We investigate the creativity at work as people across diverse language backgrounds respond to the natural world through naming, metaphor, and myth.

Are words influenced by local environments?

How do we explain similarities and differences between linguistic diversity and biodiversity?

What do different approaches to naming reveal about the role and mechanisms of creativity in language?

Birds provide the natural lens through which we pursue our research: the migrations of barn swallows link a multitude of different languages; owls bear an otherworldly salience acknowledged across cultures; and each community boasts those birds unique to place that hold special significance.

Explore the Ethno-ornithology World Atlas (EWA) online.

Blog posts on Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth

Research update: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth

What have birds got to do with multilingualism?


Park K, Wyndham FS, Gosler A and Fanshawe J. "Naming, Creating a Meaningful World: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth." In Kohl K, Dudrah R, Gosler A, Graham S, Maiden M, Ouyang W and Reynolds, M (Eds) Creative Multilingualism, A Manifesto (pp. 47—69) Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 2020.

Park, K, Gooden, S., Soudi, A., Kinlock, V. "Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: A multifaceted approach." In Murrell, A, Petrie, J., Soudi, A. (Ed.), Diversity Across the Disciplines: Research on People, Policy, Process, and Paradigm. (pp. 131-144). Charlotte, N.C.:Information Age Publishing. 2019.

Barreau, A; Ibarra, J T; Wyndham, F S; Kozak, R A. "Shifts in Mapuche Food Systems in Southern Andean Forest Landscapes: Historical Processes and Current Trends of Biocultural Homogenization." Mountain Research and Development. 2019.  DOI: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-18-00015.1.

Hopper NG, Gosler AG, Sadler JP & Reynolds SJ. "Species’ cultural heritage inspires a conservation ethos: the evidence in black and white." Conservation Letters. 2019; e12636. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12636.

Gosler A. "What’s in a name? The Legacy and Lexicon of Birds." British Wildlife 30, 391–397. 2019.

Pam, G; Zeitlyn, D; Gosler, A G. "Ethno-ornithology of the Mushere of Nigeria: Children’s Knowledge and Perceptions of birds." Ethnobiology Letters. 2018. DOI: 10.14237/ebl.9.2.2018.931.

Wyndham, F S; Park. K. "'Listen Carefully to the Voices of the Birds': A Cross-Cultural Review of Birds as Signs" Journal of Ethnobiology. 2018. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-38.4.533.

Wyndham, F.S. "The Trouble with TEK." Ethnobiology Letters 8, 78-80. 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14237/ebl.8.1.2017.1006.

Gosler AG. "The Human Factor: Ecological Salience in Ornithology and Ethno-ornithology." J. Ethnobiology (Special Edn. in Ethno-ornithology) 37, 637–662. 2017. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-37.4.647.

Wyndham FS, Grabowska-Zhang AM, Gosler AG, Park KE, Fanshawe J, Nathan D, Fletcher H & del Hoyo J. "The Ethno-ornithology World Archive (EWA): An open science archive for biocultural conservation." Revista Chilena de Ornitología 22, 141-146. 2016.

A. Barreau, J.T. Ibarra, F.S. Wyndham, et al. "How can we teach our children if we cannot access the forest? Generational change in mapuche knowledge of wild edible plants in andean temperate ecosystems of Chile." J. Ethnobiology 36, 412-432. 2016. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-36.2.412.