Essence of Thyme
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Essence of Thyme
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Kelly Ablard

Kelly Ablard, RA, PhD

Co-Principal, Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

🌐 Airmid Institute

Kelly Ablard, RA, PhD — Biography


Registered Aromatherapist (RA®) | Essential Oil Therapist (EOT®) | Ph.D.

Kelly holds a Doctorate in Biology, an MSc in Conservation, a BSc in Biology (cum laude), and is a certified aromatherapist. As founder and Executive Director of Airmid Institute, she is dedicated to the global education, research, and conservation of aromatic medicinal plants, and to helping to protect and promote uses of traditional medicine in Indigenous communities. She has conducted research in conservation biology, molecular genetics, chemical ecology, behavioural ecology, and ethnobotany.

Her work has been highlighted by Canadian Geographic, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), and published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She identified traditional uses of 60+ aromatic medicinal plants across northern, central, and southern Peru, worked to help protect threatened slow and slender lorises, reported on the ingenuity of tool use by threatened orangutans, and made a novel discovery of how small wasps rely on individual chemical signatures to mediate their mating ritual.

She speaks worldwide about the conservation and sustainable management of essential and carrier oil-bearing plants and shares her ongoing work in Peru with the Shipibo on the development and implementation of the Toucan Project (named after the tropical bird which, apart from its bright colors, is known for dispersing endangered rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) seeds).

Kelly volunteers as a Community Scientist for Science World (Vancouver, BC), and founded the Vancouver Community College Urban Apothecary Learning Garden – an educational venue for at-risk youth and culturally-diverse students. Kelly served a decade on the Board of the British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy (BCAOA) and was honored with the BCAOA 2016 Achievement of Excellence Award. She currently sits on the Board of the United Plant Savers.