Born on August 4, 1953, in Cardiff, Wales. Study Oxford Univrsity (BA 1974) and Cambridge University (PhD 1979). Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College Cambridge (1980-1984). Lecturer Department of Social Anthropology University of Cambridge (1984-1992). Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Kent at Canterbury (1992-1999). Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences (1994-1997). Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (since 1999). Honorary Professor for Social Anthropology at the University of Kent (since 1999), the University of Leipzig (since 2001), and at University Halle-Wittenberg (since 2002). Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (since 2008).