Donna Yates awarded €1.5m European Research Council Starting Grant

27 Jul 2018


For the project “Trafficking transformations: objects as agents in transnational criminal networks”

We are happy to announce that Dr Donna Yates has been awarded a large European Research Council Starting Grant, the same funding scheme that founded the Trafficking Culture Project. Donna’s 5 year project will explore the role that objects play within transnational criminal networks, exploring the broad question “can objects cause crimes?” Using methodologies for understanding the relationships between objects and people, and how networks form from these relationships, Yates and her team will follow the pathways of what they’ve termed “criminogenic collectables”: objects of desire and collecting that seem to, at times, inspire crime. Specifically, they will be looking at the movements of cultural objects, fossils, and collectable rare wildlife starting in the Americas, the South Pacific, and Africa.

Donna’s team includes Prof Simon Mackenzie of the Trafficking Culture Project and Dr Annette Hübschle of the University of Cape Town.

More information about this award can be found on the European Research Council Website:

The full list of ERC Starting Grant recipients is available on this PDF: