‘Osprey Involvements: Historical Animal Geographies of Extinction and Return’
I recently submitted my PhD thesis on the history of the Scottish osprey: its extinction, recolonisation and conservation in the twentieth century. My research specifically focussed on the relationships between humans, birds, and places in producing the conditions for life to flourish. In particular, I am interested in the material conditions and apparatuses of conservation; the capacities of human and bird bodies, and how these are changed or augmented through practice allowing one to become sensitive to new phenomena; and the ethics of human-avian involvement, the kinds of lives permitted or made possible and those that are denied. In carrying out this research I drew upon a mixture of historical and cultural geography methods, archival sources and conceptual materials.
Born in Glasgow, but raised in Aberdeen, I am currently in the first year of my PhD research at the Univeristy of Edinburgh, having successfully completed a Research Masters here last year. Both my Masters and current PhD research are generously funded by the ESRC as part of a 1+3 programme. I am eager to explore all things wild, animal, technological and more-than-human, especially in the Cairngorms. I also enjoy hillwalking, climbing and telemark skiing (when there is snow and the Glenshee road is open!).
My personal research interests span historical, cultural and animal geographies of wildness, conservation practice, highland land management (specifically in the Cairngorms) and science. Conceptually, I draw on the work of Giles Deleuze, Donna Haraway, Tim Ingold and Bruno Latour to explore the involvement of humans and other agencies in zones of lived contact that have the potential to produce new, lively and surprising forms of difference.