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Online course


People and plants, a course in ethnobotany

You are invited to learn about the role of plants in human cultures, both past and present! In a series of five lessons, we will explore relations between people and environment, people and plants, and the role of ethnobotany.

Surprisingly, in today’s Western world we hardly recognize the importance of plants. This phenomenon is called “plant blindness,” and occurs in science, education, the media, and religions. However, more than 80% of the earth’s biomass consists of plants! They provide us with oxygen, our daily food, medicine, clothing, and building materials, and are of great cultural significance. Ethnobotany looks at the relationship between plants, people and culture. This live course sheds new light on our relationship with the plant world, and the value of traditional and indigenous knowledge.


Course themes

People and environment: environmental anthropology

  • How do you relate to the ecosystem in which you live?
  • The importance of systems thinking, culture, politics and spirituality in our relationship with nature.
  • What might the regeneration of our social and ecological systems look like? Inspiration from ecovillages and ecosystem restoration worldwide.

People and plants: ethnobotany

  • What exactly is a plant, and how do people use plants to fulfil different needs?
  • The 5 phases of ethnobotany; from the classification of plants and their uses to the knowledge and rights of traditional and indigenous peoples.
  • Learn how to create an ethnobotanical plant profile

Foundations of botany

  • What is botany?
  • Basics of plant taxonomy and classification
  • Exploring the main plant parts: roots, stems,  leaves, flowers, fruits
  • Voucher specimens: how to collect and press plants

Ethnobotanical research

  • Ethnobotanical plant profiles of your favourite plants
  • Research topics, ethnobotanical methods and ethics
  • The importance of herbaria, botanical gardens and seed banks

A new paradigm of people and plant relationships

  • The intelligence of plants; communication, senses, memory, kin relations
  • The profound effects of nature on human health and wellbeing
  • Paradigm changes in Western science
  • How can we give nature rights?

Workshop format

This is an online course with five evening sessions of 90 minutes, including lectures, discussions and activities. It is intended for anyone who is curious about the relationship between people and plants. You do not need any specific prior knowledge.

Course dates

Summer 2022
Sign up below to be notified when the course dates are announced!
The lessons will take place on a week day from 19:00 – 20:30 UK time / 20:00 – 21:30 CET.


£95 / €109

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