JPI Climate: Social-Ecological Transformations: HUMan-ANimal Relations Under Climate Change in NORthern Eurasia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: School of Social Science

Abstract

Ongoing climate change in the 21st century will instigate profound societal transformations in the 21st century. Yet, our knowledge of how such transformations can be achieved in an equitable and sustainable manner is limited. The HUMANOR project investigates historical transformations of mobile pastoralist social-ecological systems (SESs) for clues about which pathways may lead to such transformations. We comparatively study SESs that have undergone profound climatic fluctuations in the last centuries (indigenous Sámi, Nenets, Evenki and Mongolian pastoralists) while maintaining their livelihoods through a host of incremental and qualitative shifts. Although these systems are increasingly being exposed to rapid climate change (e.g. the Arctic warming faster than lower latitudes), our understanding of SES response capacities is limited to adaptations within the current systems. We propose that a long-term focus on human-animal relations and the general socio-economic contexts may illustrate how people can deal with abrupt changes (including massive environmental shocks) and re-create these systems. Our focus is on the complex drivers of social-ecological transformations of recent decades and centuries that include climate variation, land use change, governance forms, institutional change (including legislation and social norms) and markets. We expect to show that although it is an ancient livelihood, still practiced across vast areas of N Eurasia, pastoralism is constantly undergoing shifts in the nexus of feedbacks between humans, animals and the environment. This comparative trans-disciplinary study is performed across several timescales (centennial changes since the Middle Ages- marking reindeer domestication in Fennoscandia and Siberia and the height of the pastoralist Mongolian Empire, and decadal changes since the mid-20th century) in order to illustrate the historical context of change and provide key insights into people as active agents or passive receptor of change. For instance, we know that even at low human population densities, large livestock herds can alter ecosystem structure and function but we know comparatively little about how social, economic and political changes foster or impede deliberate, desirable changes in the ecosystems and societies underlying these SESs. We propose that projecting future transformations will benefit from the retrospective partitioning of: (1) socio-economic and political from climate drivers over decadal scales; and (2) human-animal agency from climate drivers over centennial scales. We use an interdisciplinary mix of methods to first reconstruct historical human-animal-environment relationships and environmental histories by documenting current oral environmental histories (myths, legends, life stories) and environmental reconstruction from pollen records and other soil signatures. We use indigenous residents current environmental knowledge to uncover the recent changes (climatic, vegetation, etc.) in their environments and participant observations to uncover the complex socio-economic realities of their SESs. Our analysis draws strength from: (1) contrasting SESs across diverse geographic scales; and (2) accounting for heterogeneous perceptions of risk concerning the future viability of (reindeer) pastoralism in the European Research Area. We envision our project making a significant contribution to the design of ethical and sustainable transformations of SESs in Europe and beyond.

Planned Impact

The HUMANOR project is rooted in participatory action research taking place over many years in partnerships between scientists and stakeholders. Our innovative approach includes stakeholders in research aimed at more flexible and collaborative governance. As part of our transdisciplinary research strategy, stakeholder workshops plan the research under the RISES and NCoE TUNDRA projects are scheduled for winter 2015. Indigenous scholars and local non-academic practitioners from different age cohorts are developing this proposal together and will implement and disseminate the findings. Female early career and senior indigenous scientists take leading roles in collecting oral histories, participatory GIS, environmental history, and the co-production of knowledge essential to policy-relevant research. This training will be accomplished through hiring early career researchers across the network and training them in our four sites, including the University of Aberdeen. Public dissemination of research results as central components of their respective mandates. These include Science Centre & Exhibition at Arktikum in Rovaniemi, Ájtte Sámi Museum in Jokkmokk, and Shemenovsky Museum & Exhibition Centre in Salekhard.The cooperation is balanced with European, Russian and indigenous experts in social anthropology (ethnography, oral history) and human geography (PGIS). Complementary expertise encompasses environmental history (archaeology, palaeoecology) and political ecology.
 
