I am researching the reintroduction of the wildcat (Felis silvestris) into Devon and exploring practices of care involved in their conservation. Drawing on ideas around ethical conservation and concepts developed within anthrozoology, I aim to pay attention to the entangled lives of wildcats and their spacio-temporal interactions with each other and other species (including humans). By investigating practices of care in this entangled ‘cat’s-cradle’ I aim to produce a multispecies ethnography that explores what ‘care-full’ conservation is and how it could be used in future conservation practices.
I am interested in understanding why and how we view animals, and how these insights can help produce better animal welfare, richer biodiversity, and environments where humans better coexist with nature and animals. At a time when the planet is facing its 6th mass extinction though climate change and biodiversity loss – an extinction brought about by human activity in the so called ‘Anthropocene’ – I believe anthrozoological insights can contribute to finding better ways to share and use our planet.
I studied BSc Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, followed by the MA Anthrozoology here at Exeter for which I was awarded a Dean’s Recommendation for Exceptional Performance. The highlight of my master’s was travelling to Hainan, China, to study local perceptions to the Hainan Gibbon for my dissertation. Before returning to my studies and embarking upon my PhD, I spent several years working in the university sector in the area of ‘research impact’. During this time I supported academics to create societal impacts with their research, evidenced and evaluated research impact, and coordinated the submission of Exeter’s REF2021 Impact Case Studies. I learnt a lot through these impact roles and will be integrating this knowledge into my own research.