Ethnobotanical studies involve the investigation of biocultural diversity and thus the interactions between plants and people. Foremost among these are the management of plant diversity by indigenous communities and the traditional use of medicinal plants, which are considered an important component of the world’s cultural heritage. Furthermore, this kind of knowledge plays a crucial role in various applied fields such as biodiversity conservation and primary health care.

Ongoing projects:

  • People and plants in Southwest China
  • Non-timber forest products and related conservation issues in Southwest China
  • Continuum between ritual and medicinal plant use
  • Ethnobotany in Switzerland - Traditional and contemporary use of (medicinal) plants
  • Human plant interactions
  • Local plant knowledge
  • Incense analysis
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Taxonomy


  • Trends of Medicinal Plant Use over the Last 2000 Years in Central Europe
    Maja Dal Cero; Reinhard Saller; Marco Leonti; Caroline Weckerle
    Plants 2022-12 | 10.3390/plants12010135

  • Liriopogons (Genera Ophiopogon and Liriope, Asparagaceae): A Critical Review of the Phytochemical and Pharmacological Research
    Lei, Feiyi; Weckerle, Caroline S.; Heinrich, Michael
    Frontiers In Pharmacology 10.3389/fphar.2021.769929  DEC 3 2021
  • Local plant knowledge and its variation among farmer's families in the Napf region, Switzerland
    Poncet, Anna; Schunko, Christoph; Vogl, Christian R.; Weckerle, Caroline S.
    Journal Of Ethnobiology And Ethnomedicine 10.1186/s13002-021-00478-5  SEP 3 2021
  • Traditional medicinal knowledge and practices among the tribal communities of Thakht-e-Sulaiman Hills, Pakistan
    Ahmad, Khalid; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Huber, Franz K.; Weckerle, Caroline S.
    Bmc Complementary Medicine And Therapies 10.1186/s12906-021-03403-1  SEP 13 2021
  • Ethnobotanical investigation of wild vegetables used among local communities in northwest Pakistan
    Ahmad, K; Weckerle, CS; Nazir, A
    ACTA SOCIETATIS BOTANICORUM POLONIAE, 88 (1):10.5586/asbp.3616 2019
  • Quality control of goji (fruits of Lycium barbarum L. and L. chinense Mill.): A value chain analysis perspective
    Yao, Ruyu; Heinrich, Michael; Wang, Zigui; Weckerle, Caroline S.
    JOURNAL OF ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY, 224 349-358; 10.1016/j.jep.2018.06.010 OCT 5 2018
  • Quality Variation of Goji (Fruits of Lycium spp.) in China: A Comparative Morphological and Metabolomic Analysis 
    Yao, Ruyu; Heinrich, Michael; Zou, Yuanfeng; et al. 
    FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY, 9: FEB 26 2018 Article (Details)
  • The genus Lycium as food and medicine: A botanical, ethnobotanical and historical review 
    Yao, Ruyu; Heinrich, Michael; Weckerle, Caroline S. 
    JOURNAL OF ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY, 212: 50-66 10.1016/j.jep.2017.10.010 FEB 15 2018
Caroline Weckerle

PD Dr. Caroline Weckerle
University of Zurich
Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 83 52

  • Human livelihoods and conservation 
  • Human ecology
  • Access and benefit sharing
  • Phytochemistry
  • Complementary medicine