Renata Sõukand

Renata Sõukand
Università Ca' Foscari Venezia | UNIVE · Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics

PhD, semiotics and cultural theory

About

126
Publications
55,412
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Introduction
Renata Sõukand works at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia. Renata does research in Ethnobotany, Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology and History of Science. Their current project is "Ethnobotany of divided generations in the context of centralization".
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2017 - January 2018
Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
Position
  • Research Associate
April 2011 - June 2017
Estonian Literary Museum
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Leader of research group in ethnobiology

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
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Background This study examined the use of wild plants in the food, medicinal and veterinary areas within a small territory limited to one village council in the Liubań district of Belarus. The objectives of the research were to document the current and past uses of wild plants in this region for food and human/animal medication; to analyse the food...
Article
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It is widely agreed that in industrialized Europe, knowledge on the use of wild food plants shows a decreasing trend with few instances of valorization. We employed a folk history approach in order to understand the changes that have occurred in the use of wild food plants within the lifetime of the older generation living on Saaremaa Island. Compa...
Article
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Recent studies on the use of wild food plants have identified various reasons for their use and underlined their importance as an emergency food supply. This work analysed the content of narratives obtained as comments regarding the reasons for using or not using wild food plants mentioned during 48 semi-structured recorded interviews. The results...
Article
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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a dangerous infectious disease of even-toed ungulates, however since 1991, the European Union has banned preventive vaccination. During the occupation of the USSR, there were two outbreaks in Estonia: the first started in 1952 (at which time the barns typically housed about 20 cows); and the second began in 1982 (a p...
Article
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Plant foraging is an important human ecological phenomenon being studied by a number of contemporary ethnobiologists as well as by a few social anthropologists among rural communities and, more recently, in urban environments. The sustainability dimension of foraging is, however, largely unexplored. We analyse a few case studies from recent field r...
Article
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Background While the hybridization of ecological knowledge has attracted substantial attention from researchers, the coexistence of local and allopathic medicinal traditions in literate societies widely exposed to centralized schooling and medical services has not yet been investigated. To this end, we studied the current and remembered local ethno...
Article
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Background: Ukraine holds a rich reservoir of cultural and biological diversity due to its complex history and
Article
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An ethnobotanical field study focusing on traditional wild greens (WGs) was carried out in Central Crete, Greece. Through thirty-one semi-structured interviews, a total of fifty-five wild green plants and their culinary uses and linguistic labels were documented; they were mostly consumed boiled (vrasta) or fried (tsigariasta), as a filling for hom...
Article
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Works on historical ethnobotany can help shed light on past plant uses and humankind’s relationships with the environment. We analyzed medicinal plant uses from the historical regions of Livonia and Courland in Northeast Europe based on three studies published within the 19th century by medical doctors researching local ethnomedicine. The sources w...
Article
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Sustainable forest management highlights the multipurpose use of all forest resources, including the use of wild mushrooms, by a variety of forest users and especially for rural livelihoods. To achieve sustainable forest management, among others, decision-makers and forest managers need to identify the important elements for the livelihoods of loca...
Article
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Ethnobiology and ethnomedicine investigate the continuously changing complex and inextricable relations among culture, nature, and health. Since the emergence of modern ethnobiology a few decades ago, its essence and mission have been the study of biocultural diversities and the centers of its inquiries have been and are local communities and their...
Article
Background: Historical ethnobotanical data can provide valuable information about past human-nature relationships as well as serve as a basis for diachronic analysis. This data note aims to present a dataset which documented medicinal plant uses, mentioned in a selection of German-language sources from the 19 th century covering the historical regi...
Article
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When studying the evolution of the use of medicinal plants, it is important to identify what role, and to what extent, external factors and local biocultural diversities play in shaping cultural changes. We chose as a case study, which forms part of a larger project, a religiously and lin-guistically distinct group, the Seto, and compared their cur...
Article
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Presently, collecting data through citizen science (CS) is increasingly being used in botanical , zoological and other studies. However, until now, ethnobotanical studies have underused CS data collection methods. This study analyses the results of the appeal organized by the physician Dr. Mihkel Ostrov (1863-1940), which can be considered the firs...
Article
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Wild food plants (WFPs) have been an important source of human nutrition since ancient times, and it particularly revives when conventional food is not available due to emergency situations , such as natural disasters and conflicts. The war in Syria has entered 10 years since it started in 2011, and it has caused the largest war-related crises sinc...
Data
Historical ethnobotanical data can provide valuable information about past human-nature relationships as well as serve as a basis for diachronic analysis. This thesis aims to document medicinal plant uses in the 19th century mentioned in German-language sources in the historical regions of Esthonia, Livonia, Courland and Galicia to analyse the gath...
Article
