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About us

The Centre for Endangered Languages, Cultures and Ecosystems (CELCE, pronounced ‘selkie’) serves as an interdisciplinary hub based in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of Leeds. We are dedicated to research into the dynamic interrelationships of languages, cultures, and environments around the world. Local languages and cultures both shape and are shaped by close contacts between peoples and the ecosystems they inhabit. The rapid loss in recent years of languages and cultures—records show c. 30% loss of both species and languages since 1970—risks severing these connections. Typically the habitats that enjoy the greatest linguistic and cultural diversity tend to exhibit the greatest biodiversity, and loss of the one commonly precipitates loss of the other.  The Centre seeks to facilitate conversations about and investigations into how local languages and cultures enable communities to sustainably manage the ecological and cultural resources on which they depend. Drawing members from across the University of Leeds—including the Schools of Languages, Cultures and Societies; Biology; Geography; Sociology; Religious Studies; Psychology; Health Care; Media and Communications; and Computing—and from the broader UK academic community, CELCE promotes research on the complex interractions between endangered languages, cultures and ecosystems, building a mixed-methods interdisciplinary methodology that engages the natural sciences, applied sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities & cultures.