Anna Lewington


Anna has been researching and writing about the importance of plants to people for many years. This work began in the 1980s with her study of manioc (Manihot esculenta) in the culture and mythology of the Matsigenka of the Peruvian Amazon for her MPhil (from the University of St. Andrews' Centre for Latin American Linguistic Studies, today the Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies). In Latin America she has also conducted ethnobotanical research in Ecuador (on medicinal plants), Brazil (with rubber-tapper communities) and Chile (with the Pehuenche), and, deeply concerned about the rights of indigenous peoples, is a long-standing supporter of Survival International. She is the author of several books for children on rainforests and their peoples and co-author of 'Ancient Trees: Trees that Live for a Thousand Years', but is perhaps best known for 'Plants For People', a study of the ways in which products from plants support our daily lives. Her latest book 'Birch', explores the cultural and ecological significance of birch trees.