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Molten lava flowing down a slope

This funding will enable the lead researcher, Dr Helen Foxhall Forbes, to coordinate a team to conduct ground-breaking research on how people responded to environmental and climatic change during the medieval period.

The Science, Society and Environmental Change project

The project will investigate environmental and climatic changes between 1 and 1000 CE (Common Era), including the changes caused by floods, volcanic activity, or longer periods of warming or cooling. The research team are interested in how people in Mediterranean societies responded to these changes both intellectually (for instance, in seeking scientific or theological explanations), and socially (for example, by growing new types of plants, or migrating to live in a new location). 

The study will focus specifically on how well people in this period adapted to environmental changes, and on how knowledge about environmental change was communicated.

Opportunities for early-career scholars

The project will appoint three postdoctoral fellows and two PhD students. These early career scholars will join the core team of four specialists to begin the research. The roles will include archival work, field and lab research, and collaborative analysis of evidence.


Learn more about Dr Foxhall Forbes' research

Read about our medieval research at Durham

Read about our research into environmental history