Workshop / activiteit

Han van Dijk

Right now I am professor of Development Studies at Wageningen University, focusing on a wide range of topics, from farmers and pastoralists to legal anthropology of land tenure and natural resource management and governance processes in conflict and post-conflict situations, including the impact of disasters (such as droughts) on society.

As an anthropologist and forestry engineer I am interested in how people and society interact with nature and the environment. As a student I did both a Bachelor and Master forestry and Anthropology (Utrecht University) parallel. In my last Master project I came into contact with nomadic pastoralists in the Sahel. We (my girlfriend and I) decided that this was a good topic for a PhD, and as it happened we managed to get this funded. I focused on the impact of drought on Fulani pastoralists in Mali. Later on in Central Chad, when working as researcher for the African Studies Centre of Leiden University we dived into the combined impact of drought and conflict on society after decades of conflict. When I returned in 2004 as a Professor to Wageningen University I applied all the lessons I learned in collaboration with my PhD students to fishers and shrimp farmers in Vietnam, Mexico and Tanzania, and health care in Ghana. Right now I am working with colleagues from Wageningen University and the Sahel region on a plan to set up research that contributes to future sustainability and conflict resolution.

What I like about my job is that it is very diverse and intellectually challenging that I am training new generations of academics and researcher.