Ground-breaking research at the Institute on human impact on the environment

9 May 2013

Alison Wesskopf studying traditional rice cultivation in Laos

Dorian Fuller's research project on the evolution of rice systems from China to Southeast Asia, funded by a major new NERC award, has begun at the Institute.

The new international collaborative research project led by Dorian follows on from his previous NERC-funded research project on 'The identification of arable rice systems in prehistory' which has consolidated our understanding of early rice agricultural development in the Yangtze and in India, helping to reconstruct how past agricultural activities may have impacted the global climate through methane emissions and deforestation.

The Institute is pleased to welcome Cristina Castillo and welcome back Alison Weisskopf as researchers on the new 3-year project which aims to investigate early rice systems in southern China and Southeast Asia and, in collaboration with Andrew Bevan, to develop more sophisticated spatial modelling of land use and population. 

Cristina Castillo studying rice cultivation in northern Thailand

The project will also use the archaeological history of rice and its varied forms of cultivation for a knowledge exchange and public engagement programme on the importance of science-based archaeology to help understand the role of agriculture in long-term human impact on the environment.

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Dorian Fuller's collaborative research on the impact of human populations on ecological change
Alison and Cristina undertaking ethnographic rice research in northern Thailand
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