Dr. Kelly Bannister is Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, an Instructor with the Institute for Zen Leadership in Wisconsin, and an independent consultant. She is an ethnobiologist trained in both natural and social sciences with over 20 years of policy and practical experience in applied cross-cultural ethics. Her work encompasses collaborative approaches to biocultural diversity research and education, policy development, and biocultural ethics - an emerging intercultural area of praxis informed by Indigenous and other wisdom traditions.
Kelly is devoted to understanding how we can work respectfully across different worldviews and knowledge systems to respond to pressing social, cultural and ecological issues and inequities. She facilitates collaborative research, education and policy approaches to addressing long standing ethical and legal issues in research involving biodiversity and Indigenous cultural knowledge. She works with universities, non-profit, Indigenous, and community organizations, as well as federal and provincial governments. She has extensive experience in ethics policy analysis and development within Canada and internationally, including serving on the CIHR-Institute for Aboriginal Health’s ethics working group (CIHR-AEWG) to develop the CIHR Guidelines for Health Research Involving Aboriginal People (2007-2010) and the PRE-Technical Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Research (PRE-TACAR) that advised on development of TCPS 2 Chapter 9.
Kelly holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Microbiology from the University of Victoria and a doctorate in Ethnobotany/Phytochemistry from the Botany Department, University of British Columbia. She took up post-doctoral positions in Applied Ethics and Ecological Governance at the UBC Center for Applied Ethics and the POLIS Project, before becoming the Co-Director of POLIS.
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