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Dr Fiona Jordan awarded ERC Starting Grant

Dr Fiona Jordan

5 January 2015

How much do human societies differ in who they class as family? How do children learn about kinship? Why do some societies classify cousins with siblings, and other groups distinguish cousins through your mum or your dad? To investigate these unsolved questions about family and kinship, Dr Fiona Jordan has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant.

The project 'Cultural Evolution of Kinship Diversity: Variation in Language, Cognition and Social Norms Regarding Family' (VARIKIN) is generously funded by the European Research Council for £1.2M.

The project will start in 2015 and run for five years. Research will be based in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, with a team of anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists working within an interdisciplinary framework. Activities will include conducting fieldwork in Bristol and abroad, investigating how we talk about kinship in speech and text, and modelling how social norms about family evolve over time and space.

Funding successes in 2014

This funding tops off a very successful year for the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology in which staff members have been awarded:

  • Leverhulme Research Grant funding for the 3-year project 'The social context of technology: non-ferrous metalworking in later prehistoric northwest Europe', to Dr Joanna Brück, bringing two new PDRAs to the Department.
  • Cabot Institute Innovation Funds, and an ESRC Transformative Social Science Prize to Dr Mhairi Gibson, to support fieldwork in Cameroon aimed at understanding how the risk of infectious disease affects human reproductive behaviour.
  • English Heritage funding to Dr Lucy Cramp, to fund a postdoctoral research associate in the creation of Heritage-sector information packs on residue analysis.
  • Leverhulme Research Grant funding for the 3-year project 'The evolution of acoustic communication', a multidisciplinary collaborative project between Prof Kate Robson Brown, Dr Fernando Montealgre Zapata (University of Lincoln) and Prof Daniel Roberts (Biological Sciences, Bristol) to explore the evolution of early acoustic systems using micro-computed tomography.
  • REACT funding for the 'Intimate Objects' project to Dr Sarah Winkler Reid and Dr Mwenza Blell, to allow adults to create and design intimate objects that explore and communicate sexual desires.
  • REACT funding for the 'Reflector' project to Professor Mark Horton and Professor Alex Bentley, to explore ways in which archaeological items from the trans-Atlantic slave trade might allow the sharing of stories through reflection and connections.
  • Green Apple funding to Dr Mwenza Blell, Dr Sarah Winkler Reid, Dr Nicholas Saunders and Dr Stuart Prior, all to incorporate aspects of sustainability into innovative curriculum development.
  • Czech Science Foundation funding to Dr Volker Heyd as co-investigator for the project 'Medieval Population in the Centre and Country: Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, and Genetics of Cemeteries of Prague Castle, Central and Eastern Bohemia.'

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