Merlin F. Franco

Deputy Director, Assistant Professor

About

Dr. Merlin Franco is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at IAS.

He is an ethnobiologist interested in the interrelationship between human culture, language and biodiversity (Biocultural Diversity).

He believes that the traditional knowledge of the indigenous communities that is embedded in their respective native languages holds the key for prudent management of ecosystem services.

Dr. Franco currently serves as Editor in Chief of Ethnobotany Research and Applications. In the past, Dr. Franco has worked with Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (2012-2015) and Earthwatch Institute- India (2011-2012).

Research Interests

     • Biocultural Diversity- relationship between indigenous languages, culture and biodiversity
     • Indigenous calendric systems
     • Biodiversity and Ecosystem services
     • Traditional Agricultural Systems
     • Eco-criticism

Select Publications

Books

Franco, F.M. & D. Narasimhan. 2012. Ethnobotany of the Kondh, Poraja, Gadaba and Bonda of the Koraput region of Odisha, India. DK Printworld, New Delhi.

Balasubramanian, A.V., T.D. Nirmala Devi & Franco, F.M., (Eds). 2009. Use of Animal Products in Traditional Agriculture. Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, Chennai.

Journal Articles

F. Merlin Franco and Nurzahidah Bakar “Persistence of the Salty-Sweet Nipah Sugar in the Popular Foodways of Brunei Darussalam,” Journal of Ethnobiology 40(3), 368-385, (24 September 2020).

Kamsani, K., F. M. Franco, F. Slik (2020). A comparative account of the traditional healing practices of healers and non-healers in the Kiudang area of Brunei Darussalam. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.112788

Franco, F.M., Chaw, L.L., Bakar, N. et al. (2020). Socialising over fruits and vegetables: the biocultural importance of an open-air market in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 16, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-020-0356-6

Franco, F.M. and Minggu, M.J. (2019). When the seeds sprout, the hornbills hatch: understanding the traditional ecological knowledge of the Ibans of Brunei Darussalam on hornbills. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 15: 46. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-019-0325-0

Prabakaran, K., R. Nagarajan, S. Eswaramoorthi, A. Anandkumar, F. Merlin Franco (2019). Environmental significance and geochemical speciation of trace elements in Lower Baram River sediments. Chemosphere (219): 933-953.

Hidayati, S., B.A.A. Ghani, B. Giridharan, M. Z. Hassan, F. Merlin Franco (2018). Using Ethnotaxonomy to Assess Traditional Knowledge and Language Vitality: A Case Study with the Vaie People of Sarawak, Malaysia. Ethnobiology Letters 9(2):33–47.

Hidayati, S., N.I. Suansa, Samin, & Franco, F.M. (2017). “Using Ethnotaxonomy to assess Traditional Knowledge and Language Vitality: A Case Study with the Urang Kanekes (Baduy) of Banten, Indonesia”. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 14 (4): 576-582

Prabhakaran, K., R. Nagarajan, Franco, F.M., & A. Anand Kumar (2017). “Biomonitoring of Malaysian Aquatic Environments: A Review of Status and Prospects”. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology 17 (2): 134-147.

Franco, F.M. (2015). “Calendars and Ecosystem Management: Some Observations. Human Ecology 43 (2): 355-359.

News

New Volume on the Ethnobotany of the Mountain Regions of Southeast Asia

The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD) is pleased to announce the publication of Ethnobotany of the Mountain Regions of Southeast Asia. Edited by Deputy Director of IAS, Assistant Professor F. Merlin Franco, and part of Springer’s “Ethnobotany of Mountain Regions” series, this volume is a compendium that discusses the […]

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Promoting Collaboration with Scholars in Latin America

Dr. Merlin Franco, Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD), recently presented a paper for the International Online Conference on Ethnobiology (Conferência Internacional Online de Etnobiologia) organized by Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa (UFPB) in Brazil. Dr. Franco’s presentation was on “Exploring opportunities […]

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New Paper on the Persistence of Gula Anau in Bruneian Foodways

F. Merlin Franco, Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD), has just published a new article on “Persistence of the Salty-Sweet Nipah Sugar in the Popular Foodways of Brunei Darussalam.” Co-authored with Nurzahidah Bakar and published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, the paper examines […]

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IAS Working Paper on Mutalism Between Humans and Palms

The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam is pleased to announce the publication of IAS Working Paper No 59: Mutualism between Humans and Palms: The Curious Case of the Palmyra Palm (Borassus flabellifer L.), and its Tapper by F. Merlin Franco, Godson Samuel, and T. Francis. Please see below for details. Abstract: Borassus […]

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New Article on Traditional Healers and Medicinal Plants in Brunei

F. Merlin Franco, Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam has recently co-authored an article on traditional healing practices and medicinal plants in the Kiudang area of Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam. Entitled “A Comparative Account of the Traditional Healing Practices and Healers and Non-healers in the Kiudang […]

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News Coverage of F. Merlin Franco’s Research on Plant Blindness

Dr. F. Merlin Franco of the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam discussed his research on the role that open-air markets can play in combating plant blindness on the Royal Television Brunei evening news. In his discussion, Dr. Franco reiterates points that he has made in a recently published co-authored article on the […]

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Deputy Director Franco in the News

Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of IAS Merlin Franco was featured in the Brunei News in an article about Dr. Merlin’s recent research on hornbills in Brunei. Please click here to view the article in the Brunei News.

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Franco on Hornbills in Brunei

Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of IAS Merlin Franco gave a talk on 19 August 2019 to the Brunei Nature Society on “When the Seeds Sprout, the Hornbills Hatch: Traditional Ecological Knowledge of the Ibans on the Hornbills of Brunei.” In this talk Dr. Franco shared some of the findings of a research project that […]

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Franco on Biosocial Synchrony in Indonesia

Dr. F. Merlin Franco, Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies, has recently published a review of Cynthia T. Fowler’s Biosocial Synchrony on Sumba: Multispecies Relationships and Environmental Variations in Indonesia (Lexington, 2016) in the journal Ethnobiology Letters. Dr. Franco is an ethnobiologist interested in the interrelationship between human culture, language, […]

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