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Ariell Ahearn

GCRF-ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment


Ariell is an ESRC-GCRF postdoctoral fellow at the School for Geography and the Environment and a member of the Transformations Research Cluster. She completed her DPhil from the School for Geography in February 2016. She holds a BA degree in Anthropology from Hartwick College and an MPA from Cornell University in the United States.

Since 2004, Ariell has worked extensively in rural Mongolia with mobile pastoralist communities around land use and rural development issues. She engages with a broad range of individuals and groups, from government officials to business owners and NGOs to rural households. Her doctoral thesis, 'The Changing Meaning of Work, Herding and Social Relations in Rural Mongolia' challenges the notion that pastoralists operate outside of regulatory institutions and discusses the long history of herder involvement with government administrations.

In 2016 she engaged as an expert on a multi-disciplinary team to conduct a qualitative analysis of herder livelihoods and socio-economic changes in relation to the Oyu Tolgoi mega mine in the Gobi desert as part of the facilitation of a complaint through the IFC's Office of Compliance Ombudsman. From this work, Ariell's research focus has become concerned with understanding processes of engagement between rural households and governing entities such as corporations and state organizations.

Website here.