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Current PhD students

Cristian Erazo is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. He holds a BA in Anthropology and an MRes in Social and Political Studies from Universidad Icesi (Colombia). His doctoral research focuses on ethnographically exploring how indigenous and non-indigenous actors perform formal and informal roles of brokerage in the Putumayo region of Colombia’s Amazon, skilfully navigating between and working across local communities, state institutions, and NGOs involved in a scenario of growing and varied state and non-state social interventions.


Lucrezia Milillo’s doctoral research aims to further our understanding of Andean khipus – colorful knotted cords for record keeping. Combining ethnographic fieldwork to the study of museum specimens through the practice theory framework, her research will provide new insights on the significance of colour and materials used in the production of Andean khipus. Lucrezia holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and an M.A. in History and Anthropology at the University of Bologna (cum laude). Here, she studied collection, provenance and morphology of Andean khipus in Italian collections. Her email address is [email protected]


Maria Koulouri is working on the digitisation of the hybrid Mangas Khipu strengthened by Andean ethnography. Her doctorate research uses mixed methods: a triangulation of qualitative participant observation and interviews with statistical modelling and augmentation techniques. Maria holds an MSc in Sociology (Social Research Methods and Statistics) from City University of London: her dissertation explored factors associated with child malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa using a DHS large dataset; and a degree in Social Work from Technological Institute of Patras, Greece. Her interest in native philology stems from studying ancient Greek, Latin, world literature, and European modern history as a pupil and a natural inclination toward sign, and programming, languages. Maria has advocated for human rights as well as for forest preservation campaigns in London, and she loves working for a cause. Her email address is [email protected]


Manny Medrano‘s doctoral research focuses on the historical collection, museum display, and ongoing decipherment of khipus — the knotted string recording devices of the pre-Hispanic Andes. His work synthesizes archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data, including the application of data science techniques. Manny holds an A.B. from Harvard College, magna cum laude with highest honours, in Applied Mathematics.





Hayden Cooper. My current work is an ethnographic exploration of the environmental and political consequences of the Bolivian soy industry. As a result of which it intersects historical, economic, and political anthropological thought.





Grzegorz Palka

My name is Greg. I am a doctorate student at the University of St Andrews. My project focuses on conceptions of knowledge, and knowledge producing practices among the Kaxinawá of the Purus river region in Acre, Brazil. More specifically, I am interested in how knowledge is created, mediated and shared, and how it relates to other social phenomena such as the body and the environment. My general interests include human relationships with non-humans and the environment, perspectivism, animism, and different modes of knowledge production. I draw from intellectual movements such as phenomenology, post-structuralism, and the ontological turn, however, I do not have a major influence.’