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Due to global change and the migration crisis both needing rapid attention, there has been growing debate about the drivers of change in the diet of migrants. Our study aimed to evaluate the consequences of forced resettlement on local ecological knowledge related to wild food plants among forcefully resettled Yaghnobi people in Tajikistan. We cond...
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Several coastal communities rely heavily on wild-caught fish for personal consumption and their livelihoods, thus being sensitive to the rapid global change affecting fish availability. However, in the last century, aquaculture has been increasingly adopted. To understand the uses and changes of wild-caught fish, we conducted 30 semi-structured int...
Article
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The lockdown caused by the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) has created a situation in which food availability is affected not only by the availability of money but also by the availability of food itself. On the basis of five pillars, including 1) supporting community-based farming, 2) defending small firms, 3) developing narratives on the high...
Article
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Citation: Abdul Aziz, M.; Ullah, Z.; Adnan, M.; Sõukand, R.; Pieroni, A. The Fading Wild Plant Food-Medicines in Upper Chitral, NW Pakistan. Foods 2021, 10, 2494.
Article
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Over the last century in the European context, animal production has been transformed by the dynamics of centralization and decentralization due to political and economic factors. These processes have influenced knowledge related to healing and ensuring the welfare of domestic animals. Therefore, our study aimed to document and compare current and...
Article
Socio-Cultural Significance of Yerba Maté among Syrian Residents and Diaspora. Syria is the world's second-largest importer of the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil., commonly known as yerba maté. The unique story of yerba maté in the Syrian beverage culture started at the beginning of the twentieth century when Syrian migrants returnin...
Article
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Ethnopharmacological relevance The traditional medicine of various peoples populating Russia is strongly underrepresented in the international anthropological literature. In addition, it has a multicomponent structure, a long history of relations with official medicine, and is still a living system with many people using folk remedies and visiting...
Article
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HIGHLIGHTS • The perception of forests by local people living in the Carpathian Mountains has been poorly investigated to date. • Hutsuls l iving in Romania and Ukraine share perceptions of forest benefits but differ on perceptions of drivers of forest change. • Hutsuls l iving in Ukraine rely more on forest medicinal plants than do Hutsuls living...
Article
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Local ecological knowledge (LEK), including but not limited to the use of wild food plants, plays a large role in sustainable natural resource management schemes, primarily due to the synergy between plants and people. There are calls for the study of LEK in culturally diverse areas due to a loss of knowledge, the active practice of utilizing wild...
Poster
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We welcome both theoretical and empirical studies which explore the link between environmental art and local ecological knowledge, such as research on the roles of art (e.g., learning about LEK through artwork and methods of integrating local community members in co-creation processes). Additionally, valuable insight could be provided by the reflec...
Poster
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The fields at the interface between food and medicine have received increasing attention in recent decades. We welcome explorations at the edge between the food and medical domains, such as research on health perceptions, uses, and potential benefits of neglected and underutilized species (NUS), local landraces, wild food plants (WFP), aromatic and...
Article
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An ethnobotanical field study focusing on traditional wild food botanical taxa was carried out in Kaniguram, South Waziristan, Pakistan, among Ormur (or Burki or Baraki) peoples, which represent a diasporic minority group, as well as among the surrounding Pashtuns. Through sixty semi-structured interviews, fifty-two wild food plants (taxa) were rec...
Article
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The lockdown caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created a situation in which food availability is affected not only by the availability of money but also by the availability of food itself. On the basis of five pillars, including 1) supporting community-based farming, 2) defending small firms, 3) developing narratives on the high val...
Poster
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DiGe project seminar, 17th March 2021. Registration deadline: 16.03.2021. We are happy to welcome you to our seminar where we will "travel" to the lands across Karelia, Ukraine and Romania. As part of the DiGe project [https://www.unive.it/pag/33443] two members of the team are going to present their work on 17ths of March (2021) at 10:30 CET - 12:...
Article
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Recent ethnobotanical studies have raised the hypothesis that religious affiliation can, in certain circumstances, influence the evolution of the use of wild food plants, given that it shapes kinship relations and vertical transmission of traditional/local environmental knowledge. The local population living in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan com...
Article
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Background The use of plants in rituals is a little explored corner of biocultural diversity which has developed through time within a complex socio-ecological system. Indeed, rituals are complex interactions between humans and biodiversity shaped by history, culture, and ethnic belonging. Yet, in Western Ukraine, such rituals were forbidden for ov...
Poster
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DiGe project and The Nature of Cities Festival present “Co-Creating Sustainability: Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge in Art Works” The workshop team believes that in order to build cities for tomorrow Local practice and Art serves a great deal in such discussions. Thus we reach out to participants to hear and document their examples on ho...
Article
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Cross-border and cross-cultural ethnomedicine are novel ways to address the evolution of local ecological knowledge. As is widely acknowledged, ethnomedicinal knowledge is not static, but evolves according to several factors, including changes in ecological availability and socioeconomic conditions, and yet the effect of the political context on me...
Poster
