Academic Research


DiGe – Ethnobotany of divided generations in the context of centralization

UNISG since January 2019, together with Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice, is among the beneficiaries of the ERC project “Ethnobotany of divided generations in the context of centralization – DiGe” led by Professor Renata Sõukand.SCIENTIFIC MANAGER: Renata Sõukand

OTHER UNISG RESEARCHERS INVOLVED: Andrea Pieroni, Raivo Kalle, Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco

PARTNERSHIP: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy), Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum (Estonia)


FUNDING INSTRUMENT: European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 714874)






Stryamets, N., Prakofjewa, J., Mattalia, G.. Kalle, R., Pruse, B., Zocchi, D.M., Sõukand, R., Pieroni, A., Fontefrancesco, M.F. (2022). Why the ongoing occupation of Ukraine matters to ethnobiology. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 18, 21 (2022).

Sõukand, R., Stryamets, N., Fontefrancesco, M.F., Pieroni, A., 2020. The importance of tolerating interstices: Babushka markets in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and their role in maintaining local food knowledge and diversity. Heliyon 6, e03222. doi

Kalle, R.; Sõukand, R.; Pieroni, A. Devil Is in the Details: Use of Wild Food Plants in Historical Võromaa and Setomaa, Present-Day Estonia. Foods 2020, 9, 570.

Anegg, M., Prakofjewa, J., Kalle, R., & Sõukand, R. (2022). Local ecological knowledge and folk medicine in historical Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and Galicia, 1805-1905. Open Research Europe, 2, 30.

Kalle, R., Pieroni, A., Svanberg, I., & Sõukand, R. (2022). Early Citizen Science Action in Ethnobotany: The Case of the Folk Medicine Collection of Dr. Mihkel Ostrov in the Territory of Present-Day Estonia, 1891–1893. Plants , Vol. 11.

Sõukand, R., Kalle, R., & Pieroni, A. (2022). Homogenisation of Biocultural Diversity: Plant Ethnomedicine and Its Diachronic Change in Setomaa and Võromaa, Estonia, in the Last Century. Biology , Vol. 11.

Stryamets, N., Mattalia, G., Pieroni, A., & Sõukand, R. (2022). “Mushrooms (and a cow) are A Means of Survival for Us”: Dissimilar Ethnomycological Perspectives among Hutsuls and Romanians Living Across The Ukrainian-Romanian Border. Environmental Management.

Stryamets, N., Prakofjewa, J., Mattalia, G., Kalle, R., Pruse, B., Zocchi, D. M., … Fontefrancesco, M. F. (2022). Why the ongoing occupation of Ukraine matters to ethnobiology. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 18(1), 21.

Mattalia, G., Belichenko, O., Kalle, R., Kolosova, V., Kuznetsova, N., Prakofyeva, Y., Stryamets, N., Pieroni, A., Volpato, G., Sõukand, R. (2021). Multifarious trajectories in plant-based ethnoveterinary knowledge in Northern and Southern Eastern Europe. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8 (2021), 710019.

Mattalia, G., Belichenko, O., Kalle, R., Kolosova, V., Kuznetsova, N., Prakofjewa, J., … Sõukand, R. (2021). Multifarious Trajectories in Plant-Based Ethnoveterinary Knowledge in Northern and Southern Eastern Europe. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 8.

Mattalia, G., Stryamets, N., Balázsi, Á., Molnár, D.G., Gliga, A., Pieroni, A., Sõukand, R., Reyes-García, V. (2021). Hutsuls’ perceptions of forests and uses of forest resource in Ukrainian and Romanian Bukovina. International Forestry Review Vol.23(3), 2021.

Mattalia, G., Stryamets, N., Grygorovych, A., Pieroni, A., Sõukand, P. (2021). Borders as crossroads: the diverging routes of herbal knowledge of Romanians living on the Romanian and Ukrainian sides of Bukovina. Frontier in Pharmacology, 11 (2021), 598390.

