Aivita Putniņa

PhD., Social anthropologist, Associate Professor of the University of Latvia, Faculty of Humanities, Head of the Department of Anthropology, director of both anthropology study programmes.

Studied anthropology at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and at Cambridge University in Great Britain. She has also been working on many research projects on family, gender, community participation, urban planning, biotechnology, sexual and reproductive health, violence prevention, and the cultural process. Advised international and national institutions on external communication, cultural policy, social integration and national planning, as well as public organizations on gender equality and violence prevention.

In the bachelor's study programme, Aivita teaches an introductory course into social and cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, as well as leads a field work course and a bachelor's thesis seminar. In the master's study programme, she teaches a course in social and cultural theory,  postmodern theories, anthropological methods and research ethics, and conducts a fieldwork course. From elective courses, Aivita offers a course on men and women in society, disease and health, biotechnology and Pierre Bourdieu's theory.

Her recent research projects are related to female pastors in Latvian Lutheran church and women in religious environment, non-violence, prevention of hate crimes and digital challenges among elderly.


Anna Elizabete Griķe

Mg.hum. A graduate of University of Latvia, fulfilling her studies in philology, anthropology and folkloristics. Is working on her thesis entitled “Popular piety in Roman Catholic parishes of Latgalian borderland”. Also as research assistant conducts research in the field of socio-onomastics in UL Latvian Language Institute. Gives lectures of anthropology in UL and Art Academy of Latvia, as well as assists the course Economic anthropology in SSE Riga. Member of Latvian Association of Anthropologists (since 2021 as member of board).

Courses: Introduction to the anthropology of art, Introduction to the anthropology of performance, Social and cultural theories, Postmodernism and anthropology

Research interests: kinship, rituals and traditions, border studies, onomastics

Artūrs Pokšāns

Has a master's degree in the study programme of Culture and Social Anthropology of the University of Latvia, where he has also gained experience in Erasmus exchange studies at the University of Copenhagen. The research is related to the employment and education of persons with disabilities and the infrastructure of social support for asylum seekers, rehabilitation of addictions among young people, addictions to processes. Arthur is also involved in various projects related to out-of-home care in collaboration with the International Association of SOS Children's Villages and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, where he serves on the International Advisory Board of the Inspiring Children’s Futures Institute.


Artūrs Tomsons

Dr. hist., archaeologist and lecturer since 2013. Artūrs has been teaching the archaeology as a part of the course "Introduction to Biological Anthropology" at the University of Latvia Faculty of Humanities together with Dr. Aivita Putniņš. He received his education at the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia, and supplemented his professional qualification also outside Latvia, including underwater archaeology. Since 2007, he has been working in the Archaeology Department of the Latvian National Museum of History. Since 2008, he has participated in and managed more than 40 archaeological excavations and research works in the territory of Latvia, including leading excavations within the framework of international projects in 2012 in the projects "Ecology of Crusading" and "Archaeology, Authority & Community: Cooperation to Protect Archaeological Heritage" (in 2013–2014). Author of a number of scientific publications on Iron Age and medieval armaments in the Baltics, as well as experimental archaeology. Head of the Latvian Archaeological Club and organizer of the Baltic Summer School of Experimental Archaeology.


Gareth Hamilton

PhD, FHEA. Gareth received his masters and doctoral degree in anthropology, as well as bachelors and masters degree in languages, and postgraduate certificate, at Durham University in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Gareth’s doctoral thesis was on the rhetorical expression of personhood among the self-employed in eastern Germany. His publications are on topics such as gifting, commodities, neoliberalism, public art as well as the toleration of violence. Alongside Germany, his research interests include the Baltic states. He is the author of the Oxford Bibliography on post socialist anthropology. His current research is on violence prevention in Latvia.

He teaches the following courses at bachelor’s level: Anthropological methods, Economic anthropology, Political anthropology, Contemporary theory, and the Anthropology of kinship.

