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Photo of Dr Astrid Schrader

Dr Astrid Schrader

Senior Lecturer (Sociology and Philosophy)

Byrne House Tower Room

Astrid works at the intersections of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Human-Animal Studies and Feminist and Poststructuralist Theories.

She joined the University of Exeter in the autumn of 2013 as a HASS Research Fellow and became a lecturer in SPA in 2016. She previously held postdoctoral fellowships at York University, Toronto, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pembroke Center at Brown University and taught Science, Technology & Society Studies at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. Astrid received her PhD in History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also holds a MSc (UC Santa Cruz) and a  Diplom (TU Berlin) in physics.


Astrid's work explores questions of responsibility, care and agency in scientific knowledge production, new ontologies, the relationship between anthropocentrism and conceptions of time, and questions of environmental justice. She has been particularly interested in scientific research and policy decisions about so-called Harmful Algal Blooms. A recent project examined the scientific reconfigurations of life and death through research into programmed cell death in unicellular marine microbes.  Her current projects explores the linking of bio- and geo-rhythms in marine algae and other ocean critters and how they may affect timescales of 'our' concerns in the face of global warming. Under the heading of "Caring with Microbes" she develops new theoretical approaches in STS and 'new materialisms', combining 'agential realism' and 'biodeconstruction'. Working with artists and marine scientists, she also seeks to develop new appraoches to and methodologies in cross-disciplinarity.

Astrid is a member of EASE and Egenis research group.



Schrader A. and Malou Juelskjær (in press) “Diffraction” for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods

Schrader A. (in press) “Death in the Sea – Mourning with Algal Blooms” for Nested Ecologies: Algae, Bacteria, Fungi, eds. Anicka Yi and Alise Upitis

Schrader A. (2024) “Reading Science, Caring with Microbes” in Methods and Genealogies of New Materialisms, eds. Iris van der Tuin and Felicity Coleman, Edinburg Press

Schrader A. (2023) “Diffraction as Cross-Disciplinary Methodology Between Science and Arts” in Diffracting New Materialism: Emerging Methods in Artistic Research, Palgrave, eds. Annouchka Bayley & JJ Chan

Schrader A. (2022) “Sorgen mit Meeresmikroben: Bio-Spuk und abgründige Relationen”. In: Queerfeministische Kompostierungen des Anthropozäns . Springer VS, Wiesbaden.

Schrader A. (2021) “Elemental Ghosts, Alternative Carbon Imaginaries, and Living Matter at the Edge of Life” in Reactivating Elements, Substance, Process and Method from Chemistry to Cosmology; editors Dimitris Papadopoulos, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Natasha Myers, Duke University Press.


Schrader A. (2020) “Marine Microbiopolitics: Haunted Microbes before the Law” in Blue Legalities edited by Irus Braverman and Elizabeth Johnson Duke University Press


Schrader A. (2020) “A conversation with Astrid Schrader” in Dialogues on agential realism – engaging in worldings. Malou Juelskjær, Helle Plauborg, and Stine Adrian (eds) Routledge


Vicki Kirby, Astrid Schrader, Ezster Timar (2018) “How do we do biodeconstruction?” for a special issue on ‘biodeconstruction’ in Postmodern Culture (PMC) ed. Erin Obodiac


Schrader A. (2017) “Microbial Suicide: Towards a Less Anthropocentric Ontology of Life and Death,” special issue “Indeterminate Bodies”, edited by Claire Waterton and Kathryn Yusoff Body & Society 23(3).


Schrader A. (2017) “Microbes” entry for “Gender: Animals” edited by Juno Salazar Parreñas, MacMillian Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA


Schrader A. and Elizabeth Johnson (curators)(2017), LabMeeting “Considering Killability: Experiments in Unsettling Life and Death” for special issue of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3(2)


Schrader A. contributed to Davies GF, Greenhough B, Hobson-West P, Kirk R, et al (2016) “Developing a collaborative agenda for humanities and social scientific research on laboratory animal science and welfare” PLoS One 1(7).


Schrader A. (2015) “Abyssal Intimacies: How (Not) To Care About Deformed Leaf Bugs in the Aftermath of Chernobyl?” special issue “The Politics of Care in Technoscience,” Social Studies of Science


Schrader A. (2012) “Haunted Measurements: Demonic Work and Time in Experimentation”, differences: a journal of feminist cultural studies 23(3): 119-160. Special Issue “Feminist Theory Out of Science”, Sophia Roosth and Astrid Schrader (eds).


Schrader A. with Sophia Roosth (2012), “Feminist Theory Out of Science: Introduction”, differences: a journal of feminist cultural studies 23(3): 1-8.


Schrader A. (2012) “The Time of Slime: Anthropocentrism in Harmful Algal Research”, Environmental Philosophy 9 (1), 71–94. Special issue: “Temporal Environments: Rethinking Time and Ecology,” Jacob Metcalf and Thom van Dooren (eds.)


Schrader A. (2010) “Responding to Pfiesteria piscicida (the Fish Killer): Phantomatic Ontologies, Indeterminacy and Responsibility in Toxic Microbiology” Social Studies of Science 40(2): 275–306.

Research supervision

I'd be delighted to supervise any project aligned with my research interest in:

Feminist science studies, environmental STS, environmental humanities, anthropology of science, STS theory, new materialisms, agential realism, onto-epistemologies, scientific and other ways of knowing, hauntologies, human-animal relations, technology-human-animal relations, cyborgs, posthumanism, nonhuman temporalities, anthropocentrisms, biopolitics, environment & society, ecology & conservation & environmental crises (pollution, invasive species, biodiversity) anthropocene research, marine microbes, time & tides, care, responsibility, environmental justice, feminist continental philosophy (especially biodeconstruction: Derrida & the life sciences, Derrida & animal studies, Derrida & feminism; also Heidegger, Foucault).

Research students

Current PhD supervison:

Boglarka Kiss (1st supervisor), "Microbial Ontologies in Scientific Practices"

Ellen Lesser (2nd supervisor), "The capacity of nonhuman animals to be aware of God"

passed supervision:

Lucienne Attala, PhD in Anthropology 2019 (2nd supservisor)
Research Title: The Role of Water in Shaping Futues in Rural Kenya: Using a New Materialities Approach to Understand the Co-productive Correspondences Between Bodies, Culture and Water


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