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Welcome to Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-1-1

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Ethnobiology is a multidisciplinary field of study that draws on approaches and methods from both the social and biological sciences. "Ethnobiology" has proven a rather difficult term to define since the scope of ethnobiological studies has changed considerably throughout history. One of its more recent definitions refers to the study of the reciprocal relationships between human cultures and the natural world [1]. Reciprocal relationships here refer to the human perception of the biological environment, which will ultimately influence man's behaviour, while human behaviour in turn influences – or shapes – the biological environment. This broad definition of ethnobiology encompasses ethnotaxonomy (study of the classification principles of animals, plants, soils, and ecosystems according to local peoples), ethnomedicine (study of the cultural concepts of health, disease and illness, and of the nature of local healing systems), ethnoecology (study of traditional environmental knowledge and of anthropogenic effects on the environment), ethnoagronomy (study of subsistence economies and resource management), and material culture (study of biological resources used in art and technology).Ethnobiology aims at investigating culturally-based biological and environmental knowledge, cultural perception and cognition of the natural world, and associated behaviours and practices.Ethnomedicine is concerned with the cultural interpretations of health, disease and illness and also addresses the health care-seeking process and healing practices.In both ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, the documentation of the consequences of particular behaviours and practices is through cultural and biological expertise intrinsic to the fields of anthropology and biology/medicine.Research interest and activities in the areas of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine have increased tremendously in the last decade. The number of research publications has doubled and the three international, widely recognised


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