We are interested in understanding the structure, organization and evolution of socio-ecological systems. In a rather simple notion, these systems result from the interaction of social and cultural systems with ecological systems. In our research efforts, we seek to understand how our species has appropriated nature, materially, cognitively, and symbolically through theoretical scenarios of ecology and evolution. Therefore, to understand these processes, we need to use different approaches, which implies our interdisciplinary orientation. Particularly, some disciplines influence our approaches: evolutionary ethnobiology, biological evolution, cultural evolution, human behavioral ecology, human chemical ecology, ecology, natural product chemistry. 


Therefore, studying social-ecological systems also implies understanding how our species has shaped its environment and how this change has influenced our species, especially in its relationship of dependence on natural resources. Thus, the concepts of niche construction and ecological and cultural heritage are fundamental to us. Our work falls into one or more of the lines of research below: 

  1. Social learning and the transmission of cultural information in social-ecological  systems. 

  2. Storage and retrieval of memory contents associated with social-ecological  systems. 

  3. Ecology and evolution of the patterns of knowledge and use of natural resources by the human species (medicine and food, for example). 

  4. Influence of human intervention on the diversity, composition and functioning of natural populations and communities.

  5. Vulnerability and adaptability of local ecological knowledge in face of natural or human-mediated environmental variations. 

Source: Temóteo Silva

Our works have potential to dialogue with researchers interested in human behavior, ecology and nature conservation, biological and cultural evolution, and in the understanding of medical and dietary practices of our species.In addition, we have also been concerned with the evaluation of the methods we use in our investigations, in order to make explicit or explore their potentialities, weaknesses and limitations.

In addition, we have directed efforts for research in scientometry and scientific communication. In recent years, we have studied the citation performance in articles on ethnobiology, as well as the evolution of this discipline.