An Introduction into Ethnobotany

Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between plants and people. What does this mean in practice?

Organisator Studium Generale

di 14 januari 2020 20:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115
Zaal/kamer Speakers corner

About lecture series Plant-People Relationships

Humankind is seriously jeopardizing the natural world. This increasingly affects every way in which we relate to nature, as biological and cultural diversity are linked and interdependent. So what else is being lost alongside biodiversity? Ethnobotany, which studies the relationships between plants and people, sheds light on these matters by bringing together natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. And what can ethnobotany teach us about biocultural diversity conservation?

An Introduction into Ethnobotany

Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between plants and people. What does this mean in practice? And what can we learn from this versatile area of research? Professor Tinde van Andel will introduce you into this interdisciplinary field, and present a case of ethnobotanical research in Suriname. Find out how the unique agricultural and ritual practices of the Maroons living there play a crucial role in the safeguarding of rice diversity. What are the implications of this for food security and cultural heritage? And how does it cast a different light on colonial history and modern crop breeding? Discover how ethnobotany elucidates the interaction between biological and cultural diversity, and generates lessons for agricultural practice.

About Tinde van Andel

Tinde van Andel
Tinde van Andel

Professor Tinde van Andel studied biology and obtained her PhD in the field of ethnobiology. She holds the position of Special Professor Ethnobotany at Wageningen University & Research. In addition, she is Special Professor History of Botany and Gardens at Leiden University. She is employed by Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. Each June, she teaches a course in ethnobotany at WUR, in which students learn not only the theories on traditional plant use, but also practice with interview techniques, plant identification, and extracting medicinal properties from self-collected plants. She is involved in several research projects, including traditional rice cultivation by Maroons in Suriname, wild food plants collection by hunter-gatherers in Cameroon and historic herbarium collections and botanical drawings in the treasure rooms of universities and museums.