Description • Development of a faecal biomarker database and associated model allowing to identify and distinguish past present species, especially herbivores in archaeological site.
• Identification of different activities (mainly reindeer herding-related activities) on a Siberian archaeological site.
• Successful use of a fast and non-intrusive novel technique (surface magnetic susceptibility) to identify past fire features on archaeological sites
Exploitation Route • Faecal biomarker model: this database/model could be applied/extended to a lot of different archaeological site world-wide to better understand site-related activities.
• Siberian site: help scientist, local people (Nenets) and policy makers to have more clues about northern herder's lifestyle and adopt new strategies to preserve these ways of life for populations in danger.
• Magnetic susceptibility tool: encourage archaeologist/anthropologist to use non-intrusive methods to preserve archaeological site when necessary.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment

URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/geosciences/departments/archaeology/the-humanor-project-1172.php
 
Description • Participation to local radio interview or farmer's blog (northern Sweden) to diffuse the idea to preserve and understand ancient lifestyle to better understand the current people life trajectory and maintain cultural heritage and adopt adapted policies for local stakeholders and policy makers. Participition in media inteviews in local Russian internet sources on the Yamal peninsula Siberia.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education
 
Title HUMANOR Aberdeen Website 
Description This is a public access website connected to our database of outputs and publications 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Notable public interest 
URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/geosciences/departments/archaeology/the-humanor-project-1172.php
 
Description HUMANOR Consortium Agreement 
Organisation Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Collaborator Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Impact Multidisciplinary
Start Year 2015
 
Description HUMANOR Consortium Agreement 
Organisation Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Collaborator Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Impact Multidisciplinary
Start Year 2015
 
Description HUMANOR Consortium Agreement 
Organisation Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum
Country Sweden 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Collaborator Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Impact Multidisciplinary
Start Year 2015
 
Description HUMANOR Consortium Agreement 
Organisation University of Lapland
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Collaborator Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Impact Multidisciplinary
Start Year 2015
 
Description HUMANOR Consortium Agreement 
Organisation Uppsala University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Collaborator Contribution Fieldwork, Research Design, Laboratory work, Publications
Impact Multidisciplinary
Start Year 2015
 
Description Anderson, David G. - Purebred reindeer and the History of Russian and Soviet Reindeer Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

moved the research forward
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Anderson, Milek & Kamerling - Conclusion: Proposed fieldsites 2015, 2016 and Urgent Problems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact "talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards."

the research moved forward
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.niku.no/no/nordomrade/forskning_i_nord/humanor/Launch+workshop+i+Rovaniemi.9UFRzY3S.ips
 
Description Anderson, Milek Harrault - UK JPI HUMANOR GROUP - Final Project Meeting Rovaniemi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The final project presentation in Rovaniemi sparked quesitons
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Anderson, Milek, Harrault - Geoarchaeological fieldwork at Yarte 6, Yamal Peninsula, 2015: Research design and results - HUMANOR Project Meeting November 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was an annual network meeting of this network grant with community stakeholders present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description David Anderson - Introduction to Ethnoarchaeological and Geoarchaeological modelling of Reindeer Landscapes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards."

Our research moved forward in leaps and bounds
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.niku.no/no/nordomrade/forskning_i_nord/humanor/Launch+workshop+i+Rovaniemi.9UFRzY3S.ips
 
Description ESRC & Climate Outreach Workshop- 8th March 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Roundtable on communication climate change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://climateoutreach.org/
 
Description ESRC/Climate Outreach workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The overall aim of the workshop was to share good practice in communication and public engagement, and to identify ways of overcoming key challenges that ESRC investments face. The workshop sought to identify what was working well, what was not working as well, how things could be done differently and what would be required to achieve this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Ericsson Annjessica, Harrault L., Aronsson KÅ., Domene Lopez G.: blog interview on Humanor project, blog about conservation of herbivore old breed. Annjessica is a former academic. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog report from our visit to a group of farmers from northern Sweden to collect reference material for Humanor project.
The blog, held by Annjessica Ericsson, a former academic, has the purpose to share knowledge and experience from several farmers who breed old breeds of goats, sheep, cattle etc. in order to save these breeds and related activities.
Our work is a direct relation with their activites since we are looking for chemical evidences of these old breeds in archaeological sites.
Outcomes could be a better understanding of people and policy makers on the interest to save these old activities, and hopefully leading policy makers to help these farmers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://forsnashemman.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/lappgetterna-far-forskarbesok.html
 
Description Forbes, Anderson, Fedorova, Beach, Barlindhau, Aronsson, Marin - Social-Ecological Transformations: HUMan-ANimal Relations Under Climate Change in NORthern Eurasia (HUMANOR) 2015-2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

many requests for informaiton
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.jpi-climate.eu/news-events/news/10862402/Kick-off-meeting-of-the-JPI-Climate-1st-Joint-Ca...
 
