A charismatic figure to hold Darrell Posey’s walking stick


Darrell Posey was a remarkable researcher, activist, and pioneer in the field of ethnoecology. He was the chair of the first International Congress of Ethnobiology (Bélem, Brazil, 1988) and he initiated the creation of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Darrell passed away in 2001. While he was fighting against cancer during the last years of his life, Darrell was obliged to hold a stick for walking. He lost his walking stick during a trip in New Zealand, but the stick made its way back to him several years later in incredible circumstances.

Following Darrell’s death, a new tradition was established to pass on his walking stick from one organizing committee to another by electing a charismatic person to receive and take care of the stick during two years. In May 2010, during the 12th Congress of the ISE hosted in Tofino (British Columbia, Canada),
Levi Martin — an elder of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation — transmitted Darrell’s walking stick to Francis Hallé.

© V. Jarige

Francis Hallé is a very famous botanist in France and he is a renown specialist of tropical forests. We owe him the discovery of fundamental architecture models among plants and the famous canopy raft which is used throughout the tropics to explore the canopy.

Francis Hallé has been for two decades in charge of the unique existing French Master degree in ethnobotany at the University of Montpellier 2. Most of the French scientists working on tropical biodiversity have been trained by him. Francis Hallé is now retired but he remains very active militating against deforestation and for the preservation of natural rainforests. Although not an ethnobiologist
sensu stricto, he feels deeply concerned by the preservation of local knowledge throughout the tropics.

Francis Hallé introduces
the 13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology.

Francis Hallé explains
why working with indigenous peoples, traditional societies and local communities is crucial.

Francis Hallé addresses
a vibrant tribute to Darrell Posey.

Francis Hallé’s major books
- Essai sur l'architecture et la dynamique de croissance des arbres tropicaux (with Roelof A.A. Oldeman and Philip B. Tomlinson), (Masson, 1978)

- Un monde sans hiver. Les Tropiques : nature et sociétés (Le Seuil, 1993)

- Éloge de la plante, pour une nouvelle biologie (Le Seuil, 1999)

- Le Radeau des cimes, l'exploration des canopées forestières (with Dany Cleyet-Marrel and Gilles Ebersolt), (Lattès, 2000)

- Essai sur l'architecture et la dynamique de croissance des arbres tropicaux (revised edition, with Roelof A.A. Oldeman), (Masson, 2002)

- Architecture des plantes (JPC Editions, 2004)

- Plaidoyer pour l'arbre (Actes Sud, 2005)

- Aux origines des plantes Tome 1 & 2 (Fayard, 2008)

- La condition tropicale. Une histoire naturelle, économique et sociale des basses latitudes (Actes Sud, 2010)

Major links to Francis Hallé’s ongoing projects
Canopy raft

Tropical RainForests: Future

Promenade en forêt, an introduction to the movie project “Tropical RainForests”

Wild Touch

Tree story (inspired by the documentary “Arbres, un voyage immobile”)