Throughout millennia, communities all over the world have accumulated detailed knowledge about their local environment, passing it down from one generation to another, either through daily practices such as hunting, fishing or gardening, or in the form of myths and stories.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is a very broad area that informs various types of research. Unsurprisingly, different disciplines have developed a wide range of aims, methodologies and theoretical frameworks for engaging with TEK. 

This workshop brings together researchers from a number of complementary academic fieldsanthropology, linguistics, archaeology, biology, lawto facilitate the sharing of insights and individual expertise, and provide attendees with an inter-disciplinary appreciation of the ways in which they can engage with TEK in their own research.


  • Dr Aung Si, biologist, linguist (University of Cologne)
  • Dr Janet Gagul, botanist (University of Papua New Guinea)
  • Professor Simon Haberle, palaeoecologist (ANU)
  • Dr Darja Hoenigman, linguistic anthropologist (ANU)
  • Professor James Leach, social anthropologist (CREDO/CNRS Aix-Marseille Université)
  • Dr Karri Neldner, psychologist (UWA)
  • Mr Pius Piskaut, botanist (University of Papua New Guinea)
  • Professor Daniel Robinson, human geographer, environmental lawyer (University of New South Wales)
  • Ms Rose Singadan, biologist (University of Papua New Guinea)



9:00AM Introduction
Darja Hoenigman (ANU)
9:30AM Documenting bird knowledge and measuring language attrition in a northern Myanmar community
Aung Si (University of Cologne, Germany)
10:00AM Simple Techniques for Documenting TEK
James Leach (CREDO/CNRS Aix-Marseille Université)
11:00AM Title: To be announced
Karri Neldner (UWA)
11:30AM The loss of Generational Knowledge with reference to the study of the New Guinea Singing Dog
Rose Singadan (UPNG)
12:00PM The loss of traditional ecological knowledge among tertiary students in PNG
Pius Piskaut (UPNG)
12:30PM Pacific Patent Landscapes, Traditional Knowledge and Biotrade
Daniel Robinson (UNSW)
2:00PM Traditional ecological knowledge in palaeoecology: the importance of listening to, engaging with, and respecting Indigenous voices in STEM related research
Simon Haberle (ANU)
3:00PM Collection and preparation of botanical specimens
Janet Gagul (UPNG)
(Short 'field trip' and demonstration - on ANU campus)
-- for in-person participants only --
4:00PM End of Workshop


Event details

Event date

Thu, 6 Jun 2024, 9am - 4pm