Following an initial recruitment round we are pleased to welcome Carol Lang who joins the project as our first post-doctoral researcher. Carol will be working on the geoarchaeology with advice from, and in collaboration with, Professor Charly French (University of Cambridge), Federica Sulas (University of Pretoria), and Lasse Westerberg (Stockholm University), amongst others.
The project has also appointed two PhDs: Tabitha Kabora, who joins us from the University of Nairobi having just finished an MSc in Biology of Conservation, and who will be working on the agent-based modelling component, primarily with Professor John Wainwright (Durham University); and Senna Thornton-Barnett, who wrote her master’s thesis at Texas State University on stone age plant use in South Africa, and who will work on the archaeobotany with advice and collaboration from Dorian Fuller (UCL) and others.
A second researcher at post-doctoral level will be employed to join the project for years 3 and 4 and will be hosted jointly by the Department of Archaeology, York, and the Environment Department, York. This is because AAREA just one of several interdisciplinary research programmes at York studying east African sustainability and resilience, including ‘Agricultural Water Management Interventions’ at the Stockholm Environment Institute at York (SEI–Y), and several case-studies by the York Institute of Tropical Ecosystem Dynamics (KITE), including involvement with the CHIESA project (Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in East Africa). This researcher will act as a liaison between these various projects at York and relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations; reporting research results to developmental audiences, and communicating the expectations of these agencies to researchers. The inclusion of this researcher is thus a direct response to a known issue that research with the potential for high interdisciplinary and cross-sector impact often fails to be fully communicated to non-academic audiences.