School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach

MSc Ethnobotany

Fundamentally interdisciplinary: connecting anthropology, botany, natural resource management and environmental history


Ethnobotany - MSc



Ethnobotany is essentially interdisciplinary, involving knowledge of plants and their ecology in the context of their cultural, social and economic significance.

Ethnobotany is the study of the interrelationship between people and plants, particularly the way in which plants impact on human culture and practices, how humans have used and modified plants, and how they represent them in their systems of knowledge. This programme combines anthropological studies of human-environment interaction and sociocultural knowledge of plants in different parts of the world with ecology, conservation science, environmental law and biodiversity management. It also covers plant conservation and sustainable management practices, taxonomy, and economic botany.

The programme is taught collaboratively with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (a World Heritage Site).

Why study with us?

  • One-year Master's programme.
  • First programme of its kind in the world and only graduate course in UK and Europe.
  • Study with the largest research group for Ethnobotany in Europe.
  • More than 25% of our graduates complete PhD programmes.
  • Integrates field methods with theoretical perspectives.
  • Jointly taught with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and partners with The London School of Pharmacy, The Eden Project and the Endangered Languages Archive at SOAS.
  • Research active lecturers, recognised as being world-leading and internationally excellent (REF2014), with wide geographical expertise.
  • Field trips to the ancient woodlands of the Blean, the Powell-Cotton Museum and the Eden Project.

Applicants might also be interested in reading more about the Annual Distinguished Ethnobotanist Lecture and our Ethnobotanical Garden

This programme draws on the combined strengths of three academic centres. At the University of Kent, the Centre for Biocultural Diversity has pioneered research and teaching in ethnobotany and human ecology; it has been rated excellent for teaching, and its work in anthropological approaches to the environment flagged for excellence in the most recent HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise.

About the School of Anthropology and Conservation

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has unrivalled plant collections and botanical expertise, as well as long-standing global involvement with economic botany. Both partners are involved in major funded projects which have resulted in substantial published output.

The School of Anthropology and Conservation has a large and diverse staff, with particular expertise in ethnobiological classification, historical ecology, gender, computing applications, indigenous knowledge, ethnographic (including quantitative) research methods, the human ecology of tropical subsistence systems, wildlife conservation, biodiversity management, agricultural change, sustainable development, and economic botany and plant taxonomy. Regionally, we have relevant research experience in Europe, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Himalayas, tropical South America, Mesoamerica and sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme is based at the University of Kent, while students benefit from the wealth of collections, particularly the economic botany collections and specialist expertise on plants, their uses and importance available at Kew. The School is housed in a refurbished spacious building with dedicated DNA, small organism, ethnobiology and biological anthropology laboratories.

The Templeman Library has strong holdings in anthropology, area studies and ethnobotany; and good and expanding core holdings in plant science.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Anthropology and Conservation was ranked 10th for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research impact and research intensity.

An impressive 94% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

In the latest Student Barometer survey, 100% of our postgraduate students were satisfied with the academic content of their course and 97% said they found their programme intellectually stimulating.


Course structure

The MSc is an intensive 12-month programme. You take six coursework modules over the first six months and then undertake a project and write a dissertation in the second six months.

Additionally, it is also possible to take modules from the list available for our MA programmes in Anthropology and from our MSc in Conservation Biology as un-assessed options. The modules available may include foundations of natural science for conservation, social science perspectives on conservation, population and evolutionary biology, nature tourism, principles and practice of ecotourism, integrated species conservation and management, trade, economics, regulation and the environment, conservation and community development, and managing protected areas.

The course will be supplemented with practical work, field visits to local sites of ethnobotanical interest (Blean woodland, national fruit collection at Brogdale, Canterbury Cathedral Library, phytomedical suppliers and practitioners), and through guest speakers involved in research in various parts of the world.

Dissertation and fieldwork

Students undertake intensive coursework between September and the end of March each academic year. Towards the end of this period, they develop a concept for a project and write a proposal, as part of their assessed work. The second six months of the programme consists entirely of project and dissertation work under the direction of an appropriate supervisor. The supervisor can be from either Kent or Kew and you are encouraged to work on subjects where staff have particular expertise, while pursuing a research theme in a geographical area in which you have a particular interest. 

