Anneleen is a museum scientist with a strong interest in useful plants and the influence that (past) peoples have had on plant distribution. The Vikings in Scandinavia are of particular interest because of their mobility and trading skills combined with the fact that they left no written records. This makes their ethnobotany a challenging topic to study. Anneleen curates the living collections in the Botanical Garden in Oslo. She enjoys being able to combine the main aspects of working at a museum, such as doing research public outreach and working with the collections.
Plants form the basis for our culture and survival. Highlighting their diversity, versatility, and importance is one of Anneleen's main goals in life.
Karoline is a researcher in the fields of philology and art-history. She is particularly concerned about understanding how human mind and practice constantly evolves around fundamental aspects, such as nature, religion and knowledge. In her studies she works with texts, images and material culture as expressions of values, interests and levels of knowledge. The aim is to identify long lasting and wide spread cultural phenomena by looking at motifs and patterns that recur through history. She is also interested in comparing historical and contemporary practices. In the Nordic People and Plant project, her aim is to understand Viking and medieval people’s relation to, and knowledge about plants. She will identify old customs of using plants as fodder and medicine, as well as the range of ideas and symbolism associated with plants.
Irene's main focus of research is to understand how plant traditions evolve. During her PhD she investigated the transmission and role of medicinal plant knowledge in shaping local ethnopharmacopoeias in the Moroccan High Atlas. During her PhD, she spent several months with Amazigh communities conducting ethnographic and ethnobotanical research. She used cross-cultural quantitative analyses to study the diversity, variability and evolution of medical systems. Her aim is to contribute to a better understanding of people’s relationships with the plant world and provide new insights for the conservation of both biodiversity and cultural diversity. In Nordic People and Plants, she will conduct a comparative study of plant traditions across the Scandinavian countries using comparative phylogenetic methods in anthropology. In order to understand how plant traditions change today, she will look at how ethnobotanical knowledge changed in the past.
Luka has a master’s degree in biology and is working as a research assistant on the project. She is systematizing and entering archeobotanical data from excavations performed by the museum of Cultural History in Oslo.
Linda has a bachelor's degree in archeology and is working as a research assistant on the project. She is entering archeobotanical data from excavations performed by the museum of Cultural History in Oslo.
Interns, students and visiting researchers
June Dahl has a master's degree in Norse philology and has formerly been working as a research assistant on the project. She is now volunteering for the project by entering and systematizing data from old Norse written sources.
Therese Foldvik has a master’s degree in Nordic Viking and Medieval Culture. She is now studying at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History. Within the project she is systematizing and entering information about plant use from Swedish medieval written sources.
Krupali Parekh is a visiting researcher with expertise in cultural heritage management, she is entering data into the database and will be helping out with the database itself.
Willemien de Groot is a master student in Ecology & Biodiversity at the Wageningen University & Research, in the Netherlands. She will conduct her thesis within the project studying the trade of plants and plant products by the Hanseatic league (16th-17th centuries).
Eira Carlsen is a bachelor student in biology with a degree in archaeology. She is digitizing and systematizing information from Flora Svecica (Linnaeus, 1745).
Jenny Yang is a master student at the Centre for Technology Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo. Her master thesis within the project will focus on the innovation processes of wild plant use in the New Nordic Cuisine.
Nicolas Giraud is a master student at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His master thesis within the project will explore the sustainability of new foraging practices associated with the New Nordic Cuisine and wild plant food trends.
Mari Georgiana Jerstad is a master student in International Community Health. She is the producer of the podcast Ugress. Her master thesis focuses on herbal traditions of the West Coast and she will share some of her material with the project.
In the summer of 2019, we welcomed two interns through the Erasmus+ program: Lara Estupinan helped systematize ethnobotanical data from Folk og Flora (Brøndegaard, 1978-80). Sami Kaattari is a master student in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oulu, Finland. He was an Erasmus+ intern digitizing various Swedish ethnobotanical sources from the 20th century. He is now conducting his master thesis within the project looking at Finish ethnobotany.
In 2018, two UiO students participated in the project: Magali Courtade was a student at UiO:Life Science. Amy Harlowe contributed through the SUM internship programs.
The Nordic People and Plants project collaborates with national and international researchers, as well as local non-academic partners.
We will be collaborating with people at the REA:Life project. By retrieving lost medicinal knowledge, they are aiming to identify novel bioactive compounds with potenial for future use within treatments.
Our non-academic partners: Gaute Vindegg and Esben Holmboe Bang from Maaemo Restaurant; Pål Karlsen and Johs Kolltveit from the Norwegian Association for Mycology and Foraging (Norges Sopp- og nyttevekstforbund, NSNS), as well as Hildur Hauksdottir. Hildur is the leader of the herb garden at Domkirkeodden museum (Hamar, Norway). Our non-academic partners will play a double role as collaborators in citizen science and outreach. They will also be among the end-users of the research results.
Data collection will be facilitated through GBIF Norway’s online platforms. Dag Endresen, (GBIF) will help us with technical assistance.
At UiO, Prof. Taran Thune (Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture, UiO) will supervise a MSc student in the study of transforming plant traditions into innovative food products and plant concepts. She will do this in collaboration with Maaemo and NSNF.
Dr Ernst Bjerke, librarian and curator of the Old Oslo Katedralskole Library will be a key collaborating researcher by making accessible plant knowledge annotated at the margins of historical books from the 17th and 18th century century.
Dr James Barrett (University of Cambridge, UK) is an expert in medieval archaeology and historical ecology, with special interests in the Viking Age. He will collaborate in the interpretation of the project outcomes in the context of Viking Age trade research and archaeology.
Prof. Fiona Jordan’s (University of Bristol, UK) multidisciplinary work has helped establish the field of cultural phylogenetics as a successful approach to understanding cultural evolution. She will collaborate with cultural evolutionary analyses and overall synthesis.
Dr Simon Greenhill, Dr Paul Heggarty and Dr Cormac Anderson at Glottobank, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI SHH, Germany) are developing evolutionary linguistics to study cultural evolution. They will assist in collecting linguistic data and prepare a language evolutionary tree.