Scientific Steering Committee

Executive Committee    |    Scientific Steering Committee    |    Senior Fellows


Stephan BarStephan_Barthelthel defended his PhD thesis in 2008 in natural resource management. 2010-2012 he completed at postdoctoral position at the department of Urban History in Stockholm. He currently holds a research position at Stockholm Resilience Centre. The research of Stephan Barthel attempts to understand environmental issues in metropolitan landscapes, with focus on social-ecological systems that have a bearing on the capacity to manage, plan and design for ecosystem services. He is involved in several GIS-mapping projects. Some of his work deals with food security. He has done historical studies on urban food security and studies on food security on the regional scale, where the concept of bio-cultural refugia was developed. Another line of research focus on social sustainability issues related to urban ecosystem services.

foto tes_2Valentina Caracuta Archaeobotanist, Palaeoecologist, Palaeoclimatologist currently employed as Researcher at the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaecology. University of Salento-Lecce, Italy. My research focuses on the Southern Levant, and I aim to identify the environmental changes between the Late Pleistocene and the Early Holocene, and to study the adaptive strategies developed by the prehistoric humans in response to the changing environment. In the course of my research, I use archaeological plant remains to investigate a wide range of human behaviour and to identify short-term climate changes driven by both natural and anthropogenic agents. I systematically apply radiocarbon dating to the plant macrofossils to measure the temporal extent of environmental change or to compare climatic events on an absolute chronological scale. I measure the stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) of archaeological plant remains to obtain information about the water input received by the plant during its life cycle, which in turn provide insights into local changes in precipitation. The combination of 14C and δ13C dating of the archaeological plant remains allows me to identify changes in the regional palaeorainfall regime directly from plant material collected in the archaeological layers, and thus provides a critical and unique insight into the history of past climate. Over the years, I have explored the potential of such a methodology to infer information about the palaeoclimate and agricultural practices across a large number of key sites in Syria, Italy, Egypt and Israel. Read more here.

JagoJago Cooper is Curator and Head of the Americas Section at the British Museum since 2012. His research focuses on how past island societies have experienced different periodicities and impacts of climatic variability and environmental change. Key to this research are attempts to identify what lessons can be learnt for modern-day island populations facing increasing threats from rising sea levels, precipitation variation and cyclone intensification. In 2012 Cooper and Payson Sheets published an edited book entitled Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology that exemplifies this research with a range of related studies that all aim to produce useful content for disaster management practitioners. Cooper is most active within IHOPE Islands that facilitates inter-regional discussion between scholars working with issues of past and future human-climate-environment relationships in different island theatres around the world.

Anneli_EkblomAnneli Ekblom is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. Her main research interest is centred on socio-environmental dynamics; an interdisciplinary study residing in the intersection between Environmental History, Historical Ecology and Archaeology. The past is viewed is an experimental lab, meaning that many of the options that are presently available to us, whether it comes to environmental management, sustainability or policy issues have been tested and tried in the past. Ekblom is a project leader of the research node Mind & Nature and coordinate the Ma programme in Global environmental History. Read more here.

ErtsenMMaurits Ertsen is Associate Professor at Water Resources, Delft University of Technology. In his research, Irrigation is closely associated with the start of human civilization; it also has been a major technology in colonial rule and development cooperation. Irrigation is gaining renewed recognition with current climate variability. Ertsen seeks to explore how irrigation realities emerge from the many short-term actions of human agents and am fascinated how central planning is met by farmer responses. He is engaged in projects in the USA, Peru, Kenya, the Netherlands, Kurdistan, Vietnam and China and treasurer of the International Water History Association and secretary of the Dutch Association of Water History. With Heather Hoag (University of San Francisco), he is also the editor of Water History , the journal of IWHA. Read more here.

