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Professor Paul Sillitoe FBA

Anthropology Development Anthropology Ethnosciences Human Ecology and Environment Social & Cultural Anthropology, Other Branches
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About this Fellow

Paul Sillitoe is a professor in Durham University's Anthropology Department. His research interests focus on human-environment relations, notably local natural resource management strategies and farming systems, having a background in both anthropology and agricultural science. A champion of indigenous knowledge in development and its incorporation into projects, particularly in the context of sustainable livelihood initiatives and appropriate technologies, he specialises in social change, livelihoods and technology, environment and conservation, biocultural diversity and land issues, human ecology and ethno-science, and has experience of working with several international development agencies. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the S.W. Pacific region, notably in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where he has sought to locate and understand the 'economy', and is involved in projects in South Asia researching local environmental knowledge and development programmes, and recently worked in the Gulf region on sustainable development initiatives and conservation issues.



Current post

  • Professor of Anthropology, University of Durham

Past Appointments

  • Simon Fellow, University of Manchester, 1978 - 1980
  • Lecturer, LaTrobe University, 1980 - 1984
  • Lecturer to Reader to Professor, University College Durham University of Durham, 1984
  • Professor of Anthropology, University of Durham, University of Durham, 1997
  • , University of Manchester, 1978 - 1980
  • Professor of Anthropology, University of Durham, University of Durham, 1997


Give and take : exchange in Wola society 1979


Roots of the earth: the cultivation and classification of crops in the Papua New Guinea highlands 1983


Made in Niugini: technology in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea 1988


A place against time: land and environment in the Papua New Guinea Highlands 1996


Managing animals in New Guinea: preying the game in the Highlands 2003


From land to mouth: the agricultural 'economy' of the Wola of the New Guinea Highlands 2010


Built in Niugini: constructions in the highlands of Papua New Guinea 2016


Other Anthropology and Geography Fellows

Professor Richard Wrangham

Chimpanzee social ecology; primate and human behaviour in a comparative framework, including influences of diet, violence and culture; self-domestication and the evolution of reduced aggression; primate conservation

Professor Georgina Born

Anthropology and sociology of music, media and digital cultures; anthropological theory; the social, the material, and time; cultural production, cultural institutions and creative industries; music in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries; interdisciplinarity; AI and culture; digital humanities and digital methods

Professor Sarah Curtis

Geographies of health and health care; socio-geographical conditions and processes associated with health inequalities and risks for physical and mental health

Professor Trevor Barnes

The philosophy, methods and twentieth-century history of economic geography; mathematical modelling; and the resource economy and creative industries of contemporary Canada