Dr. Pustarfi Laura

Director of the Certificate Program at California Institute of Integral Studies

A Vegetal Turn for Psychedelic Plants and Fungi


Though many psychedelic medicines in Western clinical research are derived from plants or fungi, these vegetal and fungal beings are often disregarded in the medicalized model. Utilizing tools from the interdisciplinary field of plant studies, this presentation seeks to bring the “vegetal turn,” a move toward recognizing plants as intelligent agents with their own lives, to research on psychedelics. A focus on the plants and fungi themselves centers both their cultural and ecological situatedness within the practice of psychedelic-assisted therapy. 


Laura Pustarfi, Ph.D., is Director of the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program and adjunct faculty in Philosophy and Religion at CIIS. As Director of the Certificate, she manages the communications, educational and technological administration, and program operations for the certificate. Her scholarly interests include plant studies, integral ecology, psychedelic philosophy, and environmental humanities, especially environmental philosophy, eco-phenomenology, and religion and ecology. She is currently working on a volume co-edited with Dr. David Macauley, The Wisdom of Trees: Thinking Through Arboreality, forthcoming from SUNY Press. Laura has presented at the several conferences on both plant studies and psychedelic-assisted therapy nationally and internationally.