Scientific Steering Committee

The activities of IHOPE are based on the collected work of all its members. But activities are coordinated by the Project Office and its members are elected from the Scientific Steering Committee. The Scientific Steering Committee with a wide representation of scholars from across the world. The Institutional Research Nodes: Aarhus University (Denmark), Hunter College (USA), Uppsala University, Sweden are responsible for planning activities within the specific IHOPE themes. The Senior Fellows acts as an advisory group and reference group for IHOPE activities and themes.

The Project Office

The Project Office is currently located at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University.

Carole L Crumley, Executive Director
Professor emerita of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Biodiversity, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala) (see below)

Karl-Johan Lindholm, Executive Co-Director
Associate Professor Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
Uppsala University (see below)

Anneli Ekblom, Executive Co-Director
Associate Professor Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
Uppsala University (see below)

The Scientific Steering Committee

The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) reviews new projects, regional case studies and themes in terms of their scientific and scholarly quality. The SSC also ensures project in line with the objectives of IHOPE. The SSC members spreads the IHOPE message through lectures, contacts, and conversations. They also establish links with other research groups and organizations, and encourages colleagues to consider applying for IHOPE endorsement. Together they are also responsible for providing periodic news and views for the IHOPE web site.

Stephan Barthel 
is currently director at a challenge driven research program on urban sustainability at the University of Gävle and also a researcher at Stockholm Resilience Centre. He has a background in Urban History. Barthel’s research builds on multiple streams of urban sustainability both historic and temporary. One of the research strands is the various ways urbanization can promote individual health and well-being. He is also interested in supporting research that creates better understanding for how to strengthen human-environmental relations in metropolitan landscapes (Barthel et al., 2018). He has also published historical studies on urban food security and studies on food security on the regional scale, where the concept of bio-cultural refugia was developed.

Valentina Caracuta is an environmental archaeologist and archeobotanist, who is interested in the social and ecological implications of the transition from foraging to farming, and the related process of sedentism of formerly nomadic groups in Western Asia. An underlying theme of her research is that of ‘regime shift:’ moments when a critical threshold is passed and the system shifts from one equilibrium state to another. Examples include the migration of humans to new habitats, the transition from foraging to farming, and the development of earliest forms of agriculture. She look to define the initial condition of a system and to determine which driving forces altered the initial state of the system, transforming it into something new.

As member of IHOPE, she led two projects that cut across academic fields and identify a number of indicators from the study of the past that can be useful to develop new forms of sustainable agriculture

The first directed project, ELAION- Enhancing the History of Apulian Olive Oil to Promote a Local Brand, aimed to enhance the olive tree as a symbol of the historical memory of the Apulian region SE Italy. Given the critical conditions of olive oil production in Apulia, the project ELAION offered local farmers a valid means to improve their revenues by selling an organic local brand of oil with two-thousand years of history that we established in our work (a.a. 2016-2019).

The second project, EMHILE- Environment and Migrations. The Homo Sapiens in the Levantine Corridor between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago, addresses the issue of dispersal of anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) from Africa through Western Asia and try to investigate the role of the climate and environment in the dispersal of human species across the globe. The impact of climate change on population distribution and mobility is attracting growing interest and fueling heated debate among the public. The project’s aim was to provide a model for governments around the world to look at migration as a key adaptive response to environmental and climate changes (a.a. 2016-2018).

Jago Cooper is Curator and Head of the Americas Section at the British Museum since 2012. His research focuses periodicities and impacts of climatic variability and environmental change in
island societies . 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, 
a range of related historical casestudies adressed to 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.

Sarah Cornell, Chair, is the Coordinator of the Planetary Boundaries research laboratory, which is part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s Global Dynamics research theme. She is also the co-convenor of the international Planetary Boundaries Research Network, Her current research has a particular focus on conceptualisations of humans in the Earth system. Her main interests are in obtaining a multidimensional understanding of anthropogenic global changes and the associated changes in risks, and the philosophy and methodology of integrative research.