Students may select projects that are library, museum or lab-based, but many wish to undertake fieldwork (usually of six weeks duration) and we try to facilitate this. Some students come to the programme with developed ideas about their projects, others may chose topics that relate to current work at Kew or Kent. For example, in recent years we have been able to provide modest financial support for projects related to our Leverhulme-funded British Homegardens Project, a linguistic diversity erosion project in Cameroon and through the Global Diversity Foundation. Examples of MSc Dissertation titles.

Kew are central partners to this programme. Find out full details of Kew's involvement and the plant resources module they teach on this programme.


Please note that modules are subject to change. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

SE840 - Contemporary Issues in Ethnobotany

This module grows out of the enormous possibilities and challenges presented to ethnobotanists and environmental anthropologists during the twenty-first century: both to the huge potential created by cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural exchange, and to the enormous challenges that emerge as academia becomes increasingly accountable to a wider range of interests, problems and stakeholders amidst today's planetary crisis. It focuses on the multi-dimensional, complex and dynamic aspects of ethnobotanical, ethnoecological and human-environmental relations, with a special emphasis on the complex social roles and responsibilities of the subfields of ethnobotany and environmental anthropology. Drawing on recent articles and case-study materials from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives, the module seeks to critically assess some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, issues relating to the material, symbolic, ecological, economic, cultural, historical, institutional and political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations.

Topics covered include:

-The multidimensionality of human-plant interactions
-Approaches to ethnobiological variability and complexity
-Ethnobotany, socio-environmental change and globalisation
-Ethnoecology and symbolic ecology
-Ethnobotany, ethnoecology and historical ecology
-The chemical ecology of human-plant interactions
-Plants, profit, property and power
-Complexity, resilience and adaptive management
-Agrobiodiversity, food and subsistence
-Ethnobotany and forest product development
-Conservation and environmental governance
-Cultural landscapes

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE802 - Research Methods in Social Anthropology

The module will consist of twelve two hour classes consisting of short introductions to weekly topics by the course convenors followed by practical exercises to allow students to experience and learn by doing several key methods and tools used in anthropological fieldwork. Assignments based on the use of several methods, a research proposal abstract for their future dissertation project, and an essay will be used to assess the student's achievement of learning outcomes. Seminar topics may include: Introduction to research in the natural and social sciences, participant observation, choosing informants, interviewing, processing interview data, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, questionnaire design and analysis, developing an integrated research design, running workshops and focus groups, ethics and consent.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE831 - Environmental Anthropology

This module introduces some of the main theoretical approaches and some practical applications of the study of environmental anthropology (in particular, the cultural ecology of Steward, the concepts of carrying capacity and limiting factors as used in eco-systematic models, historical and political ecology, and new approaches deriving from post-modern anthropology). It considers some of the main cultural and social aspects of the human-environment interface, such as the relationship between social organisation and ecology; alternative forms of land use and management; the impact of processes of globalization on human interactions with the environment in a number of non-western societies; and the cultural dimension of human adaptation to the environment. The middle section of the module looks at five categories of subsistence strategy and the environments they occur in, foraging and hunting (in arid, arctic and tropical forest ecosystems), fishing (coastal marine environments), pastoralism (in grassland and arid ecosystems), low intensity and high intensity agriculture (in arid, grassland and tropical environments). For each of these production systems we will also examine a complementary contemporary issue in conservation and/or development. These issues may involve great debates in theory, problems of methodology or issues in applying research results to solve practical problems.

Throughout the module we address methods and problems of applying research in environmental anthropology to related development, conservation and human rights issues, and in particular this year we look at adaptation to climate change among Indigenous peoples.

