspects behind biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene.

Verena’s doctorate project seeks to understand the interrelations between conservation technology, cultural values and medicinal plant restoration in Southern Ontario. A major guiding question relates to the perception and implementation of plant technology such as tissue culture and cryopreservation as strategies for ecosystem restoration while promoting cultural values including the traditional use of medicinal plants.