He teaches the following courses at masters’ level: Self, experience and agency, the Anthropology of consumption, Post-socialist anthropology, the Anthropology of Europe, Language and culture, Business anthropology, and the Transformation of borders.

Ilze Mileiko

Dr. philol., recently completed doctoral studies and obtained a doctoral degree in philology, defending the work "Fertility in traditional and modern culture in Latvia". Prior to that, she obtained a master's degree in sociology, specializing in qualitative research methods and social anthropology. Ilze has been teaching in the anthropology bachelor's study programme since its foundation.

She currently teaches the courses "Gender and Sexuality in Anthropology" and "Introduction to Art Anthropology". She also supervises bachelor's theses. Ilze also actively participates in various applied and academic researches.

Recent research projects involve the testing and implementation of flexible childcare services and the evaluation of violence rehabilitation services. She has also studied other issues, such as the generation of the nation and the renewal of society, the social issues of medical insemination and egg donation, divorce and the sustainability of relationships, and more. issues.

Main research interests: biotechnology, sexuality, gender, family and demographic policy, violence, totalitarian regimes.


Kārlis Lakševics

Holds a master's degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Latvia. Kārlis recent research covers political ecology of housing in the Baltic Renovation wave, spatialization of violence prevention, interdependencies between housing and social inclusion, and digitalization of care services for the elderly. He has gained experience in non-formal education and critical pedagogy by leading seminars in the Global Education Network as well as by working for an e-learning design company. Kārlis is a board member of the Latvian Anthropological Association and runs translation workshops on anthropological terms.

Courses taught: Environmental Anthropology, Introduction to Urban Ethnography, Developmental Anthropology, Anthropology of Religion and Ritual, Social and Cultural Theories, Postmodernism and Anthropology.

Research interests: climate justice, housing and infrastructure, digital economy and data governance


Kristians Zalāns

Master’s degree from University of Latvia, Culture and social anthropology study programme. Most significant applied research done on support infrastructures for people with disabilities and homeless people, municipality approach to client service, state support mechanisms for businesses and researcher-business cooperation networks in fields of biomedicine and smart cities.

Previously Kristians read the following courses: Introduction to Urban Ethnography, Anthropology of Development, Anthropology of Morality and Research practice 1. Currently Kristians works in the Anthropology department as a researcher in the project "Strengthening families, communities and relationships: anthropological perspectives on violence".

Research interests: power relations in the city, development, affect theory.


Māra Neikena

MHum. lecturer, has been teaching in the Bachelor's study programme in Culture and Social Anthropology since 2012. Māra Neikena is a graduate of the University of Latvia, Master of Culture and Social Anthropology. She previously studied at the Faculty of Social Sciences, where she also gained experience in Erasmus exchange studies at the University of Ghent in Belgium. Bigger research projects in which Māra has participated are related to Latvia's rural development, environmental issues, violence in families, violence prevention.

Courses taught: Anthropology of Things, Ethnic Communities, Animals in Anthropology, Introduction to Anthropology of Senses and Movements, Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology,  Introduction to studies and university resources.

Areas of interest: materiality, animals, ethnic identity.


Zane Linde-Ozola

Dr. phil., University of Latvia, Faculty of Humanities, Assistant Professor. Obtained doctoral degree from the University of Leeds, UK, with dissertation "Microbiopolitics of human-microbe relationships: hospital-acquired infection control in Latvia". Prior to that, she obtained a master's and bachelor's degree in sociology with a specialization in social anthropology at the University of Latvia.

The research conducted is related to the prevention of violence against children and women (situation assessments, policy analyses, programme evaluations and recommendations) and non-violence practices and resources in families and communities. Zane is conducting applied research related to the COVID19 epidemic, infection control, prudent use of antibiotics, and evaluation of the experience of sepsis patients. Research on biotechnology and biosafety has also been carried out.

Courses taught: Anthropology of Body and Medicine, Boundary Transformation, Introduction to science and technology studies.

Research interests: prevention and deterrence of domestic violence, infection control, human-microbial relations, quality of health care; patient safety.