Date of Award






Degree Type

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Kevin S. Burgess

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Hughes


The earliest civilizations have been using plants as their foundation for healing and medicinal traditions for thousands of years. The use of plant medicinals, more commonly known as “bush medicine” on Andros Island, has been rapidly decreasing due an increased presence of western medicine and increased population pressures from urbanization that are threatening local biodiversity hotspots. Ethnobotany is not only important from a conservation standpoint but is also used to preserve traditional knowledge of herbal medicinals and applications, the people of Andros continue to rely on bush medicine, mainly in the form of teas to help manage health related problems. Andros Island, Bahamas is a subtropical habitat of several native and endemic species that could contain plant secondary metabolites previously never studied and without conservation or protection of these habitats, ethnobotanical opportunities to research natural products and phytomedicinals will slowly decrease. Populations that utilize plants and plant extracts need a reliable means of identifying species for safety and efficacy. Using the rbcLmatK gene coding regions, DNA barcoding can be used to identify plant species during all life stages without the need for identifying features. Previous ethnobotanical studies and surveys on Andros have never included a DNA barcoding database or an assay screening efficacy of any “Bush Medicine” against Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Salmonella. The processes outlined in this study can be used as a guide to help identify species correctly and efficiently and to determine efficacy of the use bush medicine species for use in an ethnobotanical application.

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Biology Commons