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The Speakers

Panel 1:

Local Identities

Melanie Jackson

Department of Arts & Humanities

Bishop Grosseteste University, UK

Melanie is a second year PhD student funded by Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. Her research project is based on the work of Captain Rupert de la Bère, who was Professor of English and History and Librarian at RAF Cadet College, Cranwell, 1921-1938. The project focusses on the content of the College Journals, of which Rupert de la Bère was Editor, and in particular, on the contributions of the flight cadets. It aims to further understanding of the College Journals as a constructed history, through analysis of the contributions by the flight cadets, which include articles, illustrations, photographs, and poems.

Michael J Warren

Independent Researcher, UK

Michael is a medievalist specializing in environmental literary theories, with a specific interest in birds. He is the author of Birds in Medieval English Poetry: Metaphors, Realities, Transformations and is currently working on a nature writing book exploring the early origins of the importance of the natural world in our connections to place. Michael is co-director of the international scholarly group Medieval Ecocriticisms and a board member for the organisation's forthcoming self-titled journal, currently editing the first themed issue on weather. He is also a committee member for the UK charity alliance New Networks for Nature.

Shawn Bodden

Department of Geography

University of Edinburgh, UK

Shawn is a PhD student in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh conducting ethnographic research on the everyday politics of dissent, resistance and protest in urban contexts. His approach is influenced heavily by ethnomethodology, and he is particularly interested in how this approach to studying social interaction can be expanded to consider non-human sociality.

Ariane d’Hoop

Université Saint-Louis, Belgium

Ariane is doctor in Anthropology (University of Amsterdam) and in Architecture (Université Libre de Bruxelles). Her research to date has focused on the spatial arrangements of various practices, such as theatre performances, church rituals, trial cases, or psychiatric care. These ethnographies led her to conceptualise how buildings and the practices inhabiting them may be in tension or co-evolve together. Her work engages with discussions about materiality in Science and Technology Studies, and contributes to situated studies in Architecture. She now extends her investigation of places to a multispecies perspective, with a focus on care for animals threatened by extinction.

Alizé Berthier

Department of Geography

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France 

Alizé is a French Doctor in Geography from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and associate researcher in LADYSS laboratory. She studies human-animal relationships in the densely inhabited city and has just finished a PhD on human-bird cohabitation in the Greater Paris. By combining approaches of environmental and cultural geographies, her research questions city dwellers’ bird acceptation or reject criteria, as well as public management policies implemented in regards birds. Her work led her to focus on problematic situations of cohabitation with specific urban birds such as feral pigeons, but also newly urbanised species in Paris, carrion crows and ring-necked parakeets.

Corbin Donnelly
Vanessa Carson
Kya Rawlings

Panel 3:

Aerial Perspectives 

Clara Dawson

Department of Geography

Department of English & American Studies

University of Manchester, UK  

Clara is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Manchester. Her published research to date has focused on poetry and print culture but she is now turning towards environmental humanities and am about to begin work on a new project on poetry and birds. Her monograph, Victorian Poetry and the Culture of Evaluation, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in February 2020. 

Jeremy Mynott

University of Cambridge, UK  

Jeremy worked for most of his professional career at Cambridge University Press, with successive roles as editor, editorial director, managing director and chief executive.  Since retirement he has published several books in the fields of natural history and classics, including Birdscapes: birds in our imagination and experience (Princeton, 2009), Thucydides: edition and translation (CUP, 2013) and most recently Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (OUP, 2018). He is the co-founder and a trustee of New Networks for Nature, an initiative bringing together a wide range of writers, scientists, poets, musicians and naturalists to explore the diversity of creative responses to the natural world and inspire efforts to promote its importance in our national life.

Roger Wotton

Division of Biosciences

University College London, UK 

Roger is Emeritus Professor of Biology at UCL. In addition to research on organic matter in fresh waters, he taught courses in Aquatic Biology and in Animal Form and Function, the latter including animal locomotion.

An interest in Victorian Natural History led to a double biography of Philip Henry Gosse and his son Edmund, and many blog posts. In addition, Roger continues his lifelong passion for paintings and has given Lunchtime Talks, and lectures, at the National Gallery in London, a recent course being on Angels and Demons.

Sara Asu Schroer

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages

University of Olso, Norway 

Dr. Sara Asu Schroer is an anthropologist with a keen interest in avian lifeworlds and human-bird co-existence in anthropogenic landscapes. Building on her Ph.D. on falconry, her post-doctoral research was concerned with questions of avian domestication and captive breeding of raptors. Having previously considered questions of more-than-human learning, knowledge formation and sociality, her current research focus is on vulture conservation and concerned with the broader ecological relationships that intertwine human and avian lifeworlds in a time of rapid environmental change and species loss. She is co-editor of the book Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically, published by Routledge in 2018.

Andrew Whitehouse

Department of Anthropology

University of Aberdeen, UK  

Andrew is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. His research is predominantly in environmental anthropology and human-animal relations, particularly issues relating to birds and nature conservation. Previously he worked on the AHRC-funded Listening to Birds project that explored people’s relations with birds through sound.  He studied for his doctoral thesis at the University of St Andrews, conducting fieldwork on the island of Islay in the west of Scotland.

