Elisabeth is a postdoctoral research scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, a center of the Earth Institute of Columbia University. As a human ecologist, she examines the relationship between the ‘re-greening’ of the West African Sahel and food security trends. Elisabeth received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University and a B.A. in International Public Relations from Université Libre du Burkina.
As an International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) fellow, Elisabeth conducted her dissertation research on farmer-herder livelihoods, challenges and adaptations in the Center-South region of Burkina Faso. During the last three years, she consulted for UNESCO’s Knowing our Changing Climate in Africa” project under the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) program.
As a LICCI collaborator, she will be documenting the local indicators that traditional herders use to make seasonal migration decisions in the Sahel. These herders are in crisis. Climate change is affecting the availability of certain traditional seasonal indicators that they have relied upon to make livestock migration decisions. At the same time, migratory movements are increasingly constrained by encroachment of agricultural fields on cattle corridors and pastures as well as growing terror attacks and insecurity in destination areas. Elisabeth will work with the Fulβe, the largest pastoral ethnic group in West Africa, also referred to as Peulh, Fula, Fulani, or Haalpullar. Her field site is located in the Center-South region of Burkina Faso.