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The Institute is led by an Executive Director, and three Co-Directors

representing each of the academic Faculties at Durham. Its

support team includes an IAS Administrator and Secretary, and two

additional staff who support the Durham International Fellowships

for Research and Enterprise (COFUND) scheme.

Professor Veronica Strang

Executive Director

Veronica Strang is an environmental anthropologist. She trained at

the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, and has previously held positions

at the universities of Oxford, Wales, Goldsmiths and Auckland.

Having been a Fellow at the IAS in 2009, she took up her current

post in Durham in May 2012. Her research focuses on human

environmental relations and began with input into

The Brundtland


. For the last twenty years she has focused in particular on

societies’ engagements with water. In 2000 she was awarded a

Royal Anthropological Institute Fellowship and in 2007 a UNESCO

International Water Prize. Her books include

Uncommon Ground:

cultural landscapes and environmental values


The Meaning

of Water


Gardening the World: agency, identity and the

ownership of water

(2009) and

Ownership and Appropriation


Professor Robert Barton


Robert Barton is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, founder

of Durham’s Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, and has

been President of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution

Association. He studied Psychology and Zoology at Bristol University

and ever since has been interested in research at the intersection

of evolutionary biology, psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

His PhD was on the behaviour of wild baboons, but these days

he works mainly on the evolutionary biology of the brain. He was

a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College Oxford in 2011, participating

in an international interdisciplinary project on human cognitive

evolution, and also held a Leverhulme Fellowship to write a book on

‘Rethinking the Brain: an evolutionary approach’


Professor Christopher Greenwell


Chris Greenwell holds a chair in Geochemistry in the Department

of Earth Sciences and is Chair of the Clay Mineral Group of the

Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland. He studied

Chemistry at the University of Wales after which he undertook a

PhD (received 2004) on layered hydroxide mineral structure and

properties at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge.

Following postdoctoral positions he was awarded the Addison

Wheeler Fellowship at Durham University (2007-2010). In 2015,

Chris was awarded a chair in Geochemistry. His research team

studies many aspects of mineral interfacial and surface science,

and Chris was awarded the Max Hey Medal of the Mineralogical

Society in 2015 in recognition of his work which has resulted in

over 70 publications, many patents and numerous conference

presentations. His research on mineral-organic interactions includes

projects studying early Earth chemistry.

Dr Sam Hillyard


Sam Hillyard is Reader in Sociology in the School of Applied Social

Sciences and joined Durham University in 2006. She studied

Sociology at Warwick University where she received both her

BA and PhD. She has held posts at Lancaster University, Keele

University and Nottingham University. Her work is informed by

an enduring commitment to applied sociology, specifically the

synergies between theoretical ideas and empirical ethnographic

research. This interest has been applied across a variety of research

settings: senior academics in UK universities; policy makers and

members of the farming and veterinary communities; social science

research on game shooting in the UK and; the role of the school

in rural communities. She sits on the editorial board of the journal

Qualitative Research

, is series editor of 

Studies in Qualitative


and is also a member of the ESRC’s peer-review

college. Several publications have stemmed from her research

including her most recent book

Doing Fieldwork

(2016; Sage) with

Chris Pole.

Professor Nicholas Saul


Nicholas Saul is Professor of Modern German Literature and

Intellectual History in the School of Modern Language and Cultures.

He took his PhD at Cambridge on the myth of poesy and the

philosophy of history in Novalis, and has held posts at Cambridge,

Trinity College Dublin, Liverpool and Durham. His research focus

is interdisciplinary, in particular the interrelation of literature and

science. He has written books on intertextuality and discursive

power in literature and homiletics around 1800 and Gypsies in

nineteenth-century German literature and anthropology, and is

currently writing one on

Interrogations of evolutionism in German


1859-2008. He is a sometime Fellow of the Alexander

von Humboldt Foundation and Senior Research Fellow of the

British Academy, and was a Fellow of the

Internationales Kolleg


at Cologne in 2016.