Personal profile

Research interests

Social Anthropologist, specialises in Arctic Anthropology, particularly the Russian Far North. Interests lie in the ethnography and theory of reindeer herding livelihoods, nomadism, indigenous knowledge, resource extraction and native populations, industrial migration, centre-periphery relations, arctic economy, notions of well-being, and oral history.

My research interests are in the anthropology of nomadic societies with a special focus on Arctic animal husbanders (reindeer herding, horse herding, cattle breeding). Since my first research project in the 1990s I have been engaged in the study of reindeer herding, fishing and hunting peoples of Siberia, looking at their adaptations to social, economic, political and ecological change. My research tries to capture the dynamics of arctic societies from the points of view of the herders. However, indigenous peoples in the Russian North have never been the isolated subsistence herders or hunters as they are frequently portrayed in the media and popular accounts.

At the heart of my analyses lies the interaction between the nomadic and sedentary parts of the population. The interaction between reindeer herders and fishermen, oil-and gas workers, miners, administrators and traders tells us about the nomads’ adaptability to the changing conditions of their surroundings. They also reveal the adaptability of the other side, labour migrants from the south to the arctic tundra. From there arose the interest in Arctic Urban anthropology, and the cultures of urban communities in industrial towns of the Arctic.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Cultural Research, When Reindeer Nomads Meet the Market, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Award Date: 14 Jul 2004

Master of Arts, Cultural Research, Überlebensstrategien im Postsozialistischen Russland, University of Cologne

Award Date: 28 Jun 2000

External positions

Institute Associate, Scott Polar Research Institute

1 Sept 2005 → …

Post Doctoral Researcher , Scott Polar Research Institute

1 Jun 200330 May 2005

doctoral researcher, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

1 Jan 200031 Mar 2003

Field of science

  • Social anthropology


  • anthropology
  • Russian Arctic
  • human-environment relations
  • extractive industries
  • Oral History
  • Arctic Cities
  • legal anthropology


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