In our everyday research, we work on historical case studies of environmental crises that are directly relevant to the concerns of present-day societies around the globe, based around five key elements: natural hazards, social vulnerabilities, culture, planned responses and outcomes. We are concerned with how past societies have responded to climatic variations and environmental pressures, and whether this has led to transformation, decline, resilience, or something else entirely. We are concerned to link our investigations both with factors included within the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as those that lie outside the SDG framework, most notably, the centrality of culture to understanding and responding to climatic stresses.
Our team can offer ad hoc as well as long-term advice to policy and decision-makers in matters pertaining to the current climate crisis, the COVID pandemic and other geological, ecological and biological risks, on all continents. Our advice is based on the achievements of an entire academic field that has grown for more than half a century of modern historical, archaeological and natural scientific research. We see our role as honest brokers of in-depth scientific knowledge, having no stakes in a particular policy action; we do not advocate for specific policies. Our core group collaborates with a number of scientists around the world, relying on an extensive network of multi-disciplinary expertise.