The Annual Ethnobotany Lecture was founded in 2000 and is a highlight of the academic year for the postgraduate programme. It is sponsored jointly by the Centre for Biocultural Diversity at Kent and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The lectureship is awarded to ethnobotanists who have made a significant impact on the subject and who have established a reputation in the public understanding of science. Recent lecturers have included Gary Martin, Victoria Reyes-Garcia, Will McClatchey and Nancy Turner.
Annual Kent-Kew Distinguished Ethnobotanist Lecture 2019
‘Shifting geographics of ethnobotany: How Iraqi is the Mediterranean diet?’
Professor Andrea Pieroni, University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy
The Mediterranean Diet, now recognised as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, has been and still partially is a food system largely based on wild vegetables, which have been surprisingly neglected in both bio-scientific and historical-anthropological food studies. These complex ethnobotanical foodscapes possibly emerged in the Neolithic period in the Fertile Crescent and migrated westwards through the Mediterranean area. This presentation will show the wild-food ethnobotany of diverse populations of the Middle East and the Caucasus, and will discuss the similarity between the wild vegetables gathered and consumed by Christian communities in Iraq, who possibly represent the descendants of ancient Assyrian and Mesopotamic populations, and those of the Greek and Sicilian traditional diets. We will eventually propose the idea that wild vegetables should be considered indelible signatures for understanding the origins of dietary systems.
Discovering new wild edible plants in Europe: From 19th Century famine potherb to 21st Century hipster food
Dr Łukasz Łuczaj
In the footsteps of Rumphius: History and ethnobotanical entanglements in the spice islands
Emeritus Professor RoyEllen, FBA
Local names reveal how enslaved Africans recognised substantial parts of the New World flora
Tinde van Andel
Why ritual and incense plants are important
Evolutionary Ecology as a Driver of New Questions in Ethnobotany
Doyle B. McKey
The Ethnobiology of Crop Domestication and Evolution: Fostering resilience of social ecological systems in the Anthropocene
Pablo B. Eyzaguirre, Senior Scientist, Bioversity International
Medicinal plant trade, conservation and local livelihoods in southern Morocco
Ethnobotany of the Home and Hearth
The dynamics of ethnobotanical knowledge in a globalized world: examples from the Tsimane indigenous people (Bolivian Amazon)
Bringing the food back home indigenous foodways, nutrition and biodiversity indigenous foodways, nutrition and biodiversity in western Canada.
Austrian alpine ethnobotany: examples and trends for the use and management of plant species in the Austrian Alps
Local perceptions and forest policy: conservation and logging in Papua New Guinea
Taking stock of nature? Ethnobotany and action in participatory ecological governance
Ancient trees and what people do to them
Gender bias in ethnobotany: propositions and evidence of a distorted science, and promises of a brighter future
The origins and spread of agriculture: a comparative world view.
Globalization of traditional knowledge systems: implications for innovation, flow and appropriation of knowledge
Plants and people in Amazonian Peru
The light at the edge of the world: vanishing cultures, enduring lives; an ethnobotanist’s view