Finnigan JohnJohn Finnigan received a BSc in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester in 1968 and a PhD in micrometeorology from the Australian National University in 1978. From 1989 to 1995 he was Head of the CSIRO Centre for Environmental Mechanics, an interdisciplinary research unit organised around the flow of material and energy through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. In 2004, he founded the Complex Systems Science Centre at CSIRO and has continued to lead Complex Systems Science in the organisation since that time. His current activities include both global integrated assessment modelling of energy and climate mitigation and extending the Planetary Boundaries concept to the intersection of the biophysical and Social domains. This involves construction of conceptual models of the human-earth system that contrast the dynamics of the pre-industrial ‘Malthusian age’ with those of industrial and post-industrial times. He is a Visiting Professor at the School of Geophysical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, an Affiliate Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder Colorado, USA, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Joel Gunn, Lecturer, Anthropology, . (UNCG photo by David Wilson - 10/09/2013)Joel D. Gunn is currently a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Greenboro. His interest is centred around the impact of global climate change on regional cultures around the margins of the Bermuda-Azores Subtropical High, which is to say Maya Lowlands, southeastern United States, and southwestern Europe. Gunn is currently analyzing ecological and social network data on the Maya Lowlands collected by the IHOPE-Maya working group. The objective is to characterize long term processes as products of agency-based decision making, in other words dynasties, and translate those decisions into advise for the modern world economic and cultural system. Read more here.

Junko Habu is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, and Affiliate Professor at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan. As an anthropological archaeologist, she conducts research on human-environment interactions, human rights, and the long-term sustainability of human cultures and societies. Using the theoretical framework of historical ecology, her most recent research project, Long-Term Sustainability through Place-Based, Small-Scale Economies: Approaches from Historical Ecology, focuses on the importance of food and subsistence diversity, social networks and local autonomy for understanding the resilience of socioeconomic systems in the past and present. For more information about her research, click here.

christian-isendahlChristian Isendahl (Ph.D., Uppsala University, 2002) is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer of Archaeology at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. His main research interests concern issues of long-term sustainability and resilience, and he applies a historical ecological lens to study urbanism, farming systems, water and soil management, and socio-political organization, with a particular focus on urban farming. He is involved in field research in the Maya lowlands of Mexico, the Central Andes of Bolivia, and the Lower Amazon of Brazil. Isendahl is a member of the IHOPE-Maya network, the board of the Swedish Archaeological Society (SAS), and coordinates the World Historical Ecology Network (WHEN). With Daryl Stump (University of York, UK) he is currently putting the final editorial touches on the Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology (forthcoming on Oxford University Press).

Jed_KaplanJed O. Kaplan is European Research Council Professor in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics in the faculty of Geosciences and Environment at the University of Lausanne. His research interests human-environment interactions and the long-term impact of anthropogenic land cover change on global biogeochemical cycles and climate. He is the leader of the European Research Council project COEVOLVE on understanding the record of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in the preindustrial Holocene, and the Swiss National Science Foundation project ACACIA on the anthropogenic transformation of African landscapes during the Iron Age. More information about Prof. Kaplan and his research is available here.

HirofumiHirofumi Kato is an Associate Professor of the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University. He specializes in the Indigenous Ainu of northern Japan. He is the co-ordinator of Hokkaido University’s Ainu Ethnohistory and Indigenous Archaeology Project, as well as its Indigenous Education Program. His extensive work in Siberia on topics such as technology, cultural transitions, and migrations make him a perfect fit with the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project. He will be acting as the regional coordinator in Hokkaido and overseeing Rebun excavations and field schools. He will conduct preliminary examinations of the excavated materials; perform archaeometric pottery studies; look at pottery sequences in the broader context of Northeast Asia focusing on manufacturing, usage, and sharing; and investigate culture change and transmission. Read more here

Paul Lane is Professor of Global Archaeology, University of Uppsala, and former President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (2008-10), with over thirty years’ research experience in Africa. He did his undergraduate degree and doctoral research (an ethnoarchaeological study of space and time among the Dogon in Mali, West Africa) at Cambridge University. He has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam (1989-91), Tanzania and the University of Botswana (1992-97), helping to establish degree programmes in archaeology at both institutions. He also served as Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi (1998-2006), before joining the University of York (2007-13) as a senior lecturer and coordinator of the Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes (HEEAL) project funded by a Marie Curie Excellence Grant. His current research ( builds on this previous work, with particular emphasis on the intersections of climate change, heritage and livelihoods. Read more here

ENRIQUE-LEFFEnrique Leff is a Mexican economist, environmental sociologist and environmentalist. He writes about political ecology, environmental sociology, environmental economics, environmental epistemology and environmental education and is regarded as one of the key environmental thinkers in Latin America. He is best known for arguing that environmental problems result from a crisis of Western civilization’s ways of knowing, understanding and transforming the world. This masks other legitimate ways of thinking and acting in the world, namely forms of ‘eco-development’ and environmental rationality. His work is largely theoretical but his major books cite positive examples of the ethnobotanic practices of Prehispanic cultures in Latin America, sustainable agricultural practices in tropical ecosystems, etc. A recent article is Leff E. (2012). Latin American environmental thinking: a heritage of knowledge for sustainability. Environmental Ethics 34:4.

