Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2018
    Associate Professor, DAIS, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy

  • 2006 – 2017
    Researcher, Department of Folkloristic, Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia

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

  • 2000 – 2003
    MSc in Environmental Technology. Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Estonia

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

Selected publications

  • Pieroni, A., Sõukand, R., and Bussmann, R.W. (2020). The inextricable link between food and linguistic diversity: Wild food plants among diverse minorities in NE Georgia, Caucasus. Economic Botany. 74: 379–397. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12231-020-09510-3

  • 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 Conservation, 10. https://doi.org/10.15451/ec2020-12-10.11-1-26

  • 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. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine, 16: 75.

  • 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): p.e04632.

  • Simanova, A., Pruse, B., Kalle, R., Kochalski, S., Prakofjewa, J., Mežaka, I., Pieroni, A., Krūzkopa, S., Holsta, I., Sõukand, R. (2020). Medicinal plant use at the beginning of the 21st century among the religious minority in Latgale Region, Latvia. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 20, pp. 1-31.

  • Sõukand R, Stryamets N, Fontefrancesco MF, 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, e03222, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03222

  • Sõukand R, Mattalia G, Kolosova V, Stryamets N, Prakofjewa J, Belichenko O, Kuznetsova N, Minuzzi S, Keedus L, Prūse B, Simanova A, and Kalle R. 2020. Inventing a herbal tradition: The complex roots of the current popularity of Epilobium angustifolium in Eastern Europe. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112254

  • Sõukand R, Hrynevich Y, Vasilyeva I, Prakofjewa J, Vnukovich Y, Paciupa J, Hlushko A, Knureva Y, Litvinava Y, Vyskvarka S, Silivonchyk H, Paulava A, Kõiva M, Kalle R. 2017. Multi-functionality of the few: current and past uses of wild plants for food and healing in Lubań region, Belarus. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 13:10.

  • Kalle R, Sõukand R. 2016. Current and remembered past uses of wild food plants in Saaremaa, Estonia: changes in the context of unlearning debt. Economic Botany, 70(3): 235–253.

  • Sõukand R. 2016. Perceived reasons for changes in the use of wild food plants in Saaremaa, Estonia. Appetite, 107: 231–241.



Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • ERC Starting Grant “Ethnobotany of divided generations in the context of centralization”. Project no: DiGe-714874, 2017 – 2022

  • 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, 2016 – 2018

  • 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, 2015 – 2016

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

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

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

Media coverage

Additional qualifications

  • 5-year diploma in Pharmacy


Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Past entrepreneurship experience and strong contacts with the third sector.

  • My students say they like my lectures because of the humane approach and the atmosphere where they can not only learn the subject but better understand themselves and their study companions, be exposed to differences, and learn to appreciate them.


Other activities and achievements/family

  • Family: I am of Estonian-Ukrainian origin, mother of three daughters (15, 12, and 10), two of whom have special needs. The 12-year-old is in the process of publishing her first fantasy book in Italian, with the subtitle "Searching for the right questions". Their father and my partner is also a scientist.

  • Hobbies: Taiji, Nature, Reading, Travel

  • Other interests: To demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinarity, co-existing and co-creation of the knowledge, inspiring research on and teaching of local ecological knowledge, and bicultural diversity


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