Dr Anastasia Shesterinina discusses her commitment to advancing research into civil wars and how this led to being awarded her recent UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.
You were recently honoured by UKRI with a Future Leaders Fellowship for your world class research and innovation. Can you talk about what led you to this award?
This Fellowship is the culmination of my decade-long commitment to advancing research on one of the deadliest and most persistent problems of our time. Every year, civil wars kill, displace and force millions of people into poverty, creating humanitarian and environmental crises. I first became aware of the severity of this problem when I was growing up and a number of wars broke out as the Soviet Union disintegrated in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
At that time, I could grasp only a fraction of the devastation and loss brought about by the fighting. Years later, when I started my doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia, it became clear to me that this is the subject I had to study in depth.