DPhil Student, Social and Cultural Anthropology
Thesis: Climate Change in the Amazon Rainforest: Cofán Perceptions and Adaptations (working title)
Research: My research will examine how the Cofán indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, specifically from the communities of Zábalo and Sinangoé, perceive and adapt to climate change. Even though the effects of climate change are experienced and conceptualized locally, much work still needs to be done in order to materialize the ‘abstract’ concept and understand local interpretations and responses. I intend to research whether environmental changes are conceptualized within a ‘climate change’ framework, investigate changes to Cofán livelihoods (hunting/fishing/planting), witness changes to the conservation ethic of ‘tsampima coiraye’ (caring for the forest), and gain understanding of how concepts such as vulnerability, resilience and adaptation help or hinder our understanding of local realities. Given that, from outsider policy perspectives, 'vulnerability' and 'adaptation' are related to people's ability to feed themselves, important insights can be gained from a focus on subsistence activities. I believe anthropologists have a vital role in conducting multisited ethnographies that broaden our collective understanding of how climate change is perceived and is affecting people around the globe.
Research interests: environmental anthropology, climate change, indigenous people, Amazonia