Family name, First name: Sõukand, Renata

Researcher unique identifiers: G-8243-2012,

Date of birth: 04.04.1974


URL for web site:



·         EDUCATION

09/2004–12/2010       PhD in Semiotics and Cultural Studies. Faculty of Philosophy, University of Tartu, Estonia

09/2000–06/2003       MSc in Environmental Technology. Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

09/1992–06/1999        BSc (equivalent to MA since 2004) in Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia



01/2018  Associate Professor, DAIS, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy



08/2017-01/2018        Research Fellow, DAIS, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy

06/2017-07/2017        Independent researcher 

04/2006–05/2017       Researcher, Department of Folkloristic, Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia

01/2008–02/2017       President, Kuldvillane LCC, Estonia.

09/2009–01/2010       Research fellow, Science Centre, Tartu University Library, Tartu, Estonia.

09/2004–08/2005       ISFNR congress secretary, Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, Estonia.

09/2000–06/2004       Project Manager, Museum of Tartu University History, Tartu, Estonia.

04/1996–08/2000       Consultant, Leks Insurance LTD, Tartu, Estonia.



2017-2022       ERC Starting Grant “Ethnobotany of divided generations in the context of centralization”. Project no: DiGe-714874, 1 496 675 EUR

2016-2018       Developmental grant by Foreign Ministry of Estonia” Developmental cooperation between Estonian Literary Museum and Center of Belarusian Culture Studies, Language and Literature”. Project no: 69-2016-A, 50 680 EUR.

2015–2016      Developmental grant by Foreign Ministry of Estonia “Increasing of scientific and educational capabilities and internationalization of humanitarian and social science institutions in Belarus”. Project no: 66-2015-A, 27 505 EUR.

2014–2018      Research and Development program “Estonian Language and Cultural Memory II” project “Resource publication of Estonian ethnobotany: interpretation of nature culture“, EKKM14–300, 55 000 EUR.

2009–2013      Research and Development program “Estonian Language and Cultural Memory” project “HERBA and satellite databases”, EKKM09–84, 48 878 EUR.

2007–2008      Enterprise Estonia research project “Preliminary study into identifying new medical herbs on the basis of folklore records”, EU27440, 12 659 EUR.

2006–2009      Research and Development program “Estonian Language and National Memory” project “HERBA” EKRM06–68, 27 993 EUR.



20052011                       2 MA and 2 BSc (before 2008, 5 years of study, equivalent to MA) students supervised – Department of Pharmacy / Faculty of Medicine / University of Tartu / Estonia.

2011–09/2017 1 PhD student co-supervised – Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences / Estonian University of Life Sciences / Estonia.



·         TEACHING ACTIVITIES                               

2015/2016, 2014/2015 and 2011/2012          Introduction to ethnobotany – Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences / Estonian University of Life Science / Estonia (6 ECTS). Conducted in E-learing and classroom format.

2009                Cultural heritage – Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences / Estonian University of Life Science (3 ECTS).

2008                Medicine as culture – Department of Semiotics / University of Tartu / Estonia (3 ECTS). Conducted in E-learning format.


·         FIELDWORK

2017                Ethnobotanical fieldwork in Ukraine (1 week) and Iraq (1 week)

2016                Ethnobotanical fieldwork in Belarus (1 week) and Ukraine (3 weeks)

2015                Ethnobotanical fieldwork in Kosovo, Ukraine and Romania, every 1 week.

2014-2016       Ethnomedicinal and wild edible plants of Saaremaa, 3 month.

2011–2013      Wild edible plants, Estonia 3 months.

1999, 2001      Folkloristic fieldwork in Kullamaa, Estonia 2 weeks each year.



2014                Main organiser and teaching scholar for the intensive summer course “Designing and conducting ethnobiological research in Eastern Europe” Saaremaa, Estonia, June 29 – July 05, 2014. Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Science, 5 ECTS, 22 post-grad students from 7 European countries, 7 teaching scholars.



