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Prof Paul Sillitoe


Sc.D., F.B.A.

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Professor in the Department of Anthropology  


Paul Sillitoe has a background in both anthropology and agricultural science. His research interests focus on tropical farming systems and indigenous natural resource management strategies. He specialises in development and social change, subsistence and technology, land issues, human ecology and ethno-science. His regional interests focus on the Pacific in particular.

He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, where he first championed the competitive sociability of institutionalised exchange individualism, and he is currently involved in projects in South Asia, researching local agricultural knowledge and development programmes. He seeks to further the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in development, particularly in the context of sustainable livelihood initiatives and appropriate technologies.


See a full list of Prof Sillitoe's publications below.

Research interests

  • Melanesia and South Asia
  • Development and social change
  • Economic anthropology and tribal socio-political orders
  • Environmental anthropology and natural resources management
  • Human ecology and ethnosciences
  • Indigenous knowledge and participating development
  • Livelihood and technology

Research groups

Research Projects

  • Contextual instantiation of indigenous domain knowledge: An e-science approach
  • Indigenous knowledge methodologies for natural resource research
  • Negotiations and mining in PNG
  • Towards an engaged anthropology: Advancing methodological approaches to indigenous knowledge research and community well-being
  • What is traditional about Piaroa traditional knowledge?

Related Links

Esteem Indicators

  • 2009: Qatar Shell Professorial Chair in Sustainable Development in the Sociology Program of the Department of Social Sciences in Qatar University:

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Anthropology: Tribal peoples.
  • Anthropology: International development, esp natural resources
  • International development: International development, esp natural resources
  • Anthropology: Oceania - esp. New Guinea
  • Anthropology: Subsistence farming
  • Environment: Natural resources management
  • Plants & agriculture: Natural resources management
  • Environment: Sustainable development
  • Geography: Sustainable development
  • European & other international expertise:
  • Australasia & the Pacific:
  • Science & Technology:
  • People: Civilisation & land use:


Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Proceeding

Edited book

Journal Article

Supervision students