The Schultes Center begins its work in the Amazon with a great board of advisors and a strong and experienced startup team. The stellar group of people who you’ll meet below have agreed to offer their individual skills and perspectives to guide us through the creation of a world class ethnobotany and phytochemistry research center. From here, and with the help of our advisory board, we will build collaborative relationships with institutions and experts in Peru and around the world. Ethnobotany is more than science, it’s also about people, and we’re pleased to introduce our initial team, which we expect to grow as the Schultes Center does. Welcome All!
Michael J. Maki, native to Aberdeen, Washington, USA, has been involved in the ecological agriculture and forestry movements since the mid 1970's. He is a founding Board member of the Tilth Association, the Pacific Northwest's sustainable ag organization and assisted in publication of its quarterly journals, is co-author of it's resource compendium The Future Is Abundant, and covered organic and renewable energy as correspondent for the Capital Press. Mr. Maki was involved as a pioneer in organic crop certification, small farm support at both the local (e.g. local coordinator USDA Cooperative Extension Service Limited Resource Farming Program) and regional level (organizing conferences, workshops, and curriculum development). Issues related to agroforestry-type system development have long been of personal and professional interest, including renewable energy and forest management policy. Maki has been associated with The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA for over 30 years, serving as manager of the TESC Organic Experimental Farm, as adjunct faculty, and in early development of an ecological forestry program there.
He is developing on the Olympic Peninsula an agroforestry and permaculture teaching and demonstration center, and plans on retiring in Peru with his legacy project, the Schultes Center for Amazonian Ethnobotanical Research.
Co-Founder & President
Dennis McKenna's research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon.
His doctoral research (University of British Columbia,1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna.
From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs as an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In the spring of 2019, in collaboration with colleagues in Canada and the U..S, he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C.
Advisory Board & Chief Science Officer
Dennis McKenna, Ph. D.
Wade Davis is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose work has taken him from the Amazon to Tibet, Africa to Australia, Polynesia to the Arctic. Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013, he is currently Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Author of 22 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top nonfiction prize in the English language, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the NGS. Davis, one of 20 Honorary Members of the Explorers Club, is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University, the 2017 Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award, the 2017 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, and the 2018 Mungo Park Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.
Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi: habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen the understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep taken on this path of life. His presentations cover a range of mushroom species and research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet. His central premise is that habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two. Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement.
Paul’s philosophy is that “MycoDiversity is BioSecurity.” He sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. A dedicated hiker and explorer, his passion is to preserve and protect as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from these pristine woodlands. His research is considered breakthrough by thought leaders for creating a paradigm shift for helping ecosystems worldwide.
Paul is the author of six books (including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World), he has discovered and named numerous new species of psilocybin mushrooms, and is the founder and owner of Fungi Perfecti, LLC.
Advisory Board & Mycologist
Paul Stamets, Ph. D.
Luis Eduardo Luna was born in Florencia, Colombia, in 1947. He has conducted ethnological research among the indigenous and mestizo population of the Peruvian, Colombian and Brazilian Amazon since 1980. His main goal has been the study of shamanism and its continuity from pre-Columbian times to our days. He has a B.A. from Madrid University (1972), an interdisciplinary Master from Oslo University (1980), and a Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Religion Stockholm University (1989). He received a Fellowship of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, appointed for a study of the ethnobotany and ethnomedicine of the Colombian and Peruvian Amazon (1986), and the title Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, from St. Lawrence, Canton, New York (2002), He was an associate of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University and the Institute if Economic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden (1987), and was elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London (1989).
Luis Eduardo Luna is the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon (1986), also published in Czech, a co-author with Pablo Amaringo of Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman (1991) and co-author with Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicsz and Ede Frecska of Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual technologies (2008).
Luis Eduardo Luna, Ph. D.
Michael A. Coe’s doctoral research focused on the cultural importance of ayahuasca and other medicinal plants employed by Shipibo-Konibo for ethnomedicine. Michael’s interdisciplinary research has also been focused on using ethnoecological approaches to help to determine the sustainable harvest limit of ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi Spruce ex. Griseb.) in localized regions of the Peruvian Amazon. Michael has a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and was a recipient of the Richard Evans Schultes Research Award from the Society of Economic Botany in 2016.
Michael A. Coe, Ph.D
Dr. Leanna Standish is a neuroscientist and physician living and working in Seattle WA. She holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Radiology Department as well as at Bastyr University. Dr. Standish has FDA IND approval for the first ayahuasca clinical research in the U.S. She uses functional magnetic imaging of the brain as a tool in her consciousness science research. As a physician she specializes in naturopathic oncology and conducts clinical research on the effectiveness of integrative oncology care.
She is Co-Director of the Advanced Integrative Medical Science (AIMS) Institute in Seattle. AIMS Institute currently provides Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for patients with chronic illness, including cancer. AIMS Institute will be the clinical research site for the Phase I safety and dose finding trial of standardized Ayahuasca tea.
Leanna Standish, Ph. D.
Carlos Tanner is an American living in Peru, where he has been studying the science of ayahuasca and plant medicine in the Amazon Rainforest since 2003. He currently works as the program director for the Ayahuasca Foundation, a non-profit organization he began in 2009 in Iquitos, Peru. His center has received over one thousand program participants from all over the world. Because he has witnessed the treatment of over a thousand people with plant medicine, he has a unique perspective and understanding of the indigenous tradition and healing in general. In 2017 Carlos opened the Riosbo Ayahuasca Research Center and is currently hosting the first government funded ayahuasca research, measuring the effectiveness of treating childhood trauma with ayahuasca and plant medicine. A companion study measuring epigenetic changes is also taking place at the same time.
"Where would humankind be without the work of Richard Evans Schultes? To study ethnobotany is to open a door to another paradigm of reality where our relationships to plants are equally if not more important than their physical or chemical properties. Understanding these relationships takes the environmental movement to not just another level, but another dimension. Western society's renewed respect for indigenous wisdom is greatly due to the furthering of ethnobotanical research, which permeates into global respect for all of our ancestral traditions." - Carlos Tanner
Amazonian Plant Medicine Specialist
Robert W.E. Laurie is an international lawyer, qualified in England and called to the British Columbia Bar. Robert founded AD LUCEM LAW CORPORATION in Vancouver in 2013 and his legal practice focuses on commercial business and regulatory issues surrounding cannabis and psychedelic plant medicines. Robert serves as a Board Advisor to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada and Steve DeAngelo’s Last Prisoner Project. Robert is one of the Founding Partners with Dr. Dennis McKenna of the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy and is a Director of Jay DeMerit and Ashleigh McIvor’s Rise and Shine Foundation.
Further, Robert is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Liberty Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: LIB, OTCQB: LIBFF and FSE: HN3P), is a member of the Zagime̅ Anishinabe̅k First Nation’s Cannabis Board, and is a Special Advisor to the Leadership Team of HollyWeed North Cannabis Inc. He holds an M.A. (Hons) Juris from the University of Oxford (St. Edmund Hall) and B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia.
Robert W.E. Laurie
Advisory Board & Attorney