Anahita Mittertrainer studied archaeology and Middle Eastern studies at Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München and Freie Universität Berlin. She wrote her master thesis on the Čaača-Meana region of Turkmenistan in the Parthian, Sasanian and Islamic period (“Die Čaača-Meana Region Turkmenistans in parthischer, sasanidischer und frühislamischer Zeit”). This study argues that the fluorescence of settlement during Sasanian and Islamic times speaks to politically calculated investments in water management on the part of imperial polities. In this regard, the study of the settlement dynamics of these late periods offers a highly informative window into the role of political decisions on local ecologies. During her fellowship at Topoi she works with research group (A-2) Political Ecology of Non-Sedentary Communities by integrating her results with those of Gabriela Castro Gessner`s study  on the earlier periods and Jonas Berking`s study on the paleolandscape in the survey region.