Week 1 Theory and Explanation in Environmental Anthropology: Wildlife Trade
Week 2 Human-Nature Relationships: Cultural Ecology
Week 3 Ecological Anthropology: Complex Adaptive Systems
Week 4 Historical Ecology: The evolution of Biocultural diversity?
Week 5 Political Ecology and Environmental Degradation
Week 6 Discursive Approaches: Environmentalisms
Week 7 Foraging societies, hunters, and the bushmeat trade
Week 8 Fishers, Sea Tenure, and Common Property Rights
Week 9 Pastoralists, Grasslands and Protected Areas
Week 10 Low Intensity Agricultural Systems: Swidden Systems
Week 11 High Intensity Agricultural Systems, the Green Revolution and GM crops
Week 12 Climate Change: Studying local knowledge and responses

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE832 - Ethnobiological Knowledge Systems

Ethnobiology, anthropology and indigenous knowledge
The structure of ethnobiological categories
Ethnobiological classifications: the relations between categories
Variation, change and the evolution of ethnobiological categories
The cultural transmission of knowledge
Knowledge and use of domesticates
Classifying secondary biodiversity and ethnoecological knowledge
Constructions of nature, natural history intelligence, and natural species as symbols,
Plants in the evolution of human health and healing
Medicinal plants and theories of sickness and healing
Measuring the significance of biological resources: the valuation debate
Project presentations

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE836 - Introduction to Botanical Ethnobotany

Plant Resource Pools
a) Use of plant keys for identification. b) Plant collecting for voucher specimens.
Processing and mounting plant specimens.
Underutilised food plants - Sourcing appropriate botanical information.
a) Two important plant families. b) Writing a plant profile.
a) Food plants. b) Medicinal plants.
Student Plant reports.
Student Plant reports.
Material culture basket making.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE837 - Plant Resources and their Conservation

Botanical information resources
Basic taxonomy
The role of the herbarium
Plant systematics and family sorts
Taxonomy of selected families
Collecting plant specimens under tropical conditions
Ethnobotanical research at Kew
Yam ethnobotany
History of economic botany and the role of the botanic garden
Chinese herbal medicine
Plant phytochemistry in relation to ethnobotany
Applied Ethnobotany

The module will ordinarily consist of 12 two-hour classes consisting of a 30-45 minute introduction by the teacher, followed by a discussion or practical. These are spread over four two-day blocks taught at Kew.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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SE839 - Dissertation: Ethnobotany

Throughout the terms preceding the initiation of the dissertation module students will be encouraged by their supervisor and the instructors of other modules they take to develop ideas for their dissertation research project. They will also be taught appropriate research methods. The final double weighted essay of their pre-dissertation will draw together materials they have learned through the preceding terms and will synthesise these with students' research interests in order to set up a prospectus for the thesis proposal itself. Students who are then passed into the dissertation module by the examiners meeting will, on this basis, complete a written plan for their research project with advice from their tutor. This will be assessed by the tutor and by one other member of the post-graduate anthropology teaching staff, and when this is approved the student and his or her tutor will intensively discuss methods of data collection, theoretical models for the analysis of this material, and the use and integration of research methods into both its preparation and its final presentation. The student will then independently work on the thesis over the summer until mid-September when it will be submitted. Throughout this time the student will be able to gain supervision through electronic mail.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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Assessment is by written reports, oral presentations and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with a broad range of knowledge in the major aspects of the subject, showing how these involve connections between a range of different academic disciplines
  • provide you with advanced level knowledge of the theoretical, methodological and policy issues relevant to understanding the subdiscipline
  • provide you with advanced level knowledge of the theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding the subject
  • introduce you to a variety of different approaches to ethnobotanical research, presented in a multidisciplinary context and at an advanced level
  • facilitate your educational experience through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • provide you with appropriate training if you are preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or going on to employment involving the use of ethnobotanical research
  • make you aware of the range of existing material available and equip you to evaluate its utility for your research
  • cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating them into practicable research designs
  • introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits to objectivity
  • develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary and cross-national context
  • introduce you to the idea of working with other academic and non-academic agencies, when appropriate, and give you the skills to carry out collaborative research
  • develop your skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
  • help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of different audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public
  • give you an appreciation of the potentialities and problems of ethnobotanical research in local, regional, national and international settings
  • ensure that the research of the Department’s staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways which can achieve the national benchmarks of the subject in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • ethnobotany as the comparative and interdisciplinary study of the relationship between people and plants
  • specific themes in ethnobotany eg plant conservation, medical ethnobotany, ethnobotanical knowledge systems
  • cultural and biological diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including north Africa, South America. South Asia and Southeast Asia (in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines)
  • the history of the development of ethnobotany as a subject
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the subject
  • the processes of biological and social change
  • the application of ethnobotany to understanding issues of sustainable social and economic development and environmental conservation throughout the world
  • the relevance of ethnobotany to understanding everyday processes of plant-human interaction anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study skills
  • critical and analytical skills
  • expression of ideas both orally and in written form
  • communication skills
  • groupwork skills
  • computing skills
  • reviewing and summarising information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend some environmental constraints 
  • recognising the pertinence of an ethnobotanical perspective to understanding major national and international events.
  • interpreting plants by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • high-level competence in using ethnobotanical theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • high-level ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of plant use
  • devising questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • perceiving the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the perception and use of plants
  • an openness to try and make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena related to plants that may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • making a structured argument
  • the ability to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
  • time-management skills
  • the use of information technology including computers and library research
  • groupwork
  • handling audio-visual equipment
  • independent research
  • presentation skills
  • the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • have the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has a lively postgraduate community drawn together not only by shared resources such as postgraduate rooms, computer facilities (with a dedicated IT officer) and laboratories, but also by student-led events, societies, staff/postgraduate seminars, weekly research student seminars and a number of special lectures.

