COSMOVIS Personnel

Dr Olga Ulturgasheva serves as a Principal Investigator and leads the ‘Russia’ Team working alongside her colleagues, Dr Mally Stelmaszyk, Research Associate in Social Anthropology and Dr Nina Kruglikova, Research Associate in History/Philosophy of Science.

Dr Olga Ulturgasheva

Dr Olga Ulturgasheva will facilitate a synergistic dialogue between the ‘Russia’ team members, Russian natural scientists and Siberian indigenous reindeer herders and hunters; and will contribute to collaborative exchange with the KCL-based ‘China’ team. Her research will focus on how Siberian herders and hunters’ approaches to climate change are evolving, both through their own efforts at addressing the dynamic of climate change and in response to the dialogues with environmental scientists.

Ulturgasheva will document the long-term empirical observations, with an especial focus on Siberian herders and hunters’ animistic knowledge of the local landscape, to produce insights into how they perceive, predict, and imagine their own futures of unmanageable change within their boreal forests and tundra. She will also work with regional scientists who will provide insights into how climate change and its effects are perceived regionally and nationally. They will regularly meet with herders and hunters to discuss and compare observations. Their discussions and planning would factor in the changes to indigenous animistic knowledge and practice, which are currently unfolding in response to environmental degradation, industrial development, and climate change. The meetings will be facilitated by the Manchester team.

Dr Mally Stelmaszyk

Dr Mally Stelmaszyk is a Post-Doctorate Research Associate in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She has conducted ethnographic research on cursing and shamanic practice in post-Soviet Tuva. In particular, her work focused on transformative qualities of sound and music in shamanic rituals and animistic relationships. Her research interests include shamanic practice, occultism, sounds and music art, post-colonialism, animism and addiction studies.

Expanding on her PhD thesis, she is currently working on an ERC funded project entitled Cosmological Visionaries: Shamans, Scientists, and Climate Change at the Ethnic Borderlands of China and RussiaHer research focuses on the questions of animism and climate change in Far Eastern Russia. It investigates how the processes of deforestation and reforestation influence beliefs and practices of indigenous communities in Amur and Khabarovsk regions. Bringing together members of local communities and local environmental NGOs, the project further asks if and how these distinct knowledges and practices can be merged with scientific approaches in order to produce future climate policies in Siberia.

Dr Nina Kruglikova

Dr Nina Kruglikova is a Post-Doctorate Research Associate in History/Philosophy of Science. She has a DPhil in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford (Trinity College, 2014). Her doctoral thesis is an ethnographic study which comprised a year of fieldwork in a major campaigning environmental NGO and focused on the mediation of scientific knowledge from an STS perspective. Her expertise includes environmental activism, indigenous knowledge, history of climate change studies and international scientific cooperation. She has worked as a consultant for the UN projects, and contributed as an author on citizen science to the Global Environmental Outlook–6 (GEO–6) report. She has organised and presented at various international conferences and workshops on environmental policy, sustainable development and philosophy of science. 

For this project she will focus on the history of climate science in Russia and how at present Russian climate scientists imagine and understand the latest dynamics of climate change in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Her role will involve carrying out qualitative interview-based fieldwork, establishing a network of scholars and regional experts, and mobilising dialogues between scientists and indigenous peoples in order to explore how collaboration can benefit both parties and contribute to translating collective findings into shared visions and policies.