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Study will investigate human impact on the environment

University study will investigate human impact on the environment

A joint study between the University of Auckland and the University of York (UK) into the impact humans have on the environment has been awarded a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellowship.

INTERACT (Integrating Archaeological and Climatological Datasets: Investigating Global Human-Environmental Interactions) is a new three-year post-doctoral collaboration between The University of Auckland and the University of York.

The project will receive €300,000 in funding from the European Union and is set to start in January 2015.

It aims to compare the way people dealt with the shifts in environment related to climate change in sub-tropical regions - those with access to domesticated plants and animals, and those which relied on hunting and gathering.  

By exploring these interactions through a global, multi-disciplinary study it will allow for the results to be shared with archaeologists world-wide.

The project will build on fieldwork in Cape York Australia, and the Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia.

The research will be led by Professor Simon Holdaway of Anthropology in the University of Auckland’s School of Social Sciences, and Professor Geoff Bailey at the University of York.

Post-doctoral fellow Dr Matthew Meredith-Williams of the University of York will also be spending the first two years in Auckland working with Professor Holdaway before returning to York for the final year of the project.

“The post-doctoral fellowship will stimulate new collaborative research projects between the University of Auckland and the University of York and reflects the international focus of the research conducted at Auckland,” Professor Holdaway says.

This project is funded by Marie Curie research as part of the European Union grant award system to encourage ground-breaking research in a broad range of fields. It is named after the pioneering physicist Professor Marie Skłodowska-Curie, who discovered Radium could be used to successfully treat cancer.

She was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel prize, winning two in different fields. Fellowships through this scheme not only encourage research, but dissemination of ideas across the European Union and the world.


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