The School houses well-equipped research laboratories for genetics, ecology, visual anthropology, virtual paleoanthropology, Animal Postcranial Evolution, biological anthropology, anthropological computing, botany, osteology and ethnobiology. The state-of-the-art visual anthropology laboratory is stocked with digital editing programmes and other facilities for digital video and photographic work, and has a photographic darkroom for analogue developing and printing. The biological anthropology laboratory is equipped for osteoarchaeological and forensic work. It curates the Powell-Cotton collection of human remains, together with Anglo-Saxon skeletons from Bishopstone, East Sussex. The ethnobiology laboratory provides equipment and specimens for teaching ethnobiological research skills, and serves as a transit station for receiving, examining and redirecting field material. It also houses the Powell-Cotton collection of plant-based material culture from Southeast Asia, and a small reference and teaching collection of herbarium and spirit specimens (1,000 items) arising from recent research projects.

Kent has outstanding anthropology IT facilities. Over the last decade, the School has been associated with many innovatory projects, particularly in the field of cognitive anthropology. It provides an electronic information service to other anthropology departments, for example by hosting both the Anthropological Index Online and Experience-Rich Anthropology project. We encourage all students to use the these facilities (no previous experience or training is necessary).

Anthropology at Kent has close links with the nearby Powell-Cotton Museum, which has one of the largest ethnographic collections in the British Isles and is particularly strong in sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian material. It also houses an extensive comparative collection of primate and other mammalian material. Human skeletal material is housed at the Kent Osteological Research and Analysis Centre within the School.

Anthropology, together with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) form the School of Anthropology and Conservation.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  


The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.

As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

'My MSc in Ethnobotany was the most stimulating, fascinating and challenging year of my working life.' (Liz Gladin, graduated 2007)

Since 1998 we have trained nearly 150 students through our MSc programme. More than 25% of these have moved on to undertake research degrees in some area of ethnobotany (for example, Kent, Oxford, Sussex, Vienna, Florida, Tulane, British Columbia, McGill), or have taken up positions which utilise their training and knowledge, for example, in NGOs such as the Global Diversity Foundation, at the Harvard Museum of Economic Botany, conservation education, at various Botanical Gardens around the world (for example, Kew, Edinburgh, New York, Auckland, Beirut), at the United Nations Environment Programme, and in the pharmaceutical industry. Some have gone on to work in universities or start their own organisations and businesses.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (2.1 or above) in anthropology, botany, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, geography or similar.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: American Ethnologist; Current Anthropology; Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute; American Journal of Physical Anthropology; Proceedings of the Royal Society B; and Journal of Human Evolution.