Alex Lawrence

Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages

University of Oxford, UK 

Alex's research interests lie principally in the fields of European travel writing and natural history at the time of the 'Great Discoveries' in the early modern period. His doctoral work focuses on the figure of the toucan, which can be seen as a representative of, and thus providing insight into, the transference and dissemination of knowledge about American fauna across the borders and languages of Europe, from their ‘discovery’ by explorers and writers in the in the early 16th century onwards.

Fiona Law

Department of Comparative Literature

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong  

Fiona is a lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include Hong Kong studies, film studies and animal studies in the Asian context, with particular focus on the relationship between cinematic and literary representations, healing narratives, visual cultures, animal welfare, ecofeminism, and urban culture. Her writings can be found in Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Animal Studies Journal, A Companion to Hong Kong Cinema, Screening the Nonhuman: Representations of Animal Others in the Media, and Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, among others.

Panel 4:

Mobile Margins, Mobile Worlds

Joan McGowan
Erin Wells

Paul Merchant

National Life Stories

British Library, UK 

Paul  is an oral historian at the British Library, currently working on the project ‘An oral history of farming, land management and conservation in post-war Britain’. He has a PhD in cultural geography from the University of Nottingham, where his postdoctoral work examined cultures of nature in Britain in the period 1945-1970. He has published, as a co-author, in the field of animal geographies.

Andy Morris

Department of Geography

Open University, UK  

Andy is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Geography at the Open University. He come from a background in cultural geography and have written across a range of subjects relating to landscape, visual culture, nature and human-wildlife relations. Andy's writing has been published in Open University teaching publications and peer reviewed journals. He has also worked as an academic consultant on two BBC television series, most recently the BBC series Autumnwatch. Andy's recent work on human-starling relations has seen me carry out fieldwork in Rome and present a number of conference papers.

Sean Nixon

Department of Sociology

University of Essex, UK

Sean is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. For the past thirty years he has researched the links between consumer markets, cultural representation and social change, publishing four books, including: ‘Hard Sell: Advertising, Affluence and Trans-Atlantic Relations, circa 1951-1969’ (MUP Press, 2013) and ‘Representation: Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices’ (Sage, 2013), the latter co-edited with Stuart Hall and Jessica Evans.

He is currently working on a book for McGill-Queens University Press looking at shifting relations with wild birds in Britain and America from the 1920s to 1980s, titled ‘Passions for Birds: Science, Sentiment and Sport’.

Panel 5:

Sharing Outdoor Space

Olivier Bisset

Panel 6:

Birds in Artistic Space and Imagination 

Matt Howard

Poet and conservationist, UK 


Matt  is a poet with a day job in nature conservation. He is also an editor and a programmer of poetry events as well as events that engage multiple art forms with environmentalism.

Born in Norfolk in 1978 Matt grew up in Hethersett and Wymondham, playing out in that narrow gap between settlements and agri-business which allows imagination growing space. He now lives in Norwich where he works for the RSPB.

Rebecca Jewell

Artist and Printmaker, UK 


Rebecca has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and a PhD from the Royal College of Art. She has worked on various art projects in the Oceanic Department of the British Museum and has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. Her work is held in the British Museum, the British Library, the Natural History Museum, the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the National Maritime Museum, as well as in many private collections. Jewell is a faculty member of the Royal Drawing School and is co-founder of Drawn from Nature, running Natural History art classes.

Susan Clayton

Université Paris Diderot

Université Paris VII, France 


Susan taught at the University of Paris VII, where she worked as (senior) lecturer/researcher from 1982-2012, included the English of culture and society, and British women’s history. Since defending her thesis in 1991 she has given numerous papers at international conferences in European universities, as well as in the UK. Her published articles, in both French and English, have dealt with, female husbands, the Victorian New Woman, and terminology connected with same-sex sexuality. Her interest in visual depictions is accompanied by the practice of painting.

Helena Hunter

Independent Researcher, UK  

Helena Hunter works across text, photography, digital collage, film, performance and sound. She has a Master’s in Fine Art from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. In 2018 she was awarded the Artquest research residency at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Her poetic writing has been published in journals including MAI Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture, SomethingOther, Alterity Journal  and in publications including Posthuman Ecologies edited by Rosi Braidotti and Simone Bignall and The Midden edited by Jenni Nurmenniemi and Tracey Warr. 

Heather Rosenfeld

University of Wisconsin, USA 

Heather Rosenfeld is an environmental geographer, science studies scholar, and visual storyteller. Her research interests include political economy, public engagement with science, and the politics of representation. She recently completed her PhD on chicken sanctuaries, which mapped the rise of the farmed animal sanctuary movement in the United States, examined the co-construction of alternative economies and medical knowledge about rescued chickens, and analyzed how sanctuaries medically and conceptually rehabilitate rescued chickens. She also works on projects on ethics in multispecies research, mapping environmental (in)justice, and feminism in academia.

Arya Meza

Philip Howell

Department of Geography

University of Cambridge, UK


Tre Timms

Philip Howell is Reader in Historical Geography at the University of Cambridge, UK. He specializes in the historical geography of animal-human relations, and has contributed to the field of animal history and animal studies with his monograph At Home and Astray: the Domestic Dog in Victorian Britain (U Virginia P, 2015) and as editor of two recent collections on animal-human history.

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