Juanita with some chick..

Juanita Choo

B.A.: University of Queensland, Australia

M.A.:  Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Ph.D.: In progress

  • Dissertation research: An ethnoecological study on the cultivation and consumption of palms weevils in Venezuela.

Contact: juanchoo at mail.utexas.edu


"My broad research interests lie in understanding the ecological implications associated with indigenous human societies’ use of forest resources. I seek to learn about indigenous peoples’ knowledge and perceptions of their environments and to study how forest resources are cultivated, extracted, or conserved. My goal is to examine the tri-trophic ecological interactions between human, plant and nonhuman animal/insect in areas where traditional lifestyles are practiced.

"Presently, my dissertation project focuses on indigenous peoples’ use of palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) larvae for food and how this impacts palm species that are utilized for food and material resources by humans. I hope to determine whether the long-term use of palm weevil larvae for food may alter the population dynamics of palm weevils to the benefit of the health of palms. Presently, I have conducted preliminary studies with the Hiwi and Curripaco communities in Venezuela in the summer of 2004, and plan to follow-up my research with the Hoti communities in the Summer of 2005."

Also see Juanita's Daily Texan Interview!