Kelly M. Ablard is a certified and registered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner and holds a Doctorate in Chemical Ecology, a Master’s in Primate Conservation, and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Zoology. Kelly’s expertise is rooted in her scientific investigation of (and profound love for) plants and animals. This passion gives her a deep knowledge of current best practices to support the holistic healing of people and their pets.
As a Community Scientist for Science World, and founder of the Airmid Institute and Vancouver Community College Urban Apothecary Learning Garden, she is enthusiastic about teaching the public about traditional medicine and the deeply-rooted relationship between essential oil-bearing plants and the animal kingdom. She is also dedicated to the global education, research, and sustainable management of aromatic medicinal plants. Currently she is conducting research in three key areas – conservation statuses and sustainability of aromatic medicinal plants, exploring sustainable sources of essential oils, and locating and subsequently bridging gaps in scientific data that supports aromatic plant medicine used in traditional medicine.
Kelly has completed and published research on olfactory systems, chemical communication across species, and clinical uses of plant medicine for humans and animals. Her work has taken her all over the world where she has studied the different uses of traditional medicine, and discovered firsthand the vital role that chemical communication plays in the natural world. For example, she has recently identified over 60 Peruvian aromatic medicinal plants, her discovery of how small wasps rely on individual chemical signatures to mediate their mating ritual is featured in Canadian Geographic magazine, and how she identified potential toxins in the world’s only toxic and endangered non-human primate, is highlighted by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). She has also reported on the ingenuity of tool use by orangutans, and has investigated the link between sociality and olfactory communication in mammals.
Kelly sits on the Board of the British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists (BCAPA), and is on the Advisory Board of the Tisserand Institute. She is an independent research scientist, writer, and a CAM practitioner, instructor and consultant who has been honoured with the BCAOA 2016 Achievement of Excellence Award and voted one of the top 5 aromatherapists in Vancouver, B.C. She works in both Southern California and Vancouver, B.C. and spends much of her free time floating, and practicing Shinrin-yoku and Kriya yoga.