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Historicizing Anthropocene Landscapes in Africa

PhD defence, Colin B. Hoag.

Info about event


Monday 6 February 2017,  at 13:30 - 16:30


Building 1253, room 211, Merete Barker Lecture Theatre (Søauditorierne), Aarhus University

During his studies, Colin Hoag researched the causes of environmental change on the continent of Africa, with a primary focus on the mountain rangelands of Lesotho. The southern African country has long been described as a site of widespread land degradation, and land management reforms routinely proposed to address it. The construction of a large hydroelectric and water export scheme has added new urgency to these concerns—with efforts underway to protect the upstream catchment—but little research has been done to assess the situation. Colin sought to reconstruct a history of landscape change in Lesotho and to describe possible causes for such changes, exploring their implications for life in Lesotho today and into the future. The research was supported financially and intellectually by the Niels Bohr Project (Danmarks Grundsfoskningsfond), Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA).


The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how social and ecological processes articulate in the production of landscapes, and what might be done to ensure multi-species livability in a time of rapid environmental change.


The PhD degree was completed at the Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.


Time: Monday 6 February 2017 at 13.30

Place: Building 1253, room 211, Merete Barker Lecture Theatre (Søauditorierne), Aarhus University

Title of dissertation: Stability and Change in African Environments: An Historical Ecology of Rangelands in Lesotho

Contact information: Colin Hoag, e-mail: colinhoag@gmail.com, tel.: 8175 7845

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Katherine Homewood, Department of Anthropology, University College London, United Kingdom

Professor Marcus Nüsser, Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, Germany

Professor Anders Barfod (chair), Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University

Main supervisor:

Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University


Professor Anna Tsing, Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University & Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English


The defence is public.

The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.