EcolChange seminar – Timo Maran about semiotics in ecology

Seminars of Department of Botany and Centre of Excellence EcolChange

Speaker: Prof. Timo Maran is Professor in Ecosemiotics and Environmental Humanities at Tartu University. His research focuses on the connection between ecology and semiotics, for example in multispecies environments (e.g. urban nature) and their effect on nature protection and communication.

Title of the talk: Semiotics in Ecology and Environmental Studies

Time: Thursday, 26. November 2020 at 14.15

Place: Tartu, Lai 40-218 (Vaga auditorium), or virtual link in the MS Teams group (link for seeing the seminar online, without any logging in etc.).

Summary: The fundamental connection between ecology and semiotics is that both fields give to relations a principal ontological position. In this presentation, I will give an overview of different ways how semiotics has been incorporated into ecological studies and what could be future perspectives of such synthesis. Most notably, Italian semiotician and landscape ecologist Almo Farina has developed the method of ecofield analysis that combines Umwelt theory with spatial description of landscapes and allocation of resources. From a semiotic perspective we could also describe interspecies communicative regularities and conventions in ecosystems as ecoacoustic codes or ecological codes. System ecology have further argued about the role of informational layer (Søren N. Nielsen’s semiotype) and feedback cycles in retaining stability and resilience of ecosystems. In environmental studies a number of concepts (e.g. semiotic pollution, dissent) have been applied for critical treatment of human effects of the environment. These developments have led to the formation of ecosemiotics (also semiotic ecology) starting from in 1990ties as an explicit synthesis of ecology and semiotics.

For everyone to stay as healthy as possible, please be reminded that wearing a face mask is mandatory. Please bring your own mask. Most importantly, don’t attend when you feel sick.

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