The researcher will be employed by the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, and work on the Research Council of Norway funded project Nordic People and Plants. Nordic People and Plants investigates the development of Nordic biodiversity through human interference from the Viking age until today. The project aims to rediscover and understand the evolution of Nordic plant traditions, by explaining the origins of diversity of selected plants. People have always been dependent on plants, using them as food, animal fodder, medicine, or as materials for clothing, tools and buildings. Throughout history, plants have shaped how people build, dress, and cure diseases. In turn, people have influenced biodiversity by cultivating and introducing new plant species, but they have also caused plants to go extinct. Currently, a decline in plant diversity world-wide threatens our well-being and the ecosystems we depend on, making it all the more pressing to better understand these human-plant relationships. In this project, plant names, archaeobotanical sources, iconographical sources and textual descriptions will all be systematized and analyzed. The project is based on close collaboration between the humanities and natural sciences. This cooperation will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of human relationships with plants and contribute to safeguarding Nordic plant traditions for the future. The candidate’s work for the project will be to use data science approaches and ethnobotanical expertise to improve and analyze our extensive database of ethnobotanical, linguistic, archaeobotanical, and historical datasets. They will conduct research aimed at answering questions at the core of the project, such as: Can we triangulate data sources to state what the Viking ethnobotanical toolkit looked like? How was knowledge of plant use transmitted across time and space? What dynamics of cultural and linguistic diversity can be understood with these data? We therefore seek a candidate with strong analytical skills as well as a background/training in ethnobotany or a similar field.
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