Carole L Crumley, ex. officio, is Professor of Anthropology (emerita) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) and Visiting Professor at the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, Uppsala). She has been with IHOPE since 2003. Her PhD (Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) was preceded by training in archaeology, classics, geology, climatology, and ecology; she is also a founder of Historical Ecology as a field. She began fieldwork in North America and the Near East but soon focused on Europe, where with colleagues she studies long-term landscape change in Burgundy, France. Long active in international global change programs, she writes about complex dynamic systems in the social sciences, issues in transdisciplinary research, integrated global- to local-scale historical ecology, climate history, landscape evolution, social inequality, social memory and the future of the past.

Anneli Ekblom is an Associate Professor 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. Research projects include Landscape transformations and socio-ecological management in Limpopo National Park, Mozambique; Biocultural Heritage Mozambique; Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Tanzania) and The Historical Ecology of the Mälar Valley, Sweden. Anneli has also been the director CEMUS a student initiated and student organised learning centre for Sustainability, she also coordinate the Ma programme in Global environmental History.

Maurits 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 International Water History Association. He recently published the book Improvising Planned Development on the Gezira Plain, Sudan, 1900-1980 published by Palgrave.

John Finnigan is the director at the Complex Systems Science Centre at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), an independent Australian federal government agency. Since the 1990s he has a long experience of leading research on Complex Systems. 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 complex systems models of the pre-industrial human-earth system with the industrial and post-industrial times. John 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, eg. the 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.

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. See also Junkos personal webpage.

Christian 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, and the IHOPE theme Water for Life . With Daryl Stump (University of York, UK) he has recently published the Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology on Oxford University Press (also published online in 2015)

Paul Lane is Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History Cambridge Unievrsity and Professor in Archaeology of Africa Professor of Global Archaeology, University of Uppsala. Paul was President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (2008-10), and Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (1998-2006). His main research interests are in the organisation and use of space and time in pre-industrial societies, the historical ecology of African landscapes, the archaeology of colonial encounters, cultural perceptions of place, the materialisation of memory, maritime archaeology and the transition to farming in Africa. Past projects include Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes (HEEAL) (now completed); Resilience in East African Landscapes (REAL) (now completed). Currently he is involved in the project Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change.

Enrique Leff is a Mexican economist, environmental sociologist and environmentalist and member of the International Social Science Foundation. 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 that he argues 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.

John Lind is Student Representative, with a background in archaeology and sustainable development; IHOPE’s first intern, doing visual re-design, web security and content creation for the website, as well as participating in the development of the IHOPE networks strategy and vision.

Karl-Johan Lindholm is Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. His main research interest is long-term understandings of landscapes and land-use drawing on Historical Ecology, Integrated Landscape Analysis, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Biocultural Heritage, with bearing on current approaches to the sustainable management of heritage and natural resources. In addition he is interested in past and present forms of collective action and cooperative natural resource management. Currently he is research leader of  Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD (Swedish Research Council) and he is also co-investigator of the TerraNova. The European Landscape Learning Initiative Karl-Johan is also the editor of the Journal of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist is a researcher at Department of History at Stockholm University, and a medieval historian and climate researcher. He is also affiliated to the Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University. In 2019 Fredrik will start as a Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, being the s lead researcher on the interdisciplinary research project “Disentangling climatic and socio-political factors for food insecurity in northern Europe 1500–1800”.  Fredrik is also Secretary for the Centre of Medieval Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. He is a Core Team Member in the Past Global Changes (PAGES) 2k Consortium, namely the Euro/Med2k Working Group, focusing on reconstructing past climate in the Europe and the Mediterranean over the last 2,000 years. He has authored a number of summaries on European climate and also popular sciences books as Climate and People during 12000 years and The long Middle Ages (both in Swedish and published at Dialogos 2017 and 2015 repsectively) and The global cooling (also in Swedish published by Norstedts 2009).

Raphaël 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 approaches, he works on the conservation of biodiversity, protected areas and conservation planning tools, adaptive co-management and, evaluation of public policies, 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, and the human dimensions of conservation and human/wildlife conflicts. Raphaël is a member of several scientific committees at local, regional and national levels. He is member of the steering committee of the UNESCO MAB France Committee and a member of the international advisory committee for Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere program.

