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Kristina Douglass 

Joyce and Doug Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies for the Department of Anthropology and Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State University

Pennsylvania, U.S.A

Kristina is an assistant professor in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Anthropology, focusing on the anthropology and archaeology of sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, as well as the way humans interact with their environment. She earned her doctorate in anthropology from Yale University. Her work integrates anthropology, ethnohistory, ecology and climate science, while addressing how narratives of human environmental impact influence conservation and policy debates. Her current projects are based in southwest Madagascar and investigate a range of questions about how people have co-evolved with the region’s hypervariable climate and environment. These include studies of human adaptation to climate change, the relationship between ancient peoples and the region’s extinct animals, and the importance of local, Indigenous and descendant knowledge in shaping the landscape. For the last nine years, she has directed the Morombe Archaeological Project (MAP) in Madagascar, a project that collaborates with communities in the Velondriake Marine Protected Area to document the rich archaeological record and oral histories of southwest Madagascar.

Support Kristina 

By following the work of the Olo Be Taloha Lab (Translation: Elders of the past), the Penn State Lab focusing on the environmental archaeology of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean directed by Kristina. Visit the OBT Lab webpage.


Follow Kristina & OBT Lab on Twitter:

Kristina: @kgdouglass

OBT Lab: @obtlab

Learn more about Kristina:

On climate change, archaeological paper digs into the effects of colonization and maltreatment. Read more.

Indigenous solutions to climate crisis could lie in archaeology, experts say. Read more.

Science should be inclusive and collaborate with local, Indigenous and descendant communitiesRead more.



The IPCC uses the Industrial Revolution as the keystone for human-induced climate change. But there is a different marker for black, brown and indigenous peoples who have also been measuring climate change for generations. European colonization brought not only systemic violence, but irreparable, environmental damage to small-scale agrarian and subsistence societies all over the world. 


In no coincidence, those same former colonies are some of the most deeply ravaged by climate change. Today, the UN’s Green Climate Fund and Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss & Damage seek to reconcile these inequalities. But how did native people adapt to natural changes in climate before colonization? And if justice is unlikely to be served by humility, how can colonial impact be quantified, argued and won? 


Archaeologist and Penn State professor, Kristina Douglass talks about her life’s work on colonization and climate in Madagascar. And in the Philippines, Lidy Nacpil, of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt & Development shares her life after Marcos and the fight for reparations on the global stage.


Lidy Nacpil

Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt & Development (APMDD)

Quezon City, Philippines

Lidy is an activist working on economic, environmental, social and gender justice issues. She is the Coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) based in the Philippines. She has committed her efforts to climate justice and specifically climate debt for communities who are owed reparations for the harm done to their homes as a result of catastrophic climate change disasters and emergencies. 

Support Lidy  

By learning more about Lidy’s work at The Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).


Follow Lidy

Facebook: @apmdd

Twitter: @AsianPeoplesMvt

Learn more about Lidy:

As Typhoon Hagupit Wreaks Havoc, Leading Filipino Environmental Voice Silenced at U.N. Climate Talks. Read more.

Women Saving The Planet: Lidy Nacpil Of The Philippines. Read more.

Episode Credits

Mothers of Invention is brought to you by Vulcan Productions and Doc Society. 

Executive producers: Jody Allen, Ruth Johnston, Matt Milios as well as Jess Search & Beadie Finzi.

For Doc Society:

Series producer: Thimali Kodikara

Development producer and Studio Director: Shanida Scotland

Line producer: Rebecca Lucy Mills 

Editor: Sefa Nkyi

Sound designer: Axel Kacoutié

Audio Engineer: Lisa Hack 

Social Media Manager: Imriel Morgan for Content Is Queen

Project Coordinator: Aisha Younis

Theme Tune composed by Jamie Perera

Special thanks to our equipment fixer Baby Ruth Villarama​

For Vulcan Productions:

Associate Producers:  Andrea Dramer and Susan Grella

Production Manager: Kimberly Nyhous

Senior Director for Strategy, Engagement and Impact: Ted Richane

Impact Producer: Alex Pearson

 We are very proudly distributed by PRX.

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