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Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

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Event description

Throughout millennia, communities all over the world have accumulated detailed knowledge about their local environment, passing it down from one generation to another, either through daily practices such as hunting, fishing or gardening, or in the form of myths and stories.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is a very broad area that informs various types of research. Unsurprisingly, different disciplines have developed a wide range of aims, methodologies and theoretical frameworks for engaging with TEK. 

This workshop brings together researchers from a number of complementary academic fields—anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, biology, law—to facilitate the sharing of insights and individual expertise, and provide attendees with an inter-disciplinary appreciation of the ways in which they can engage with TEK in their own research.


  • Dr Aung Si, biologist, linguist (University of Cologne)
  • Dr Janet Gagul, botanist (University of Papua New Guinea)
  • Professor Simon Haberle, palaeoecologist (ANU)
  • Dr Darja Hoenigman, linguistic anthropologist (ANU)
  • Professor James Leach, social anthropologist (CREDO/CNRS Aix-Marseille Université)
  • Dr Karri Neldner, psychologist (UWA)
  • Mr Pius Piskaut, botanist (University of Papua New Guinea)
  • Professor Daniel Robinson, human geographer, environmental lawyer (University of New South Wales)
  • Ms Rose Singadan, biologist (University of Papua New Guinea)


9:00AM: Introduction
Darja Hoenigman (ANU)

9:30AM: Documenting bird knowledge and measuring language attrition in a northern Myanmar community
Aung Si (University of Cologne, Germany)

10:00AM: Simple Techniques for Documenting TEK
James Leach (CREDO, Aix-Marseilles University)


11:00AM: Learning Together: Our goals to bring Noongar Elder-led TEK to local schools
Karri Neldner (UWA)

11:30AMThe loss of Generational Knowledge with reference to the study of the New Guinea Singing Dog
Rose Singadan (UPNG)

12:00PM: The loss of traditional ecological knowledge among tertiary students in PNG
Pius Piskaut (UPNG)

12:30PM: Pacific Patent Landscapes, Traditional Knowledge and Biotrade
Daniel Robinson (UNSW)


2:00PM: Traditional ecological knowledge in palaeoecology: the importance of listening to, engaging with, and respecting Indigenous voices in STEM related research
Simon Haberle (ANU)


3:00PM: Collection and preparation of botanical specimens
Janet Gagul (UPNG)
(Short 'field trip' and demonstration - on ANU campus)
-- for in-person participants only --

4:00PM: End of Workshop

Note: This event will be in hybrid format, but in-person attendance is limited, so register now. In-person registration is also essential for catering arrangement purposes. Online attendees will receive their login details once they register. 

Please note: If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser(s).  

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