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About the workshop: better understanding the potential of plant ingredients and preparations of traditional foodways around the world, which are still partially based on local and neglected species and their complex culinary transformations, represents a crucial step for providing new insights into the field of healthy foods and “food–medicines”....
Article
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Socio-economic changes impact local ethnobotanical knowledge as much as the ecological ones. During an ethnobotanical field study in 2018–2019, we interviewed 25 Setos and 38 Russians in the Pechorsky District of Pskov Oblast to document changes in wild plant use within the last 70 years according to the current and remembered practices. Of the 71...
Article
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Current debate highlights that sustainable food systems can be fostered by the cautious and germane use of natural resources. Gathering, cooking, and consuming wild food plants that are widely available in a given environment are traditional practices that in many parts of the world have historically been crucial for effecting the food security and...
Article
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The issue of foraging for wild food plants among migrants and relocated communities is an important one in environmental studies, especially in order to understand how human societies rearrange their practices linked to nature and how they adapt to new socioecological systems. This paper addresses the complexity of Traditional/Local Environmental K...
Article
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Profound socioeconomic changes affected mountains of Central Italy during the last century and many traditional agro-pastoral activities were abandoned. A few ethnobotanical studies in this area have specifically documented local wild plants used decades ago, but without analyzing in-depth how and why Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) has erod...
Article
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Ethnopharmacological relevance Research on the folk categorization of nature in preliterate societies in Europe is complicated due to the fragmentation of the information available and is rarely undertaken. Yet the data is valuable and may provide, in certain circumstances, important insights, if not into novel medicines, then into the historical l...
Article
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Local cuisine is an important reservoir of local ecological knowledge shaped by a variety of socio-cultural, economic, and ecological factors. The aim was to document and compare the current use of wild and semi-cultivated plant food taxa by Romanians living in Romania and Ukraine. These two groups share similar ecological conditions and historical...
Article
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The Inextricable Link Between Food and Linguistic Diversity: Wild Food Plants Among Diverse Minorities in Northeast Georgia, Caucasus. Divergences in the categorization and use of wild food plants among ethnic and linguistic groups living within the same environment are prototypical for the dual nature of biocultural diversity, which is generally r...
Article
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Local ecological knowledge holds great potential in contributing to sustainable resource management and conservation activities. For this reason, the authors choose to analyse an ethnobotanical dataset from the Baltic Sea region by exploring the relationship between plants and humans on the basis of three main categories: habitat characteristics, d...
Article
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Household responses to COVID-19 in different corners of the world represent the primary health care that communities have relied on for preventing and mitigating symptoms. During a very complex and confusing time, in which public health services in multiple countries have been completely overwhelmed, and in some cases even collapsed, these first-li...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The use of plants in rituals is a little explored corner of biocultural diversity which has developed through time within a complex socio-ecological system. Indeed, rituals are complex interactions between humans and biodiversity shaped by history, culture and ethnic belonging. Yet, in Western Ukraine, such rituals were forbidden for ove...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The use of plants in rituals is a little explored corner of biocultural diversity which has developed through time within a complex socio-ecological system. Indeed, rituals are complex interactions between humans and biodiversity shaped by history, culture and ethnic belonging. Yet, in Western Ukraine, such rituals were forbidden for ove...
Article
Full-text available
Background: As identified by scholars, even when communities co-habit the same natural environment, there may be visible differences due to cultural factors, and thus local knowledge on medicinal plants evolves along with the culture. This paper addresses the complexity of medicinal plant use across different social groups situated in the same natu...
Article
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The aim of this study was to understand the role of viral narratives and the involvement of social media into the invention of tradition. We took as an example the recently highly promoted Ivan-chaj, a tea made from the fermented leaves of willowherb, a plant little known and used in Europe until a few years ago. Relying on a wide variety of source...
Article
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While the current consumption of wild food plants in the taiga of the American continent is a relatively well-researched phenomenon, the European taiga area is heavily underrepresented in the scientific literature. The region is important due to its distinctive ecological conditions with restricted seasonal availability of wild plants. During an et...
Article
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Background: Cross-border research is a novel and important tool for detecting variability of ecological knowledge. This is especially evident in regions recently divided and annexed to different political regimes. Therefore, we conducted a study among Hutsuls, a cultural and linguistic minority group living in Northern and Southern Bukovina (Ukrai...
Article
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In Sardinia, pastoralism has been at the heart of cultural identity for millennia. Such activity has shaped the landscape by sustainably managing its elements over the centuries. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews regarding the uses of wild plants as well as their contribution to sheep breeding over the last few decades in two villages of B...
Article
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Biodiversity needs to be preserved to ensure food security. Border zones create high but vulnerable biocultural diversity. Through reviewing scattered historical data and documenting the current use of wild food plants among people currently living in historical Setomaa and Võromaa parishes, we aimed to identify cross-cultural differences and diach...