skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology



Sayana Namsaraeva is a senior research associate at the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge, working on the ESRC funded project 'Resource frontiers: managing water on a trans-border Asian river'.   After graduating in China Studies at the University of Saint Petersburg, she did her MA degree in Comparative Ethnography at National Chengchi University (Taipei).  She was awarded a PhD degree  in Political and Cultural History of Pre-modern China at the Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow, RAS), held research positions at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology  (Halle, Germany) and taught as a lecturer at the Institute for Studies of Religions and the Central Asia at the University of Bern (Switzerland). Throughout her academic career spanning over twenty five  years, her research interests embrace a wide range of topics in Mongolian and China studies, Buryat Diasporas and Kinship, Continental Colonialism and Border Studies, with a particular attention to innerasian borderlands.  Her approach to these questions is cross-disciplinary,  combining research methods and theories developed both by History and Social Anthropology. She teachers a course on ‘Borders and Borderlands in North Asia’ for Inner Asia Paper at the Department of Social Anthropology. In an effort to address environmental challenges, she also pursues a practice-oriented agenda with a focus on natural resource management - transnational waters and foraging Siberian medical plants during times of global health crises. 

She speaks English, Chinese, Buryat Mongolian and German fluently, and reads classical Chinese and the Mongol bichig.

A full list of publications is available here:


Senior Research Associate, MIASU
Dr Namsaraeva

Contact Details

Email address: