Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig, University of Cologne

Michael Bollig is Professor for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne and has been conducting research in northern Kunene since 1994. He is currently working on local dynamics of conservation and has received the Leo-Spitzer price promoting top-level research in 2017.

Prof. Dr. Michael Schnegg, University of Hamburg

Michael Schnegg is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hamburg, Germany and has been conducting research in southern Kunene since 2003. His research aims to understand how people in Sub Saharan Africa value, uses and govern ecosystem services in an increasingly de territorialized world.

Research Team

Richard Kiaka, PhD candidate, University of Hamburg

Richard received his BSc from Kenyatta University, Kenya in 2007 and graduated in 2012 with a Master’s in International Development Studies at Wageningen University, Netherlands. From 2012 until 2014, Richard worked in Namibia with the Legal Assistance Centre as a junior researcher on a project that assessed the living conditions of the San in the country. He joined LINGS in 2014 and conducted long-term ethnographic research in southern Kunene and  ǂKhoadi ǁhôas conservancy on water, conservation and rural livelihoods.

Dr. Theresa Linke, University of Hamburg

Theresa graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Hamburg in 2009. From 2004 until 2008 she participated in the interdisciplinary research project BIOTA-Southern Africa ( and conducted fieldwork  in Namaqualand (South Africa). She joined LINGS in 2010. Her research focused on rural water management, insecurity and cooperation and she received her PhD in 2015.

Elsemi Olwage, PhD candidate, University of Cologne

Elsemi completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Environment and Development Studies at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and then moved to the University of Cape Town where she received her Master’s in Social Anthropology in 2013. Elsemi joined LINGS in 2014 and conducted long-term ethnographic research in the Otwani area looking at how the negotiation of institutions governing water are connected to those governing place-boundaries and tenure.

David Parduhn, PhD candidate, University of Hamburg

David was awarded an MA in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation from the University of Sussex in 2012. In 2014, he joined the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Hamburg as a PhD candidate, working within the BMBF-funded Southern African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL). After turning in his PhD thesis on deforestation in Zambia in November 2017 (successfully defended in January 2018) he joined LINGS.

Data management

Martin Dallek, University of Hamburg

Former Researchers

Kathrin Gradt, University of Hamburg

Thekla Kelbert, University of Cologne

Diegeo Menestrey, University of Cologne