GHEA: Kuril Biocomplexity Project

Project Leader: Ben Fitzhugh

Project Type: GHEA Project

GHEA Project Collaborators

Start: Sept 1, 2005
End: Aug 31, 2012

Project website:


The Kuril Islands Biocomplexity Project is led by a team of American, Japanese, and Russian scholars. We come from multiple institutions, including the University of Washington, Hokkaido University Museum, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Pacific Institute of Geography. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

We are studying the 5000-year human and natural history record of the Kuril Island chain in the northeast Pacific, between northern Japan and Russia. Our goal is to understand the interactions of natural and human processes, by researching climate change, ecology, natural hazards, and archaeology. The team has worked through five field seasons and countless hours in the laboratory to uncover many of these unique and interesting processes in the Kurils that will hopefully prove applicable to present-day human-environmental concerns.