2010                Main organiser of the First Eastern-European regional workshop “Old treasures in the new Europe: the future of ethnobiology in the East and Far East”. Tallinn, Estonia 15–18 October 2010, 35 international participants ( Organized under the official patronage of the International Society of Ethnobiology. This established a tradition, as the 4th workshop will be organized in 2016 in Turkey.

2005                Responsible secretary of “Folk Narrative Theories and Contemporary Practices” (14th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR)). Tartu, Estonia 26.–31. July 2005. Over 300 international participants.

2004 – 2008    Main organiser of first five workshops in the MEDICA series, including two international workshops. Approximately 30 participants in every workshop.


·         ACTIVITY AS A REVIEWER OF SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS (no of articles reviewed)

Journal of Ethnopharmacology (42), Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (10), Appetite (9), Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae (5), Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia (1), Pharmacy (1), African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines (1), Folklore (1), Trames: Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences (2), Ethnobiology Letters (1), Sign System Studies (1), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India (2) Mäetagused (3).



01/2016 – 12/2017     Editorial Board member Journal of Ethnobiology

04/2013 –                    Editorial Board member Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.

06/2011 –        Associate Editor. TANG: International Journal of Genuine Traditional Medicine.



Articles in all databases of ISIWoS (Scopus) = 30, h-index =12 (13), sum of citations (without self-citations) = 228 (October 2017).



2009 –                        Member of International Society of Ethnobiology.

2007 –                        Member of Society for Economic Botany, elected Council Member for 2014–2017.

2005 –                        Member of Estonian Semiotics Association.

2004 –                        Member of Estonian Naturalists' Society.



2011–2014      Results of work have been featured in interviews on national TV (Aktuaalne kaamera), radio (5 times, Teaduslabor), and in newspapers (Postimees, Päevaleht, Maaleht).

2012 – 2013    The popular science article “Interpreting History through Changes in Herbal Landscape” was published in Frankfurter Allgemeine (15.03.12), El País (29.08.12), IlSore24ORE (18.10.13) through Atomium Culture popularization of sciences initiative.

2008–2012      Three short popular courses on historical plant use, Estonian Folklore Council.

2007–2015      Over twenty invited lectures to schools and adult education programs in Estonia, including twice at European Researchers’ Night.



2013                EMP/Norway Scholarship for a short visit to Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norwegian Centre for Child Research for preparation of a joint grant application for EMP/Norway research grant. March 2013.

2012                Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), scholarship for participation at the conference “Anthropology in the World” 8–11.06.12, GB, London; oral presentation.

2010                Diploma in PhD students’ research competition for the doctoral dissertation “Herbal Landscape” awarded by the Archimedes Foundation.

2010                Open Science Network in Ethnobiology (OSN) scholarship for attending the 2nd Annual meeting of the OSN and the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany. June 5–10, 2010 Mexico.

2010                DoRa (Estonia) scholarship for attending the pre-congress student workshop and 12th International Congress of Ethnobiology. May 9–14, 2010, Canada, Tofino.

2006                Prime scholarship for the presentation “How to read the text on herbal healing” at the conference “Young scientists in science history” (Estonian Academy of Young Scientists). 20. April 2006.

2005                Yearly silver award (2004) from the journal Academia for the article “Medicinal plants in Estonian folk medicine: historical background, collection and analysis of ethnopharmacological data”.

2000– 2014     Personal awards from Cultural Endowment of Estonia for developing HERBA, years 2000, 2008–2011, editing and translating articles 2010, 2011 and for attending conferences 2012–2014.


SPEAKING                            READING                  WRITING

ESTONIAN:                           fluent                                      fluent                          fluent

ENGLISH:                              near fluent                               fluent                          very good

RUSSIAN:                              fluent                                      fluent                          very good

UKRAINIAN:                         near fluent                               fluent                          good