Meet Our Team

Filipe Calvão

Principal Investigator

Filipe Calvão is an economic and environmental anthropologist (PhD, University of Chicago), broadly interested in the intersection between nature, culture, and capital in postcolonial Africa. He is an Associate Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID Geneva) and a trained gemmologist and diamond grader.

His research examines the politics, ecologies, and economies of mineral extraction. He is currently investigating the nexus of digitalization, work, and extractivism, including crypto-mining. Findings from his research have been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Annual Review of Anthropology, Economic Anthropology, Political Geography, or Extractive Industries and Society.

He is an editor for the Swiss Journal of Social and Cultural Anthropology and a co-coordinator of EASA’s Anthropology of Mining network. He previously ran the SNF project “Transparency: Qualities and Technologies of the Global Gemstone Industry”.

Simon Lobach

PhD Researcher

Simon Lobach is a PhD candidate in International History. With an academic background in History, Latin American Studies and International Affairs, he has several years of professional experience in international environmental cooperation.

He has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Cuba and Brazil, and is fully fluent in six languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, besides his native Dutch.

His dissertation concerns the history of the aluminium sector in Amazonia, and the sector’s socio-environmental impacts until today. This research included a visiting fellowship at the Federal University of Pará (Brazil), as well as research stays in different locations in Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela.

Rivana Cerullo

Project Management and Communication

Rivana Cerullo works in management and communication on the Synthetic Lives project. She has multiple years of experience working in project management and communication, such as on Swiss National Science Foundation projects or NGO mandated research.

She is a trained anthropologist, where her work has focused on political anthropology. She wrote her MA thesis on Palestinian women’s experiences of temporalities and decolonial becomings around reproduction.

In fall she will commence her PhD in Anthropology at UC Berkeley.

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Matthew Archer

Affiliated Researcher

Matthew Archer is an assistant professor of sustainability in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York.

His research examines the intersection of corporate sustainability, sustainable finance, and sustainable development, with a particular interest in questions of supply chain governance. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher on SYNTHLIVES and has taught at Copenhagen Business School.

He has a PhD in environmental studies from Yale University, an MSc in environmental economics from the London School of Economics, and bachelors’ degrees in international studies and Chinese from the University of Mississippi. His research has been published in interdisciplinary journals including Political Geography, Environment and Planning E, Critique of Anthropology, and Focaal.

His book, Unsustainable: Measurement, Reporting, and the Limits of Corporate Sustainability, is forthcoming in February 2024 with NYU Press.