UCL Anthropology


Human Ecology Research Group (HERG) seminar series

Spring 2024

Tuesdays 2.00 - 4.00pm | Room 431 | SSEES, 16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW

9 January – Dr Ludovic Coupaye (UCL Anthropology)
"Exploring the Relations between Biodiversity & Technodiversity: Gardening in Papua New Guinea"

Area of greenery in Papua New Guinea

16 January – Jack Jenkins Hill (PhD student, UCL Anthropology)
"The Making, Remaking and Unmaking of the Forests in Myanmar: The Political Economy and Ecology of Conflict and Revolution in Southern Myanmar"

Two Myanmarese men with their arms wrapped around a tree

23 January – Phoebe Hamilton-Jones (DEFRA)
"Working on Landscape Recovery: Moving from an Anthropology MSc to Defra"

Landscape showing green fields lined with trees, with leafless trees in an area of water in the foreground

30 January – Marcos Badia Moreu (PhD student, UCL ExCiteS group)
"Crowdmapping for Food and Water Security in Southwest Ethiopia"

A group of Nyangatom agro-pastoralists mapping their land in a community gathering

6 February – Dr Daniel Kricheff (Metlife Investment Management, London)
"The landscape of sustainable finance"

Daniel Kricheff black and white portrait photo

20 February – Dr Saad Quasem (Lecturer in Anthropology and Climate Change, SOAS)
"Fluvial Relations: The praxis of Temporariness and Temporality in the Chilmari Chars"

Photo montage showing an old map and a line of people walking on a sand bank

This seminar examines the concept of land and water in the chars (river islands) of Chilmari on the Kurigram district tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. Chars or sand-bars appear and disappear with the flow of the river. Seasonal floods and unpredictable erosion subjects Chardwellers to constantly move from char to char. Living in this watery condition, I present Chardwellers hold a particular notion of temporality having to do with the flows of the river. As such, I argue Chardwellers live in praxis (action) of temporariness manoeuvred by the riverine temporality. Temporariness can best be seen in events and spaces which emerge as a result of riverine temporality- a notion of continuity containing uncertainties which maybe similar to conceptions akin to time in Anthropology. For Chardwellers everyday life consists of the praxis between temporariness and the inherent temporality of the river. The labor exerted then shows perspectives of living on the river  tracing the continuities of water. Patching separately colonial history of territorialization to the everyday presence of meta-myths, narratives of storms (present and past) livelihood generating activities, place names and the notion of climatic change, this paper  I present the basis of fluvial relations. The fluvial relations pose a challenge to the dominant terracene. 

27 February – Dr Morena Mills (Reader in Environmental Policy and Practice and 
Director, MSc Conservation Science and Practice, Imperial College London)
"Insights on how, why and when conservation initiatives go to scale"

Portrait shot of Morena Mills

5 March – Dr Shawn Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at University of British Columbia; Board of Directors, Tapestry Institute; and Adjunct Professor at Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University)
"How to Incorporate Indigenous Knowledge into Ecology"


12 March – Sahib Singh (PhD student, UCL Anthropology)
"The Storm of Development, the Waning of Madaita: Aspirations, Value Conflicts and Coal Company Employment"

A man sat on the edge of a quarry looking out
Autumn 2023

3.10.23 Introductory session

10.10.23 2022-3 MSc cohort present their research

17.10.23 Prof. Chris Sandbrook (Cambridge University) - "Green grab or inclusive conservation? investigating the social implications of 30x30"

24.10.23 Prof Sian Sullivan (Bath Spa University) - ""Hunting Africa": How International Trophy Hunting May Constitute Neocolonial Green Extractivism"

31.10.23 Prerna Singh Bindra (PhD Cambridge University) - "Living with Tigers, Moving for Tigers: The Policy and Practise of Conservation Related Relocation in India"

14.11.23 Kayla de Freitas (PhD Royal Holloway; AED/HERG graduate) - "Burning Tensions: The Implications of Shifting Indigenous Burning Practices on Local Fire Governance in South Rupununi, Guyana"

21.11.23 Dr. Sarah Coulthard (Newcastle University) - "Why are Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) so controversial and is there really a need for conservation approaches that exclude people entirely?"

Followed by roundtable with panellists who all are/or were closely involved with the policy team at DEFRA charged with delivering the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA) policy: Mark Atkinson (Head of Marine Social Science, DEFRA), Robert Clark (Chief Officer of the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities, AIFCA), Phil James (Director of the Sustainable Development Reform Hub and former Head of Domestic Marine Economics, DEFRA), Peter Jones (Professor of Environmental Governance at UCL Geography).

28.11.23 Dr Marie-Annick Moreau (UCL Anthropology) - ""Bring us water and we will drink": On kindness, trust, and guilt in fieldwork!"

5.12.23 Dr Thais Morcatty (Oxford Brookes University) - "Nurtured by Nature: The Role of Wildlife in Biocultural Heritage and Food Security for Amazonian Peoples"

Spring 2023

10 January - George Holmes (University of Leeds)
Eager about beavers? Rewilding, landscape, and the (il)legal lethal control of feral beavers in Tayside, Scotland

17 January - Sarah Edwards (Oxford Botanic Garden & University of Oxford)
Plants As Medicine in the Anthropocene: Scientific and Indigenous Ontological Perspectives

24 January - Megnaa Mehtta (UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction)
Intimate Antagonisms and Unlikely Friendships between State and Society in the Sundarbans Forests of India

Forests worldwide are often implicated in histories of violence. The Sundarbans, straddling India and Bangladesh, infamous for its tigers, tiger-demons and home to 5 million human residents sharply expresses this global conflict. However, ethnographic fieldwork  encountered co- option, conviviality and mutual care among individuals classically characterised as political antagonists. How might  this ‘compassion in repression’ be ruptured?

31 January - Fabien Moustard (Extreme Citizen Science Group, Geography, UCL)
Behind the fence of an eco-guards basecamp

7 February - Simon Hoyte (UCL Anthropology)
“The trees, I know their names, I know how they heal”: Health and a 'One Health' project in the rainforest of Cameroon

14 February - Reading Week

21 February - Dawn Hill Adams (Tapestry Institute) - in person meeting, speaker online
The World of Indigenous Research Methods

[Cancelled] 28 February - Sarah Fischel (UCL Geography)
Caring for Coral: exploring multi-species care and coral restoration in Bonaire

[Cancelled] 7 March - Chris Sandbrook (Cambridge University) - in person meeting, speaker online
MSc AED students can instead, if they wish, book to see their dissertation supervisor during this HERG slot

14 March - Kew Gardens visit: Ethnobotany lecture and tour for MSc AED students (and interested PhDs)
Hosted by Dr. Mark Nesbitt, Curator of Ethnobotany at Kew, Visiting Professor Royal Holloway and UCL, and his team