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Institut für Systematische und Evolutionäre Botanik

Caroline Weckerle

Caroline Weckerle, PD Dr.

  • Privatdozent
+41 (0)44 634 83 52

Research Interests

My research focuses on human-plant interaction and the use of plants in their cultural context. I have a special interest in ritual plant use in the Tibetan cultural area, but my research involves ethnobotanical projects in diverse world regions from Asia to Central Europe and Africa. Currently I am responsible for the solution oriented research for development project “Traditional Medicine in Transition”, a collaboration between Uganda and Switzerland (2023-2026)


Head of the Botanical Garden University of Zurich (since 2020)
Lecturer in ethnobotany (since 2010)
Post-doctoral student at Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and California State University, USA (2004 - 2006)
Ph.D. student at the Institute of Plant Biology and at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zürich (1998 - 2003)

Field studies

2004-ongoing Ethnobotanical field work in southwest China.
2000-2001 Botanical field work in tropical Peru.
1996 Ethnobotanical field work in southwest China.


Ethnobotanik, BIO231
Vielfalt der Pflanzen, Praktikum, BIO125 / BI440
Programmleitung des Weiterbildungsstudienganges Ethnobotanik und Ethnomedizin

Selected publications


Dal Cero M., Saller R., M. Leonti, Weckerle CS. (2022). Trends of Medicinal Plant Use over the Last 2000 Years in Central Europe. Plants 2023, 12, 135.

Weckerle C.S., (2022) Erholung und Inspiration: Die botanischen Gärten der Universität Zürich als grüne Oasen und Orte der Bildung und Forschung. Topiaria 88-93.

Weckerle C.S., de Boer H.J., Puri R.K., van Andel T., Bussmann R.W., Leonti M. (2018) Recommended standards for conducting and reporting ethnopharmacological field studies. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 210: 125-132. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.08.018.

Huber F.K., Weckerle C.S., Hsu E. (2017). The Shuhi House between reformist China and revivalist Tibet. Asia 71(1): 353-374.

Weckerle C.S., Timbul V., Blumenshine P.M. (2010). Medicinal, stimulant and ritual plant use: An ethnobotany of caffeine-containing plants. In Hsu E., Harris S. (eds) Plants, Health and Healing: On the Interface of Ethnobotany and Medical Anthropology. Epistemologies of Healing 6: 262-301.