Karl-Johan Lindholm is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. His main research interest is to bridge the socio-environmental interface by interdisciplinary research and long-term understandings of landscapes and land-use in agriculturally marginal regions. In his research, he applies historical ecology, landscape analysis and critical historical analysis in order to situate current landscape policy in historical contexts with bearing on current approaches to the sustainable management of heritage and natural resources. An additional interest is the combination of archaeology, rural development and landscape studies aiming for a better understanding of past and present forms of collective action and cooperative natural resource management. Additional research interests are archaeological approaches towards pastoralism and method development for integrated landscape analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Read more here.

fredrik.charpentier_ljungqvistFredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist is Secretary for the Centre of Medieval Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden, and is a medieval historian and palaeoclimatologist. He is affiliated to the Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, and is Core Team Member in the Past Global Changes (PAGES) 2k Consortium Euro/Med2k Working Group, focusing on reconstructing past climate in the Europe and the Mediterranean over the last 2,000 years. He is author or co-author of over 20 peer reviewed articles in English and have published two books in Swedish. Currently, he is engaged in several research projects in both medieval history and palaeoclimatology.

Mathevet_RaphaelRaphaël Mathevet is an ecologist and geographer, director of research at the CNRS in the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive in Montpellier (France). Mixing historical and political ecology approach, he works on the conservation of biodiversity, protected areas and conservation planning tools, adaptive co-management and, evaluation of public policies. He applies simulation tools and role-playing game in interdisciplinary approaches to resolving management conflicts, especially in the context of Mediterranean wetlands and natural resources management. His most recent work focuses on the concept of ecological solidarity, the resilience of social and ecological systems, social representations and mental models, the human dimensions of conservation and human/wildlife conflicts. He is a regular lecturer in several “Grandes Ecoles” and French universities. He is also a member of several scientific committees at local, regional and national levels. He is vice-president of the UNESCO MAB France Committee and a member of the international advisory committee for Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere program.

TomMcGTom McGovern has done archaeological fieldwork since 1972 where his main research work has been in the North Atlantic. McGovern was one of the founders of the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) and has served as NABO coordinator down to the present. In 2009 NABO was funded by NSF to explore the possibilities of taking this collaborative model global by connecting other regional interdisciplinary teams working in long term human ecodynamics. Following a successful workshop and conference publication, this effort has resulted in the new Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance (GHEA) that has attracted wide interest and NSF support through the new Science Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) initiative and is now connected to IHOPE. McGovern is active in the GHEA alliance and IHOPE through the Circumpolar Networks program. HE is also associate director of the Human Ecodynamics Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center and has served on multiple NSF and international panels on arctic and interdisciplinary research.

Felix Riede was born and raised in Germany but educated in the UK with first a BA in anthropology and archaeology from Durham, then an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge, all straddling the interface between the human, biological and environmental sciences. After a short stint as Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College and the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies (Cambridge), he was British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity, UCL. In 2009, he joined Aarhus University, Denmark, initially as Assistant, then Associate Professor, during which he also held visiting appointments at Harvard (Anthropology) and Cambridge (Geography). After being Head of Department for a few years, he recently became Professor of Environmental Humanities with special emphasis on the archaeology of climate change and extreme environmental events. At Aarhus University, he is director of the Centre for Environmental Humanities and core member of Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE). On a daily basis, he heads the Laboratory for Past Disaster Science (LAPADIS), a research group funded by the Independent Research Council Denmark that investigates how past extreme environmental events – especially volcanic eruptions – have impacted human communities in Europe and elsewhere and how this evidence can be brought forward into current debates about climate change, resilience and vulnerability.

