Habitable Air



Kerry Ryan Chance

Project Leader

Kerry Ryan Chance, Principal Investigator (PI) of the Habitable Air project. As an Associate Professor at the University of Bergen and Marie Curie Fellow, she conducts research on urban ecology and the cultural dynamics of climate change in South Africa and the U.S.  She is the author of Living Politics in South Africa’s Urban Shacklands and her work has been featured in various academic journals. Her upcoming book is Habitable Air: Urban Inequality in the Time of Climate Change.

Sharad Chari

Senior Researcher

Sharad Chari, Associate Professor of Geography at UC-Berkeley, and affiliate at WiSER, South Africa. His research combines geography, Marxism, and Black Studies, with a focus on South India, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean. Author of multiple books and numerous articles, his work includes Fraternal Capital, Apartheid Remains and Gramsci at Sea. He is the Co-editor of Other Geographies and Ethnographies of Power.

Laurence Ralph

Senior Researcher

Laurence Ralph is a Professor of Anthropology and director of Center for Transnational Policing at Princeton University. His research combines urban and medical anthropology, focusing on gangs, disability, masculinity, race, and popular culture in the U.S. He is the author of multiple award-winning books, including Renegade Dreams and Torture Letters.

Courtney Morris

Senior Researcher

Courtney Morris is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley, researching critical race theory, feminist theory, black social movements, and race and environmental politics in the African Diaspora. She is the author of a forthcoming book, To Defend this Sunrise.

Charlotte Bruckermann

Senior Researcher

Charlotte Bruckermann is a Research Associate and Lecturer at the Institute for Ethnology at the University of Cologne, Germany. Her research centers on environmental and economic anthropology, digital ethnography, and comparative and global approaches in anthropology, with a focus on China and Germany. She is the author of Claiming Homes and co-author of The Anthropology of China.

Kefiloe Sello

Post-doctoral Fellow

Kefiloe Sello is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen under the Habitable Air Project. Her research focuses on a mining town of Sasolburg, South Africa. This ethnographic research seeks to gauge how miners, riddled with silicosis, continue to live in the area despite the poor air quality. The research also seeks to show how extractive industries are responsible not only for climate change but also for vicious circle of poverty within communities they are found. Kefiloe is a recipient of the Margaret McNamara Education Grant and the Wenner Gren Foundation.

Wesley Maraire

Project & Communication Manager

Wesley Maraire has an MPhil in labour law from the University of Cape Town. He is currently finalising his doctoral research that focuses on extending access to justice to the poor and small businesses by institutionalising socially appropriate mechanisms within the justice system. He brings with him to Habitable Air, experience from management consulting and market research covering diverse sectors including tourism, retail, ICT, and non-profit organisations.

Dara Kell


Dara Kell is a South African filmmaker and writer. She is currently making a documentary about civil disobedience in America, her previous film, Dear Mandela, won multiple awards. Her work has been featured on PBS, Netflix and more. She has also produced a podcast about women in climate justice.

Stefan Ogedengbe

Ph.D. Researcher

Stefan Ogedengbe is a Ph.D. student under the Habitable Air Project at the department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. His research examines medical anthropology, urban inequality, ecological degradation, and preservation in urban and rural landscapes, specifically in South Africa. His Ph.D. project is an ethnography of asthma and industrial toxicity, air pollution, and climate change.

Felix Lussem

Ph.D Researcher

Felix Lussem is a Research Assistant at the University of Cologne, Germany. His research addresses shifting spatial and temporal orders in negotiations of “global crises” in Germany with a regional focus on Rhineland’s lignite mining area. He is the author of Alienating “facts” and Uneven Futures of Energy Transition.


Jé Judson

Project Affiliate

Jé Judson is a Research Scientist with the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE) at the University of Minnesota. Her research interrogates cultural support for policing and police violence, examining the social acceptance of punishment and the normative discourse and practice of anti-Blackness and misogynoir. She is interested in the accumulative effects of violence exposures over the life course and the health impacts of vicarious trauma.

Mareike Winchell

Project Affiliate

Mareike Winchell is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the racialization of property in light of ongoing histories of Indigenous land dispossession, and how such formations find new expression in contemporary engagements with climate change. Her first book, After Servitude: Elusive Property and the Ethics of Kinship in Bolivia (University of California Press, 2022), traces the ways Quechua people in central Bolivia call upon and actively repurpose the past in their efforts to navigate legacies of labor subjection and sexual violence. Winchell’s writing and digital scholarship have appeared or are slated for publication in numerous journals, including the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Cultural Anthropology, Journal of Peasant Studies, Critical Times, Bolivian Studies Journal, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. Her research and writing have received generous funding from the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust, the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, UChicago's Center for International Social Science Research, and UC Berkeley's Townsend Center for the Humanities

Sibahle Ndwayana

Ph.D. Researcher

Sibahle Ndwayana is a Ph.D. student at the University of California-Berkeley, His dissertation aims to reorient Blackness within Black Geographies and Black Studies by focusing on a geosonic understanding of Cabo Verde, he examines how sound plays a role in the spatial (re)production of Cabo Verde, including how sound shapes and is shaped by racial capitalism and colonialism.

Adam Hassan

Ph.D. Researcher

Adam Hassan is a Ph.D. student at the University of California-Berkeley, studying the digital and material geographies of cryptocurrency mining and how it is changing relationships between communities, the state and energy infrastructures, particularly in Lebanon.

Katja Müller

Project Affiliate

Katja Müller conducts research into digitisation, museum studies, material culture and visual anthropology, as well as energy and environmental humanities. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and received the Heisenberg funding for 'DigitalEnergy' research in Digitisation and Energy Transitions. Her latest books include 'Digitisation and Low Carbon Energy Transitions', ‘Beyond the Coal Rush’, and ‘Digital Archives and Collections’, analysing digital technology's impact on energy systems, the coal rush in Germany, Australia and India and online access to heritage material in India and Europe. 


Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Advisory Board Member

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen and the Academic Director of the Holberg Prize. He has previously served as the Executive Director of the Global Research Program on Inequality. Bjørn’s research focuses on politics, protest, violence, egalitarianism, and questions of urbanity in Africa and more globally. Along with numerous articles, he has published several books on these topics.

Ajantha Subramanian

Advisory Board Member

Ajantha Subramanian is a Professor at Harvard University. Her research interests include political economy, ecology, colonialism, space, citizenship in South Asia, including the South Asian Diaspora. She authored Shorelines: Space and Rights in South India and The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India.