Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)



Academic Staff 

 NameResearch Interests 
Dr Helene Beach

Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach


Dance and Society, Performance and Popular Culture in Senegal and Francophone West Africa, Marriage Migration and Transnational Families between Africa and Europe, Anthropology of West Africa, Film and Photography in West Africa.
Professor Kevin MacDonald

Professor Kevin MacDonald


Historical Anthropology of West African Political Traditions, Issues of African Ethnicity and Identity, Slavery and Memory in Africa, The African Diaspora in Colonial North America, Style and African Pottery Making, Heritage Management, Deep Time African Pastoral Systems.


African Studies Steering Committee

NameDeptResearch Interests 
Dr Tim ColbournInstitute for Global HealthMaternal, newborn and child health community and health-facility-based interventions in sub-Saharan Africa and their evaluation. Theory-based, realist, process and economic evaluation, trial design and analysis, epidemiological analysis, health systems, observational studies, quasi-experimental analysis. Tim has over 14 years of research experience, much spent in Malawi, with active work currently in Malawi and Nigeria and previous work also in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Mozambique.
Dr Simone Datzberger Education and International DevelopmentThe politics of education in developing and conflict-affected contexts; the interplay of education & political agency; gender, violence & education; civil society & political and social agency in peacebuilding and development processes. Across these themes I have a strong focus on sub-Saharan Africa (predominately Uganda and Sierra Leone).
Dr Matthew Davies Institute for Global Prosperity Human-environment dynamics in Eastern Africa, climate, resilience, sustainability, historical ecology, agriculture, development, archaeology and heritage, landscape, space and materiality, prosperity metrics, indigenous and alternative knowledges, citizen science, trans-disciplinary approaches. 
Dr Tim GibbsHistorySouthern African elites; migration and auto-mobility; taxation and rural state formation.
Dr Jerome Lewis AnthropologyAfrican Hunter-Gatherer Societies, Indigenous Rights, Sustainable Forestry, Impact of Global Forces on the Congo Basin.
Dr Ben Page GeographyPolitical Ecology of Water Supply in Africa, Development through the African Diaspora, Malaria and the African Diaspora.
Professor Sara Randall AnthropologyMobility, Demography and Well-being in West Africa, Reproductive Decision Making, Nomadic Pastoralism.
Dr Elaine UnterhalterUCL Institute of EducationHuman development and education in Africa, particularly South Africa. Education, poverty and global social justice.
Professor Megan VaughanInstitute of Advanced StudiesHistory of medicine and psychiatry in Africa, the history of famine, food supply and gender relations,death practices, slavery in the Indian Ocean region.
Dr Michael Walls UCL Development Planning UnitMarket-led Development, State Formation and Political Representation in Somaliland and Puntland, Post-conflict Reconstruction.