Elizabeth Vander Meer

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College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Sociology and Philosophy
Department: Anthropology
Research Centre/Unit: Anthrozoology

I completed my first postgraduate degrees in environmental policy and ethics with focus on biodiversity conservation; my PhD thesis critiqued the mainstream conception of biodiversity and argued for a focus on biodiversification (continued evolution) and a feeling for the organism, with consideration of these approaches in the context of two case studies in Latin American biosphere reserves.  I later developed a keen interest in primates after volunteering at a rescue centre and conducted independent research, building on feminist philosophy of science studies of primates I touched on in my thesis.  

The MA Anthrozoology, which I obtained with a distinction, has led me in a new career direction.  I have had a constant passion for and interest in understanding human-animal relationships. My current PhD research will make contributions to Qualitative Anthrozoology, Performance Studies and debates in Animal Welfare and Protection.  I have most recently applied ideas in biopower/biopolitics and phenomenology to captive animals in zoos and circuses.  

I am a vegan, live with two lovely rescue cats, Reilly and Zoey (pictured), and volunteer twice a month at a small zoo.