Description Harrault L., Aronsson KÅ., Domene Lopez G.: Radio interview about Humanor project on P4 Norrbotten radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview by a local radio (P4 Norbotten) from northern sSweden about the goal of our Humanor project, outcomes about understanding archaeological sites and link our findings to help current Sami people/local reindeer herders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=98&artikel=6484383
 
Description Harrault L., Domene Lopez G., Aronsson KÅ., Milek K. and Anderson D. , Geoarchaeological tools to contextualise ancient pastoral sites in Suollagavalda, northern Sweden, 3rd Humanor project meeting, Aberdeen 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 3rd Humanor project meeting, held in Aberdeen 2017.
Summary and outcomes of the different team of JPI Climate/ESRC Humanor project.
The main goal was to present our research and plan how to spread outcomes to the larger public who could be involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Harrault L., Domene Lopez G., Aronsson KÅ., Milek K. and Anderson D. , Methodological use of Magnetic Susceptibility to locate ancient reindeer herder hearths in Suollagavalda, northern Sweden: A geoarchaeological approach., Ethnoarchaeology of Fire Symposium 2017, Tenerife 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop about Ethnoarchaeology of fire.
Poster presentation of our studies in Siberia and Sweden to show our work and share knowledge with other experts.
New collaborations started.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cmallol.webs.ull.es/index.php?p=16&l=en
 
Description Harrault L., Milek K., Dawson L. and Anderson D. - Potential use of lipid biomarkers in the identification of reindeer herding sites - Humanor project meeting November 2015 - Arctic Center (Rovaniemi, Finland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of the first results from the 2015 summer fieldtrip in Siberia.
This siberian site is thought to have been the place of past reindeer herding.
I presented first interesting results from soil lipid analyses, looking for faecal biomarkers as evidence of the past presence of animals in this site.
Non-chemist audience (anthropologists/archaeologists) have been showed that geochemical tools can really help to identify the presence of human/animals on archaeological sites, representing a huge potential for further studies.
The expected goal is to increase collaborations within and outside the project team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Harrault L., Milek K., Dawson L. and Anderson D. -Lipid biomarker potential for archaeology - ArcticDomus project meeting August 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of the potential use of lipid biomarkers for archaeological and anthropological issues to a non-chemist audience.
The goal was to convince them that geochemical tools that they are not aware of can help them in their studies.
This might be a first step to future collaborations for new or past case studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.arcticdomus.org/about/circumpolar-ethnography/
 
Description Harrault L., Milek K., Domene Lopez G., Dawson L. and Anderson D. , Understanding past activities of pastoral nomadic Nenets from Western Siberia using a geoarchaeological toolkit, Ethnoarchaeology of Fire Symposium 2017, Tenerife. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop about Ethnoarchaeology of fire.
Poster presentation of our studies in Siberia and Sweden to show our work and share knowledge with other experts.
New collaborations started.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cmallol.webs.ull.es/index.php?p=16&l=en
 
Description Harrault L., Ross J. and Dawson L. - Method developpment progress, 12/09/15 - James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Discussion with chemists involved in the project about last development of the analysis of lipid biomarkers that can be used to identify reindeer presence on archaeological sites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Harrault L., Ross J. and Dawson L. - Method developpment progress, 19/05/15 - James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Discussion with chemists involved in the project about lipid biomarker analysis that could be used to identify reindeer presence on archaeological sites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Harrault L., Ross J. and Dawson L. - Method developpment progress, 26/08/15 - James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Discussion with chemists involved in the project about advances made on the analysis of lipid biomarkers that can be used to identify reindeer presence on archaeological sites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Humanor project website description 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Summary of JPI climate and ESRC funded Humanor project on the web site of the Departement of Archeaology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.abdn.ac.uk/geosciences/departments/archaeology/the-humanor-project-1172.php
 