Tom McGovern is Professor at Department of Archaeology, Hunter College. Tom is also coordinator and one of the founders of the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO). He is also invvolved in a global network of interdisciplinary teams of researchers exploring long term human ecodynamics, Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance (GHEA) that is also connected to IHOPE. McGovern is active in the GHEA alliance and IHOPE through the Circumpolar Networks program. Tom 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. He is a researcher in IHOPE Islands and the IHOPE Global Threats to Heritage.

Innocent Pikirayi is Professor in Archaeology and Head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. His research focuses on the rise, development and demise of states societies in Southern Africa since the early second millennium AD. He is currently conducting geoarchaeological investigations around Great Zimbabwe to document the ancient city’s water resources, and assess the role of water in sustaining urban growth in the region. His other research interests lie in the relevance of the discipline of archaeology to contemporary societies in southern Africa.

Felix Riede is Professor at School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark, 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.

Libby Robin is an environmental historian and historian of science, Professor Fenner School of Environment and Society ANU. Libbys research explores the unfolding history of the Anthropocene, including the history of IHOPE (Robin and Steffen 2007). Since 2011 she has been affiliated with KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Stockholm resulting in the books The Environment: A History of the Idea and The Environment: A History of the idea (in both cases edited by Paul Warde, Libby Robin and Sverker Sörlin, Johns Hopkins University Press) Libby is President of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO) and co-Convenor of the Australian Environmental Humanities Hub.   

Arupjyoti Saikia, is an environmental historian and 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 (see also personal webpage). 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.

Vernon L. Scarborough  is Distinguished University Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati (see personal webpage). His work focused on past and present water systems spanning across the U.S. Southwest, Belize, Guatemala, Indonesia, Greece, Pakistan, and Sudan. Examining past engineered landscapes, Vernon addresses both ancient and present societal issues from a comparative ecological and transdisciplinary perspective, as demonstrated in his 2003 book The flow of Power (SAR press). Vernon is a key research in the IHOPE theme Water for Life and the editor of Water and Humanity: A Historical Overview (published by UNESCO), he is a Senior Editor for WIREs Water Journal and a Series Editor for New Directions in Sustainability and Society .

Federica Sulas (Ph.D. Cantab. 2010) is Assistant Professor in Archaeology at the DNRF Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Aarhus University, Denmark. 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. 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 2019, Routledge).

Anna Shoemaker is a researcher in the project Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change focusing on late historic landuse and social change in Tanzania. Anna recently graduated as doctoral student at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University and she is early career researcher coordinator of IHOPE. Anna is also responsible for the IHOPE Twitter page. Her research 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, as part if a the project Resilience in East African Landscapes project (REAL). Shoemakers 2018 book and PhD thesis Pastoral pasts in the Amboseli landscape: An archaeological exploration of the Amboseli ecosystem from the later Holocene to the colonial period focuses on patterns in pastoral settlement, mobility, economic change, and interaction over the past 500 years.

Sverker Sörlin is professor of Environmental History in the Division of History of Science and Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and he serves on the Advisory Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, where he is also senior researcher. He was the first director of the Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research, SISTER (2000-2003), and has held visiting positions at the University of California, Berkeley (1993), University of Cambridge (2004-05), and the University of Oslo (2006). Sverker is the co-founder of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory. He has engaged in public debates on education and research policy, and in environment and policy advice; during 1994-1998, and again since 2005, he has served on the Swedish Government’s Research Advisory Board.

Joseph A. Tainter is Professor of Sustainability in the Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University. His interest in sustainability and complexity arouse early and was shown in his acclaimed book The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988). He is co-editor of The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History, and Human Action (Columbia University Press, 2000), a work exploring past human responses to climate change. With T. F. H. Allen and T. W. Hoekstra he wrote Supply-Side Sustainability (Columbia University Press, 2003). His most recent book is Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma, with Tadeusz Patzek (Copernicus Books, 2012).