Project team

National Museums Scotland logo
National Museums Scotland https://www.nms.ac.uk
University of Exeter logo
University of Exeter https://www.exeter.ac.uk
University of Reading logo
University of Reading http://www.reading.ac.uk
University of Roehampton logo
University of Roehampton https://www.roehampton.ac.uk
Naomi Sykes
Naomi Sykes
Principal Investigator

Naomi Sykes is professor of archaeology at the University of Exeter where she researches and teaches on human-animal-environment interactions over the last 10,000 years. Her approach is highly interdisciplinary, working across the arts-science spectrum to provide a deeper understanding of past cultures and to contextualise present challenges facing humanity.

Naomi’s research addresses global issues over extensive geographical and temporal ranges. Specifically in relation to this project she takes a zooarchaeological approach to the way humans have fed animals over the course of history and how this has shaped the humans, animals and environments involved.

Andrew Kitchener
Andrew Kitchener
Co-investigator

Andrew is Principal Curator of Vertebrates at National Museums Scotland and is responsible for the curation and development of the vertebrate collections, which number around 500,000 specimens from around the world. He has many research interests, including the geographical variation in and biogeography of mammals, hybridisation, Scottish zooarchaeology, the effects of captivity on endangered vertebrates, and functional morphology. Andrew has developed several permanent and temporary exhibitions at the museum, including Monkey Business in 2016, which during its tour has attracted more than 150,000 visitors. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Andrew is Chair of Trustees of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Andrew was recently appointed to the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission which advises Scottish Government on animal welfare issues.

Angela Cassidy
Angela Cassidy
Co-investigator

Angela is a Senior Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Exeter. Following an undergraduate training in zoology, she migrated disciplines as a postgraduate and now works across the history and social studies of science and medicine. Her research interests encompass public knowledge controversies; science, expertise and policy; interdisciplinarity; animal health and environmental social science. Her research explores how scientific knowledge is produced, communicated, interpreted and contested across the wider public sphere, particularly during controversies. She has investigated this process case studies, including the history of UK debates over bovine TB and badger culling; ‘One Health’ (the convergence of human and animal health); food risk; and popular evolutionary psychology.

Garry Marvin
Garry Marvin
Co-investigator

Garry Marvin is professor of human-animal studies at the University of Roehampton. The main focus of his research is that of human / animal relationships and he has written on bullfighting, cockfighting and zoos. For the past few years he has been conducting anthropological fieldwork on foxhunting in England and he is now writing a book on the culture(s) and meaning(s) of foxhunting. His other main research projects are a study of the cultural history of the wolf; the experiences and activities of sports hunters; taxidermised hunting trophies; conservation and human-wildlife conflicts.

Stuart Black
Stuart Black
Co-investigator

Stuart is an associate professor in isotope geochemistry at the University of Reading. He is a fellow of the Geological Society and an associate of the Walker Institute for Climate Systems Research and Soil Research Centre.

David
David Cooper
Postdoctoral Fellow

David is a postdoctoral researcher within the department of natural sciences at the National Museums Scotland. His research is focussed upon the morphological differentiation between captive and wild vertebrates due to differences in diet. This comparison can shed light on processes of domestication, and on the morphological variation across the wild ranges of species. David’s background is within geographical information science, and his previous research has involved combining spatial data with morphological analyses of big cats, primarily the lion and tiger.

Ginny Thomas feeds Pukekos
Ginny Thomas
Postdoctoral Fellow

Ginny is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter. She has two main roles on this project. The first is to coordinate the engaged research component – liaising with the research partners and wider research network, co-facilitating research workshops, and collaborating with the other early career researchers. The second is her own specific research, under the umbrella of the wider project. She’s investigating the contemporary governance of animal feeding working closely with Angela Cassidy and also Garry Marvin. She’s particularly interested in human relationships with other animals and how animal feeding, and animal feeding policy, are part of this.

Giovanna
Giovanna Capponi
Postdoctoral Fellow

Giovanna is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Roehampton, focusing on cats and cat-feeding practices. She is trained as a social anthropologist with a particular interest in environmental anthropology, human-animal studies, historical ecology, and 'naturecultures'. During her PhD at the University of Roehampton, she conducted research in Italy and Brazil looking at animal sacrificial practices and perception of the environment in Afro-Brazilian religions, developing perspectives in the fields of anthropology of ritual and material culture. As a PhD and postdoc, she has worked on chickens, wild boar, food waste, environmentalist ethics and more-than-human ontologies.

Alex
Alex Mullan
Doctoral Researcher

Alex is studying for a PhD in anthropology at the University of Roehampton. His fieldwork will take place at Edinburgh Zoo where he will be undertaking an ethnographic study of animal feeding practices in captivity. He will investigate, among other things: the relationships between the animals and the keepers that feed them, public sensibilities and their impact on how animals are fed, whether people are as keen to feed animals as zoos are to discourage them, and how decisions are made about what zoo animals eat.

Alex's background is in history. His MA thesis, from Uppsala University, was a microhistorical investigation of early modern masculinity and race through the interactions of British sailors with Captain Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim (1797-1804).

Herre De Bondt
Herre De Bondt
Doctoral Researcher

Herre is a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Roehampton. His role lies in the ‘Feed the Birds’ part of the project, for which he will conduct ethnographic research on bird feeding practices. The bird feeding industry in the UK is immense, but what motivates us to feed these creatures? How do we differentiate between species that should be fed and species that are less deserving of our care? And what do our bird-feeding practices reveal about ourselves as humans? Herre will use his prior experience in anthropology and human-animal studies to tend to these questions.

Oli
Oli Moore
Doctoral Researcher

Oli is a social historian studying for a PhD in sociology at the University of Exeter. His part of the project will investigate the contemporary history of feeding animals at the zoo. His research will focus on the factors that created change within zoo feeding plans and the experience of animals from the archives. Via historical analysis of the archives and oral history, he will look to use feeding as a lens to understand the changing nature of zoos and their social and cultural impact on humans and animals including how zoos developed from their historic beginnings as princely hobbies and colonial statements of power to become commercialised centres of conservation and education, regulated by the state

Oli’s background is in the social history of late Victorian to Edwardian British society. His Research Master’s thesis covered the bureaucratisation of naval officer recruitment, professionalisation of the navy, and the development of a unique naval officer identity. He is a former winner of the British Commission for Maritime History national undergraduate prize and the regional Devon History Society undergraduate prize in 2019.

Bethan Roberts
Bethan Roberts
Associate Researcher

Bethan is a postgraduate studying zooarchaeology at the University of Exeter. She is contributing to the literature review for the project and undertaking her Master’s dissertation which focuses on animal captivity throughout history. Bethan did her undergraduate degree in zoology and has progressed to studying deceased animals, researching how interactions with fauna in the past can dictate the present. She is passionate about conservation and has worked on numerous research projects globally including research on turtles, marmots, squirrels, dolphins and bees.

Jonny Davey
Jonny Davey
Associate Researcher

Jonny is currently undertaking an MA in archaeology at the University of Exeter having also completed his BA in archaeology there. Jonny has particular interests in zooarchaeology and ceramics and in penguin conservation. 

 

Sharon Gove
Sharon Gove
Coordinator

Sharon has co-ordinated a number of research projects over the years, and is primarily involved in ensuring the project operates within Wellcome and university guidelines.  She is the key contact for any financial or administrative queries, ensuring that the project is delivered within budget.  She works on a part time basis, usually on Tuesdays.