AJSArupjyoti Saikia, Associate Professor in History, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India and holds the Suryya Kumar Bhuyan Chair in Assam. He was awarded Degree of Doctor in 2003 from the Delhi University, for the thesis Agrarian Society, Economy and Politics: A Study of the Brahmaputra Valley Districts, 1945-52. In 2011-12 he received a post-doctoral fellowship in the Agrarian Studies Programme of the Yale University, New Haven.
Saikias research interest is in the environmental history of India with a geographical focus on the northeastern India. He pursue interests and carry out research in the fields of Indian rivers, forests and farmers’ rights over natural resources. The current research project is entitled The Brahmaputra: An Environmental Biography of Modern Times. The published works include A Forest and Ecological History of Assam, 1826-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2011) and A Century of Protests: Peasant Politics in Assam since 1900 (Routledge, 2014). Read more here.

vern 2Vernon L. Scarborough  is Distinguished University Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati. His work emphasizes sustainability and global water systems. By examining past engineered landscapes, he addresses both ancient and present societal issues from a comparative ecological and transdisciplinary perspective. Geographically, his published work has included studies about the U.S. Southwest, Belize, Guatemala, Indonesia, Greece, Pakistan, and Sudan. The National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, Alphawood Foundation, Taft Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation and the School of Advanced Research have supported these efforts. His most recent field work is at Tikal, Guatemala and Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. In addition to editing Water and Humanity: A Historical Overview for UNESCO, he is a Senior Editor for WIREs Water Journal (Wiley-Blackwell) and a Series Editor for New Directions in Sustainability and Society (Cambridge University Press). Read more here.

Vasant_ShindeVasant Shinde is Professor of Archaeology and Joint Director of the University at The Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute. His research interests are early farming communities of South Asia, protohistory of South Asia, and Field Archaeology. Read more here.

Anna_SAnna Shoemaker (Student representative) is a doctoral student at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University under prof. Paul Lane. Her research forms part of a larger Resilience in East African Landscapes project (REAL). REAL uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide longer-term historical perspectives on human-environmental interactions in Kenya and Tanzania to enable sustainable landscape and resource use. Shoemakers contribution to the initiative includes researching patterns in pastoral settlement, mobility, economic change, and interaction over the past 500 years in the Amboseli basin of Kenya. Read more here

Federica Sulas (Ph.D. Cantab. 2010) is Assistant Professor in Archaeology at the DNRF Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions, Aarhus University, Denmark. Her main research deals with how people and landscapes have responded to environmental and social change over time, and how this knowledge can inform present and future challenges. A trained geoarchaeologist, Federica combines methods from the humanities and geosciences, especially soil micromorphology and soil chemistry, to examine landscape evolution, historical farming, water systems and resilience in sub-Saharan Africa and Mediterranean islands. Having just completed a project on the historical ecology of farming in Sardinia, she is currently developing field research in Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. With Innocent Pikirayi (University of Pretoria), she is now completing an edited volume on Water and Societies from Ancient Times to the Present: Resilience, Decline and Revival (forthcoming in 2018, Routledge).

Ke_ZhangKe Zhang is a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia. Ke got his Ph.D. degree in Geography in Lanzhou University, China. His research mainly focuses on understanding the dynamics of intertwined social-ecological systems across time and space, such as regime shift, tipping point, and connectivity issues. He uses both long term empirical analysis and model approach in his research. His past work covers different regions in China, from Tibetan Plateau and Loess Plateau to Mid-Lower Yangtze River Basin in East China. Ke’s recent work focus on examine the ecosystem regime shifts and resilience in the coastal regions in China. He will address two key questions: how have key ecological and social process evolved through time? What are the potential boundaries or safe operating spaces for the coastal social-ecological systems in order to make a sustainable and desirable future? Read more here

ZhangQiongQiong Zhang is a senior lecturer in climate modelling at the Department of Physical Geography and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Sweden. She is co-leader of the Bolin centre RA5: Historical to millennial climate variability. She is collaborating in research project in Europe and southern Africa and is also involved in collaborations through PAST. Qiong Zhang is coordinating a working group on millennium climate model studies in EC-Earth climate model community and taking the responsibility for paleoclimate simulations within CMIP6. Read more here.