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems, ethnoecology, and other systems of environmental knowledge, as well as local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement, and the interface between conservation and development. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.

Social Anthropology

The regional expertise of our staff has a global reach, with field sites in Europe (including UK), the Middle East, the Balkans, South Asia, Amazonia and Central America, Oceania and Southeast Asia. Themes of conflict, violence, the economic crisis and precarity form a major focus of our current work in these areas, alongside new research on austerity and its social impact, and charity. We have emerging interests in social inequality, work, and organised crime and corruption; and are internationally recognised for our work on ethnicity, nationalism, and identity.

Our research extends to intercommunal violence, diasporas, pilgrimage, intercommunal trade, urban ethnogenesis, indigenous representation and the study of contemporary religions and their global connections (especially Islam). History and heritage is another key theme, with related interests in time and temporality, and the School hosts the leading journal History and Anthropology. Other research addresses the anthropology of natural resources; anthropology of tourism; and post-socialist economy and society in Europe and Central Asia.

We research issues in fieldwork and methodology more generally, with a strong interest in the field of visual anthropology. Our work on identity and locality links with growing strengths in kinship and parenthood. This is complemented by work on the language of relatedness, and the cognitive bases of kinship terminologies

A final focus concerns science, medical anthropology and contemporary society. We work on the anthropology of business, biotechnology, and mental health. Related research focuses on policy and advocacy issues and examines the connections between public health policy and local healing strategies. Staff collaborations and networks extend widely across these regions and thematic interests, and Kent is well known for its pioneering engagement with the anthropology of Europe.

Biological Anthropology

Our research encompasses a broad range of topics within biological and evolutionary anthropology, including bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, archaeological science, human reproductive strategies, hominin evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, modern human variation, and cultural. We have three dedicated research laboratories, as well as a commercial osteology unit. 

Our research takes us to many regions of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and United States).  We collaborate with international research organisations, including the Instituto de Biología Subtropical (Argentina), German Primate Center, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and Budongo Conservation Field Station (Uganda).  Members of staff provide a wide research network offering research opportunities in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.

Skeletal Biology

Our Skeletal Biology Research Centre is the only UK Centre focusing on analysis of biological hard tissues (bones and teeth). It brings together innovative research, novel methodologies and international collaborations, with expertise and resources from Physical Sciences and Biosciences at Kent, and the Powell-Cotton Museum. Research ranges from analyses of the most important human fossils, histological studies of teeth and bone, isotopic analyses and dietary reconstruction, virtual 3D analyses of the skeleton, and forensic identification that together ultimately aim to better understand humans and our evolutionary history.


The Living Primates Research Group fosters research into the behaviour and ecology of primates. It addresses questions concerning adaptation using living primates as model species, to provide a comparative framework for the understanding of human biology and behaviour, and investigate the biological and social dimensions of anthropogenic impacts on non-human primates (NHPs). Research ranges from functional morphology to behavioural ecology and physiology, cultural primatology, and the interplay of primate biology, ecology and conservation, including primate rehabilitation and reintroduction and human-NHP coexistence.

Digital Anthropology: Cultural Informatics and Computational Methods

Since 1985, we have pioneered new approaches to digital anthropology. Achievements include advances in kinship theory supported by new computational methods. We are exploring cloud media, semantic networks, multi-agent modelling, dual/blended realities, data mining, and smart environments. Current work also addresses quantitative approaches for assessing qualitative materials; mobile computing; sensing and communications platforms, and transformation of virtual into concrete objects.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Miguel Alexiades: Senior Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology/Ethnobotany

Amazonian Peru; Ese Eja; Central Mexico; role and responsibility of science; indigenous land and resource rights; indigenous self-determination; higher education programmes for local communities.


Dr Judith Bovensiepen: Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Anthropology of Southeast Asia; East Timor; place and landscape; kinship and reciprocity; colonial history; conflict; conspiracy talk; postconflict healing and reconstruction.


