Project ESR6: Transmission of medicinal plant knowledge in Morocco

PhD Fellow: Irene Teixidor

Supervision: Dr. Julie Hawkins

Host Institution: School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading

Co-supervisors: Dr. Colin Pendry, Dr. Mark Watson, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh (AC8).

This project will bring together the systematic biology and ethnography to conduct interdisciplinary research. Transmission of medicinal plant lore will be characterised against a background of increasing international concern about the loss of traditional knowledge.

About the project

Medicinal plants are often consumed far from the places they are gown and harvested. Often the areas over which medicinal plants can be grown and harvested are large. This project focusses on how knowledge about medicinal plants is influenced by the natural floristic distributions, and how this knowledge is transmitted along a trade chain or “plant itinerary”. I will synthesise data on plant biogeography to compare it with use data, and will trace selected medicinal plants from the areas where they are harvested to the market centre of Marrakech, comparing knowledge at different points along the chain. Taking these twin approaches I will infer patterns of knowledge transmission and document current transmission.


Duration: 3 years – start March 1st 2014.