Can Dalyan

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Address: 88 Wentworth Street Room 104

Can Dalyan, Ph.D., is a broadly trained environmental anthropologist from Istanbul, Turkey, who studies the sociocultural impacts of climate change. Placed at the intersections of multispecies ethnography, historical anthropology, and environmental humanities, his work examines technoscientific projects of conservation and urban regimes of climate adaptation.


His first book project, Life, Arrested: Genebanking and the Biopolitics of Climate Change in Turkey, draws on multi-year ethnographic fieldwork and analyzes the management of latent plant life inside Turkey’s first national seed bank in juxtaposition with biopolitical projects that seek to arrest social life such as extended emergency rule, refugee camps, and shelter-in-place regulations. Other pieces that continue to come out of this project focus on the lives of frozen seeds and civil servants in Turkish conservation bureaucracy; the role of plant labor in bioeconomies of genebanking; and the confluence of antiquities and biodiversity conservation regimes in modern Turkish history.


Dr. Dalyan is currently overseeing two new, long-term research projects. The first one investigates the role of military housing and military social enterprises in the secularization of urban space, militarization of nature, and the disciplining of everyday life in Turkey. His other long-term project, based in Charleston, SC, ethnographically explores the distinction between high and low ground within the assemblage of sea level rise and flooding, large-scale infrastructural adaptation plans, real estate speculation, and racialized bodies existing above and below the ground.


Ph.D. Cornell University, Anthropology

M.A. Cornell University, Anthropology

M.A. Koç University, Comparative Studies in History and Society

Research Interests

Climate change and adaptation

Conservation governance

Urban politics and environmental justice

Plant studies and life sciences

Anthropological theory

Modern Turkey and the Middle East