Website last updated 25 September 2013
David I. Theodoropoulos, Las Sombras Biological
Preserve, Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020-0337 USA David I. Theodoropoulos
Las Sombras Biological Preserve
La Honda, CA 94020-0337 USA
"So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." —Thucydides i.20
Biology - Botany - Ethnobotany - Germplasm Conservation - Scientific Ethics - Invasive Species Studies
"Freedom begins when belief dies."
Book - Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience
"The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads."
Academics - click here.
Students - click here.
Coming Speaking Engagements
The deadline has passed for comments opposing proposed new "white list" regulations, which will greatly restrict access to biological diversity, and harm many conservation efforts. Click here for selected portions of the proposed regulations, with commentary and interpretation. Click here for the full text, directly copied from the US Federal Register, with problem areas highlighted. Click here to read my comments to the USDA.
Disagree with my analysis?
Visit www.antitheodoropoulos.org for opposing views.
Born: 12 May 1947, Tres Pinos, California.
Independent conservation biologist specializing in germplasm conservation, seed banking, the biology of anthropogenic dispersal, ethnobotany, scientific ethics, and issues concerning the biological commons, the cultural commons, belief-systems in science, intellectual property, centralization/control vs. decentralization/decontrol, and man-nature relationships.
Of special interest is study of the history, structure and development of the pseudoscience of invasion biology. Have written skeptical papers on this subject since 1990.
Research has focused on ethnobotany, medicinal plants, seedbank methods, ecology of introduced species, and developing novel strategies for regenerative, self-sustaining, no-input conservation.
Established a grassroots, public-access seed bank in 1973, dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of wild plants and traditional cultivars, and their associated ethnobotanical knowledge: The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds - Preservation Through Dissemination.
Originated the concept of using culture-specific, public-access ethnobotanical collections as a conservation strategy, and initiated the first such project in the mid 1970s. This method has been since developed by my friend Gary Nabhan into the renowned Native Seeds SEARCH, and is currently used by other projects.
Have worked, as an ethnobotanist and as a friend, with a Zapotec/mestizo community for over 30 years, recording their ethnobotany, documenting local flora, developing strategies to preserve local medicinal and other plant knowledge and traditional crops, and strategies to strengthen the independence and economic viability of traditional small-holder subsistence agriculture.
Began work on the propagation of California native plants about 1970. Began intensive work in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California, in 1976. Established Las Sombras Biological Preserve in 1988 for the preservation, study, and long-term ecological research into the local biota, and for the ex situ preservation of threatened plants. Currently maintaining ex situ populations of plants which are threatened or of conservation concern, from South America, Mesoamerica, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and eastern North America, as well as Californian plants of concern.
Society for Economic Botany - Former Chair of Ethics Committee, Newsletter Committee, and wrote a regular column for the Society "Germplasm News and Views" exploring germplasm issues and news.
Society for Conservation Biology
Society for Ecological Restoration
Society for Ethnobiology
Society for Ethnopharmacology
Natural Areas Association
Cactus and Succulent Society of America
American Botanical Council
Selected publications of note:
Theodoropoulos, D. 2003. Invasion of the aliens! Science or pseudoscience? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta, Boston, June 2003. (Link to Text)
Theodoropoulos, D. 2002. Open letter on the Convention on Biological Diversity. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D. 2000. Comments to the National Invasive Species Council. Available from http://www.geocities.com/nowhitelist/ (accessed 22 July 2009).
Theodoropoulos, D. 2000. Comments to the USDA. Available from http://www.safeguarding.org/getcomments.cfm?RecID=108 (accessed 22 July 2009).
Theodoropoulos, D. 2000. The "white list" - Threat to ethnobotanical and biodiversity research. Society for Economic Botany Newsletter 14:7.
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L.]. 2000. Omega diversity. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 61:76.
Theodoropoulos, D. 1999. Invasion of the aliens: Science or pseudoscience? Paper presented at 26th Annual Natural Areas Association Conference, Tucson, Arizona, October 1999. (Link to Abstract)
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L., pseud.]. 1999. Natives vs. exotics update, Nov.1998. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 60:93. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L., pseud.]. 1998. Natives vs. exotics update, Nov. 1997. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 59:75. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L., pseud.]. 1996. Natives vs. exotics update, Nov. 1995. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 57:3,78. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L., pseud.]. 1995. Natives vs. exotics update, Nov. 1994. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 56:3,91,93. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D. 1993. Natives and exotics: The search for effective preservation strategies in the Age of Extinction. Paper presented at 34th Annual Meeting of The Society for Economic Botany, Miami, Florida, June 1993.
Theodoropoulos, D. 1991. Comments to the Ethics Committee. Society for Economic Botany Newsletter 4:9-11. (Link)
Theodoropoulos, D., [Hudson, J. L., pseud.], and S. L. Calkins. 1990. Natives vs. exotics: The myth of the menace. The Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds 51:3,91. (Link)
Copyright 2000-2013 David Theodoropoulos. All Rights Reserved.
David I. Theodoropoulos, Las Sombras Biological
Preserve, Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020-0337 USA
David I. Theodoropoulos