Tropical botany – Ethnobiology – Agrobiodiversity


Assistant professor – Czech Republic

Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences


Kamýcká 129

165 21 Praha


My studies are focused on tropical and subtropical useful plants and their environment with the aim to preserve plant species diversity and related traditional knowledge in natural ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. Studies of traditional knowledge of indigenous people and small-scale farmers on use patterns, management and ecology of the most culturally important as well as neglected and underutilized plant species as sources of food, medicine and materials are of my special interest. Principal research activities include ethnobiological/ethnobotanical inventories and market surveys, documentation of traditional ecological knowledge in different cultural groups, migrants’ ethnobotany, agrobiodiversity management in homegardens and allotments, informal seed systems along with agrobiodiversity conservation, wild food plants’ ethnobotany and taxonomy of tropical and subtropical plants, particularly wild and locally cultivated food species.


In the courses, I’m focused on tropical vegetation ecology, tropical agronomy and taxonomic botany.

In charge of:

  • Tuber, Oil and Fiber Crops
  • Tropical Phytocoenoses
  • Tropical Dendrology
  • Management of Sub-(tropical) Land – Use Systems

Selected publications

  1. Casas Reátegui R., Pawera L., Villegas Panduro PP., Polesny Z. 2018. Beetles, ants, wasps, or flies? An ethnobiological study of edible insects among the Awajún Amerindians in Amazonas, Peru. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 14: 53. doi:10.1186/s13002-018-0252-5
  2. Pawera L., Łuczaj Ł., Pieroni A., Polesny Z. 2017. Traditional plant knowledge in the White Carpathians: Ethnobotany of wild food plants and crop wild relatives in the Czech Republic. Human Ecology, 45: 655-671.
  3. Pawera L., Verner V., Termote C., Sodombekov I., Kandakov A., Karabaev N., Skalicky M., Polesny Z. 2016. Medical ethnobotany of herbal practitioners in the Turkestan Range, south-western Kyrgyzstan. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, 85(1): 3483.
  4. Simkova K., Polesny Z. 2015. Ethnobotanical review of wild edible plants used in the Czech Republic. Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality, 88(1): 49-67.
  5. Polesny Z., Verner V., Vlkova M., Banout J., Lojka B., Valicek P., Mazancova J. 2014. Non-timber forest products utilization in Phong Dien Nature Reserve, Vietnam: Who collects, who consumes, who sells? Bois et Forets des Tropiques, 322(4): 39-49.
  6. Vlkova M., Polesny Z., Verner V., Banout J., Dvorak M., Havlik J., Lojka B., Ehl P., Krausova J. 2011. Ethnobotanical knowledge and agrobiodiversity in subsistence farming: case study of home gardens in Phong My commune, central Vietnam. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 58(5): 629-644.