Mattalia, G., Stryamets, N., Pieroni, A. et al. (2020). Knowledge transmission patterns at the border: ethnobotany of Hutsuls living in the Carpathian Mountains of Bukovina (SW Ukraine and NE Romania). Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 16, 41.

Sõukand, R., Kalle, R., Fontefrancesco, M.F., Pieroni, A. (2021). Building a safety buffer for European food security: the role of small-scale food production and local ecological and gastronomic knowledge in light of COVID-19. Open Research Europe 1 (2021), 10.

Stryamets, N., Fontefrancesco, M.F., Mattalia, G., Prakofjewa, J., Pieroni, A., Kalle, R., Stryamets, G., Sõukand, R. (2021). Just beautiful green herbs: use of plants in cultural practices in Bukovina and Roztochya, Western Ukraine. Journal of Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine, 17, 12 (2021). 

Kalle, R., Belichenko, O., Kuznetsova, N., Kolosova, V., Prakofjewa, J., Stryamets, N., … Sõukand, R. (2020). Gaining momentum: Popularization of Epilobium angustifolium as food and recreational tea on the Eastern edge of Europe. Appetite, 150, 104638.

Pieroni, A., Vandebroek, I., Prakofjewa, J., Bussmann, R. W., Paniagua-Zambrana, N. Y., Maroyi, A., … Sõukand, R. (2020). Taming the pandemic? The importance of homemade plant-based foods and beverages as community responses to COVID-19. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 16(1).

Prakofjewa, J., Kalle, R., Belichenko, O., Kolosova, V., & Sõukand, R. (2020). Re-written narrative: transformation of the image of Ivan-chaj in Eastern Europe. Heliyon, 6(8), e04632.

Prūse, B., Kalle, R., Buffa, G., Simanova, A., Mežaka, I., & Sõukand, R. (2020). We need to appreciate common synanthropic plants before they become rare: Case study in Latgale (Latvia). Ethnobiology and Conservation10.

Sõukand, R., Mattalia, G., Kolosova, V., Stryamets, N., Prakofjewa, J., Belichenko, O., … Kalle, R. (2020). Inventing a herbal tradition: The complex roots of the current popularity of Epilobium angustifolium in Eastern Europe. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 247, 112254.



Understanding the logics of obtaining, managing and perceiving of local natural resources, particularly plants, is crucial for ensuring sustainability of human life, as the use of plants is a key for survival of humans. DiGe aims to create an advanced understanding of the mechanisms of changes in ethnobotanical knowledge experienced by traditional societies/minor ethnic groups when dominating group try to unify and/or erode this practical knowledge. It will also evaluate the effects of the sudden cease to existence of such centralization and following impact of the trial of revival of discontinued traditional etnobotanical knowledge. Research will observe the effect of several social and cultural factors on the evolution of ethnobotanical knowledge of four compact, but divided ethnic minorities that had experienced for shorter (25 years) or longer (70 years) period different influences affecting their plant use and very different social conditions (including welfare and economy). As a long-term outcome is possibility to predict the extent and depth of the changes occurring in the ethnobotanical knowledge and as a applied outcome learn to direct and educate people in the way that the knowledge necessary for sustainable maintenance and utilization of local plant resources will be constantly evolving in the way supporting health and well-being of different populations.




Annex. A_Research project _DiGe_ENG

Annex. B_Research project _DiGe_ENG

Annex. C_Research project _DiGe_ENG

DR_296_-21 Decreto Nomina commissione_COCOCO_DiGe_ERC

1-Verbale 1_criteri_di_valutazione_COCOCO_DiGe_ERC

2-Verbale 2_valutazione_titoli_pubblicazioni_COCOCO_DiGe_ERC

3-verbale colloquio_COCOCO_DiGe_ERC

DR_300-21_Decreto Approvazione atti_DiGe

Calendario prove DiGe





DR_311-21 Decreto Nomina commissione_COCOCO_DiGe_ERC

I Verbale riunione determinazione criteri_Di.GE

II verbale seconda seduta_valut_titoli_Di.Ge

III verbale colloquio orale_Di.Ge