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Postdoctoral Research Associate, CLIMAVORE x Jameel at RCA, Water Buffalo Commons Project (0.4FTE, Maternity Cover)

Royal College of Art - School of Architecture

Location: London
Salary: £42,205 to £45,732 per annum pro rata
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 14th June 2024
Closes: 30th June 2024
Job Ref: 063-24
 

The Royal College of Art is a dynamic institution with a rich history and a global reputation for excellence in art and design education. Join our team and contribute to the success of The Royal College of Art as we continue as the world‘s number one art and design university for a remarkable ten consecutive years, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 – the worldwide survey of academic and industry opinion.

Applications are invited for a fixed term Postdoctoral Research Associate for the project Water Buffalo Commons.  Starting as soon as possible for a 6 month duration to cover maternity leave of the substantive post holder - working 0.4fte (14 hours per week). 

The Project

Water Buffalo Commons

Wetlands, mangroves, swamps, bogs, marshes and mudflats have been drained to ‘improve’ land for centuries, be it to impose monoculture farmland, create real estate, displace ‘fugitive’ people avoiding state control, or eradicate malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases for colonisers, from Sri Lanka to Indonesia or the Mississippi. In the past decades, however, these liminal landscapes have been legally recognised for being important biodiverse habitats, crucial migratory bird stopovers, water-filtering zones, and invaluable buffers against sea flooding and storms, contributing to overall climate resilience. On the outskirts of Istanbul, inland wetlands are home to water Buffalo, their herders, and a host of species that depend on them. Knowledge brought by Bulgarian herders in Ottoman times, and Turks exiled from Greece after the 1923 population exchange, boosted buffalo milk as an essential ingredient in yoghurt, kaymak and sütlaç. Since 2013, the region has seen a number of hyper-scale constructions, and the plans for digging a new shipping canal to overpass the ones in Panama and Suez threatening to transform the ecosystems of the Black and Sea of Marmara. Located in the lands of the Buffalo, these megaprojects have rezoned the area from rural to urban, draining the wetlands and fragmenting the grazing commons as a side-effect. Through the study of metabolic interactions across species the project works to preserve the food and ecological heritage of the wetlands, herders and their pastoralist ways of life. The project builds upon existing collaborations with the herders, and the work developed by CLIMAVORE in Istanbul over the past four years.

Purpose of Post

Working as a key member of the project team, the successful candidate is an accomplished early career researcher with a proven knowledge of agroecological practices, food policy, social and spatial justice. The post holder will have a deep interest in the built environment and will work closely with the PIs, team members and partners across herding communities, public bodies, policy makers and cultural institutions to deliver the research outcomes of the project. This is an exciting opportunity to be a key member in a research project of international importance, supporting the investigation and testing of nature-based actions within food systems that proactively address the climate emergency. Working from the RCA, the researcher will be supported by an Istanbul-based research assistant on the ground with whom they will work remotely or in person when travel is required.

Please see Information pack for more details.

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