Glenn Bowman: Reader in Social Anthropology

West Bank Palestine and the former Yugoslavia; shrines, monumentalisation, pilgrimage, intercommunal relations, identity politics, nationalism, walling; Orthodox and heterodox Christianity, Sufism; anthropological and psychoanalytic approaches to identity; fieldwork theory. 


Oskar Burger: Lecturer in Biological Anthropology

Origin of the human life history; population dynamics; evolutionary approaches to the demographic transition; population-level effects of energy consumption; biology of ageing; human behavioural ecology in general.


Professor Michael Fischer: Professor of Anthropological Sciences

The representation and structure of indigenous knowledge; cultural informatics; the interrelationships between ideation and the material contexts within which ideation is expressed.


Dr David Henig: Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Central Asia and eastern Mediterranean; anthropology of Islam; socialist/post-socialist economy and society; exchange and materiality; cosmological thought; landscape and environment; narrativity and ethnographic theory; social networks and sociality.


Dr Matthew Hodges: Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

France, Euskadi, Europe; time, historical consciousness, modernity, rural social transformation, cultural and heritage tourism; science and technology; continental philosophy; public anthropology, creative writing.


Dr Sarah Johns: Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology

Evolutionary psychology and behavioural ecology; timing of life-history events; human reproduction, especially variation of the age at first birth and the evolved psychology of reproductive decision making.


Dr Tracy Kivell: Reader in Biological Anthropology

Functional morphology of the wrist and hand; extant and fossil apes; origin of human bipedalism and hand use; ontogeny; biomechanics of primate locomotion.


Dr Patrick Mahoney: Lecturer in Biological Anthropology

Evolutionary developmental biology of hominoid dentition; bioarchaeology, especially prehistoric human diet; palaeopathology.


Dr Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher: Senior Lecturer in Primate Behavioural Ecology

Evolutionary ecology and behaviour of mammals with an emphasis on primates, in particular chimpanzees, including male-female aggression and sexual coercion, hunting behaviour, social behaviour, feeding ecology and ranging patterns.


Dr Daniela Peluso: Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Gender; exchange theory; kinship; development; indigenous urbanisation; medical anthropology; indigenismo; hybridity; personhood and identity; anthropology of business.


Professor Joao Pina-Cabral: Professor of Social Anthropology

The relationship between symbolic thought and social power; family and kinship; ethnicity in colonial and postcolonial contexts.


Dr Mike Poltorak: Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Tonga; Oceania; New Zealand; Brighton and Hove; Rajasthan; India; visual anthropology; mental illness; medical anthropology; transnationalism; ethnopsychiatry; vaccination; applied medical anthropology; cultural politics; indigenous epistemologies and modernities; the medical/visual/development anthropology nexus.


Dr Rajindra K Puri: Senior Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology

Environmental anthropology; ethnobiology; hunting; tropical forests; conservation social science; biodiversity and climate change; South and Southeast Asia.


Dr Dimitrios Theodossopoulos: Reader in Social Anthropology

Political and environmental anthropology; Panama; Greece; ethnic relations and stereotyping; globalisation and indigeneity; sustainability.


Dr Anna Waldstein: Lecturer in Medical Anthropology and Ethnobotany

Medical anthropology; ecological anthropology; Mesoamerica; Rastafari; diaspora and migration; the effects of migration and acculturation on health; the use of traditional medical knowledge as an adaptive strategy among migrants; food and health sovereignty.


Enquire or order a prospectus


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Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Subject enquiries

Dr Rajindra Puri

T: +44 (0)1227 823148


School website

Open days

We hold regular Open Events at our Canterbury and Medway campuses. You will be able to talk to specialist academics and admissions staff, find out about our competitive fees, discuss funding opportunities and tour the campuses.

You can also discuss the programmes we run at our specialist centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris at the Canterbury Open Events. If you can't attend but would like to find out more you can come for an informal visit, contact our information team or find out more on our website.  

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.


The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at:

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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Last Updated: 11/09/2015