Description Ilse Kamerling - Reindeer herding in central Siberia - comparing palynological signals, methods and results 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact alk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

The research moved forward
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.niku.no/no/nordomrade/forskning_i_nord/humanor/Launch+workshop+i+Rovaniemi.9UFRzY3S.ips
 
Description Invited talk - Presentation to hosting lab and collaborators (Dr. Emilie Jardé and Dr. Laurent Jeanneau), Géosciences Rennes - Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Rennes- Early reindeer domestication on the Yamal peninsula: Geoarchaeology and Lipid biomarkers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was an invited talk to present the work and analyses made for the ESRC funded JPI Climate Humanor project to Rennes potential collaborators and other experts.
Outcome was to start new international collaboration with "Géosciences Rennes" lab for further projects involving ESRC, which is not well known in France.
People were very interested and ask to start new collaboration for lipid biomarker analyses related to ESCR topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Karen Milek - Using geoarchaeology to understand the structure and ecology of reindeer herding camp sites 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

The research went forward
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2015
URL http://www.niku.no/no/nordomrade/forskning_i_nord/humanor/Launch+workshop+i+Rovaniemi.9UFRzY3S.ips
 
Description Milek K., Anderson D., Harrault L. and Kremkova J., Yarte VI, Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia, in its Landscape Context, 3rd Humanor project meeting, Aberdeen 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 3rd Humanor project meeting, held in Aberdeen 2017.
Summary and outcomes of the different team of JPI Climate/ESRC Humanor project.
The main goal was to present our research and plan how to spread outcomes to the larger public who could be involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Milek, Karen - Reindeer residues and herders' huts: ethno- and geoarchaeological discoveries on the trail of nomadic reindeer herders in Siberia - Northern Archaeology Research Seminar, 9 March 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact It is a 1-hour lecture, to be held on Wednesday March 9, 4-5 pm, as part of the University of Aberdeen's Northern Archaeology Research Seminar Series (open talk)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Milek, Karen; Kamerling, Ilse, Kuuppamma, Mari - Seminar Paper - Environmental markers of husbandry in the Sayan Mountains 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Project launch 21-22.01.2015 Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Project Launch Meeting

The Arctic has undergone profound climatic variation in past centuries, when indigenous Saami, Nenets and Evenki shifted from hunters to herders. Some social-ecological systems (SESs) have proven resilient in space and time, yet most are considered at risk. An ancient N Eurasian livelihood, reindeer herding is a nexus for feedbacks between humans, animals and environment. Modern management benefits from comparative analyses of complex SESs experiencing multiple stresses. Even at low human population densities, large herds affect ecosystem structure & function. Projecting future transformations requires retrospective partitioning of: (1) socio-economic & political from climate drivers over decadal scales; and (2) human-animal agency from climate drivers over centennial scales. Robust analyses must (1) be made in contrasting SESs across diverse geographic scales and (2) account for heterogeneous perceptions of risk concerning the future viability of herding in the European Research Area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.jpi-climate.eu/news-events/news/10857608/Project-launch-of-JPI-Climate-funded-HUMANOR
 
Description Talk on citizen science, portable archaeological science, and archaeological ethics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 60 students, university-based archaeologists, and professional practitioners attended a roundtable discussion on the future of archaeology in a pan-disciplinary research environment at the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists, at University of Barcelona, Spain, from September 5-7, 2018. My presentation on 'Transdisciplinary archaeology and the future of archaeological practice: citizen science, portable science, ethical science' showcased the field-lab we have been using to do geoarchaeological research in remote areas as part of the JPI Climate: HUMANOR Project, and discussed the importance of engaging the public with both archaeological fieldwork and archaeological science that is normally lab-based and closed to the public. The talk sparked a lively discussion and I was invited to publish the paper in the Norwegian Archaeological Review (published 6 December, 2018). Colleagues in a number of archaeology departments in the UK have told me that they will be adding the paper to their undergraduate course reading lists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
URL https://doi.org/10.1080/00293652.2018.1552312