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Eric Boyd  - PhD awarded 2024

Thesis title: To Resettle a Settler Mining Community: Colonialism, Recursive Discourse, and Spectres in the Deformation Zone, Kiruna, Sweden

Primary Supervisor: Professor Simone Abram (Anthropology)
Secondary Supervisor: Professor Gavin Bridge (Geography)

Eric BoydEric holds an undergraduate degree in environmental science from the University of Dundee, and a Masters in anthropology, environment and development from University College London (UCL). After finishing his Masters, Eric worked as a co-editor for the Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAoS) research group at UCL. 

Drawing on the synthesis of political and social ecologies deployed by the study of resource materialities, Eric’s research focused primarily on the multiple temporal and agential relations emergent upon the human/resource frontier. During the course of his studies at Durham, his research developed a conceptual space that incorporated hauntology, solastalgia and the dissolution of the material/immaterial binary to interrogate the mining-induced resettlement of Kiruna, in Swedish Lapland. 

Read about Eric's placement at Gothenburg University here.

Romain Chuffart - PhD submitted 2023

Thesis title: Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and rights: Normative agency through the rights-based approach in multilevel Arctic environmental governance

Primary Supervisor: Dr Anashri Pillay (Durham Law School)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Henry Jones (Durham Law School), Professor Philip Steinberg(Geography)

Romain ChuffartRomain's thesis focused on the interaction between Indigenous rights and international environmental law. As part of his doctoral research, Romain focused on environmental impact assessments in the Arctic. Romain holds a master’s degree in Polar Law from the University of Akureyri (Iceland), and he is interested in everything polar-related. In addition to his DurhamARCTIC project, Romain published several articles in Arctic-specific journals on Arctic governance and Indigenous rights, and he co-guest edited a special issue of Polar Record (Cambridge University Press) on "International Law for Sustainability in Arctic Resource Development". 

Read about Romain's placement with Fridtjof Nansen Institute here.

Christian Drury - PhD awarded 2024

Thesis title: “Semi-Professional Polar Explorers”: Empire, Modernity, and Temporality in British Arctic Travel Narratives, 1875-1940

Primary Supervisor: Dr James Koranyi (History)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Abbie Garrington (English)

Christian Drury

Christian’s research looked at British exploration, travel and tourism in the Arctic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly representations of modernity and landscape. His work focused on how the Arctic was imagined as an empty space in European travel writing, as well as relationships between travellers and indigenous peoples in the Arctic. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on both historical and literary sources, Christian’s research considered the significance of enduring imaginative geographies of the Arctic. Through a close reading of a range of texts, he was able to show how understanding historical colonial relationships in the region illuminates contemporary postcolonial issues. 

Before joining the DurhamARCTIC PhD programme, Christian studied for a BA in History at the University of York, followed by an MA in History at University College London (SSEES). His previous research also looked at histories of travel and exploration, particularly mountaineering. 

Read about Christian's placement with National Library of Scotland here.

Greta Ferloni - PhD submitted 2024

Thesis title: Cryomobilities: Vessel mobilities amidst the ice-prone waters of the Bering Strait

Primary Supervisor: Professor Philip Steinberg (Human Geography)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Jeremy Schmidt (Human Geography),Professor Chris Stokes(Physical Geography)


Greta's research examines interactions between sea ice and vessel mobilities, aiming to understand how marine traffic unfolds amidst the icy waters of the Bering Strait region, situated between Alaska and Russia. It draws on the perspectives of (i) sea-ice scientists who study and quantify sea ice and vessel traffic through remote sensing, (ii) weather forecasting data analysts who produce sea-ice charts for navigation and (iii) vessel captains and crews with first-hand experience of sea-ice navigation. Through these different viewpoints, the project cuts across Human Geography and Physical Geography approaches to engaging with sea ice, vessels and their distinct and intersecting mobilities. Her research thereby offers a new perspective on the intricate texture of mobility in the icy waters surrounding the Bering Strait, revealing the ways in which different subjects, perspectives and ways of knowing intersect in complex ways to give insight into the entanglement of perception, cognition, movement and stasis that constitutes mobility.

Prior to starting her PhD, Greta studied Geography at Durham, followed by a two-year MSc in Geographical Information Management and Applications at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. She also worked for two years as a GIS consultant in Milan, Italy.

Read about Greta's placement with International Arctic Research Center – University of Alaska Fairbanks here.

Katy Ivison - PhD awarded 2024

Thesis title: The impact of climate change and biotic interactions on non-native plants in Norway

Primary Supervisor: Dr Wayne Dawson (Biosciences)
Secondary Supervisors:Dr Lisa Baldini (Environmental Science, Teesside University), Dr James Speed (Department of Natural History, NTNU)

Katy IvisonKaty graduated from the University of Birmingham with an MSci in Biological Sciences, specialising in ecology and climate change. Her PhD focused on the effect of climate change and natural enemies on the risk of non-native plant invasion in Arctic Norway. Strong warming effects taking place throughout the Arctic mean that non-native plants are more likely to establish themselves in vulnerable Arctic habitats. To assess the likelihood of this, she is used modelling approaches to determine which species may pose a risk to Norway both now and in the future. She also determined the effect of herbivory and warming on invasive species using field techniques.  

Read about Katy's placement with Herbarium in NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) Natural History Museum here.

David Jarrett

Thesis title: Monitoring breeding productivity of shorebirds using acoustic recorders, sound localisation and machine learning

Primary Supervisor: Professor Stephen Willis(Biosciences)
Secondary Supervisors: Dr Sally Street(Anthropology), Dr Aleksi Lehikoinen (LUOMUS, Finnish Museum of Natural History)

David JarrettDavid is a PhD student in the Department of Biosciences’ Conservation Ecology Research Group. His research focuses on how Arctic breeding waders are affected by the range expansion of Red Fox and other meso-predators into their tundra breeding grounds. David is collaborating with the University of Tromsø (UiT) to gather field data on the breeding productivity of waders in Northern Norway to assess the effect of management of the Red Fox population. He is also working with UiT to build a tool which will allow hunters to submit data on encounters with foxes and other meso-predators in tundra habitats to improve knowledge of the abundance and distribution of these species in more remote areas. 

Prior to joining the program, David was a researcher for the British Trust for Ornithology in Scotland where he worked on upland ecology. David also holds a master’s degree in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh.