Sian is an environmental anthropologist and political ecologist concerned to better understand diversity in cultural values and representations of the natural world: see The Natural Capital Myth: Essays on Nature, Finance and Values. Since the early 1990s she has carried out ethnographic and oral history research with Indigenous peoples (Damara / ≠Nūkhoen and ||Ubun) in west Namibia: see Future Pasts. With her main research collaborator (Welhemina Suro Ganuses) she co-authored a chapter of a national review of Indigenous and marginalised communities for the Namibian government’s Ancestral Land Commission, appointed in 2019. More recently she has worked with Namibian colleagues to document the effects of COVID-19 and associated policy responses on communal area conservancies: see A perfect storm? COVID-19 and community-based conservation in Namibia.
Currently she works as Professor of Environment and Culture at Bath Spa University (UK) where she teaches on the MA Environmental Humanities and leads a module on Cultural Landscapes. She is also the UK Principal Investigator for Etosha-Kunene Histories, a research collaboration by Bath Spa University, the University of Cologne and the University of Namibia to explore intersections between colonialism, indigeneity, conservation and ‘natural history’ in Namibia.